X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer
CAST: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult
CLASSIFICATION: 10-12 PG
RUNNING TIME: 132 minutes
RATING: 3 stars (out of 5)
TIME TRAVEL, a dystopian future and mutants facing off against humans. It must be an X-Men movie. And, a right fun one at that.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is also fast-paced, darkly foreboding and plays loose and fast with the comic book and film canon.
Still, continuity slips and searching for those easter eggs which point to future endeavours are what fans of comic book films love, and this one delivers on both counts. This film is a totally egg-head moment for the fans.
While the plot may do lots of info dumps, it is not to explain what happened before, but to further what is about to happen so anyone unfamiliar with the X-Men movies will be lost.
Anyway, the action in Days of Future Past is plentiful and switches between two teams across two timelines.
While Wolverine (Jackman) travels back to 1975 to get Professor X and Magneto to talk to each other and nip the creation of the Sentinel programme in the bud, he is also present in the future, being guarded by the remaining X-Men.
In the future the Sentinels have not only ravaged the world in their search of mutants, but have also started targeting humans.
Once back in the time of flared jeans and aviator sunglasses, Wolverine encounters a walking Professor X (McAvoy), but no X-Men. Most of the film happens here, with Wolverine having to do a whole lot more talking than he is comfortable with.
McAvoy is touching as a potty- mouthed, drug-addicted Professor X, struggling to reconcile his need for independent mobility with the loss of powers he didn’t think he would miss. He is heartbroken and still smarting at the loss of his best friend, Erik Lensher (Fassbender), and this is a bromance that needs healing before we can move forward with all the cool action sequences.
While there is no clear-cut villain (can there ever be one in a film that includes Richard Nixon?), Dinklage stands out as Bolliver Trask, the guy who sets all the brouhaha in motion, though the worldview-shattering monologue Game Of Thrones fans hope is coming, never happens.
Even when the heavily expounded plot begins to resemble a labyrinth, it remains fun watching Jackman, McAvoy and Fassbender slink through 1975, complete with lava lamps and naff shirts. But, the boys carry it off with enough style to match Jennifer Lawrence’s best hat and every now and then they drop a sly little in-joke.
At times it feels like director Singer is trying to out-avenge the next Avengers movie by throwing all of the main characters from the The Last Stand and First Class plus several new ones – as well as his own version of Quicksilver (Evan Peters) – at the screen.
Quicksilver is referred to as Peter Maximoff and not his mutant code name (because of an agreement between Marvel and Fox) and he gets the most awesome action scene to the strains of one of the cheesiest songs used in a comic book movie. Has anyone ever been more rock star to the strains of a folk song? Don’t think so. Evans manages to charm despite a healthy dose of arrogance, and we don’t see enough of him.
This film is all about bridging Last Stand and First Class to get to Apocalypse planned for 2016, but it works as it celebrates the X-Men in technicolour and then some. But, honestly, the 3d was so unnecessary.
If you liked, X-Men: First Class or The Wolverine, you will like this.