Prequel, Sequel, Sidequel or Requel?: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Review

Prequel, Sequel, Sidequel or Requel?: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Review

I don’t read comic books and mutants aren’t really my thing so to say I went to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past blindly would be an understatement. But there’s always a beginning to everything. Let me start by saying I don’t know where I have been the last six installments and I finally get the hype surrounding actress Jennifer Lawrence.

In this film, the mutants face new danger to their species. Huge robots called Sentinels are eliminating them and oppressing their human friends who carry the genes that lead to mutant offspring. Kitty Pryde, a mutant whose powers include going through walls and transporting a person’s consciousness back in time to deliver warnings, is their only hope. Wolverine volunteers himself to go back in time where he finds young Xavier and Magneto to try to stop the attack on mutants before it even starts. It was no easy feat considering Magneto is in a maximum-security prison 100 floors below the Pentagon. Wolverine approaches Quicksilver for help. His brief appearance as the jailbreaker was the highlight of the film. He was a smart-ass funny character.

The time-travel theme is intriguing but that’s where my confusion started. We go to 1973 but stay in the future, which is actually the present. Get my drift? The plot was hard to understand, there were many characters and they kept referencing the other movies in the franchise. Everything becomes a muddle. It might be easy to connect the dots between the films for die-hard fans but continuity is a big hurdle in this film.

The visual effects in this film are stunning. There are also some pretty good action scenes. The stand-out strength of this movie though was the exceptional acting. Wolverine and Mystique got the most camera time although I’d have loved to see a bit more exposition of the other characters. To their credit Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence are great in their roles. 

My favourite character was Quicksilver, the mutant with lightning speed tasked with breaking Magneto out of jail. In one scene he races around a room to prevent Wolverine, Magneto and Xavier from the armed forces’ rain of bullets. He does this while mocking the guards; poking one’s face, taking a cap off another’s head and knocking off the hat of yet another. Quicksilver is a fast-talking and awkward character that will leave you in stitches.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender stand out as well. McAvoy plays a depressed young Xavier who has turned to drugs after being dumped by Mystique. He excommunicates himself from the other mutants to try to forget her and his powers. Young Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender, is surprisingly the one who feels abandoned in this situation. During a confrontation with Xavier I learnt just how connected his powers are to his emotions. Legendary actors Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart who are in my view the most recognizable X-Men characters, even to non-followers of the franchise, shine in their roles too.

I’ve always known Halle Berry plays Storm in X-Men- from Entertainment News and I was looking forward to finally seeing her in action. But hers was sadly a very short time in the film. She “surprisingly” fell pregnant around the time of the shooting and she has “blamed” her growing belly to her limited role in this film.

For mutant action lovers this is obviously not one to miss. But there is so much ground to cover you might feel like your favourite mutant is being short-changed. For the “others” like me, time to catch up on the previous films in the franchise and get on the X-Men bandwagon. Spoiler (or not): Stick around for a bonus post-credits scene.
This review is courtesy of Century Cinemax The Junction

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