X-Men: Days of Future Past: Review

Image from:www.rottentomatoes.com

Before I get into my review of the latest and much anticipated X-Men film, I think it’s important to know where I stand on the franchise to date.

Like most, I enjoyed the first two Bryan Singer films but hated Brett Ratner’s third installment. Despite the release of two standalone Wolverine films and the 2011 prequel X-Men First Class, I’ve had very little interest in the mutant superheroes.

Missing both the recent Wolverine and the aforementioned First Class, going into X-Men: Days of Future Past, I had my concerns that I wouldn’t have a clue what was going on.

Fortunately I didn’t feel out of the loop and this does a great job of bringing its audience up to date without getting too heavy with exposition.

Taking the Star Trek approach of using time travel as a way of making a sequel, prequel and re-boot all in one is something that works well here. Not only does it serve as mouth wash to Ratner’s The Last Stand but it opens up a world of possibilities for the future of the franchise, so the story gets big points from me in that regard.

The cast across the board are firing on all cylinders too, Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine remaining the lifeblood of the series. To have Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen back in their respective roles is a joy to watch and James Mcavoy and Michael Fassbender bring a great on-screen presence.

Having Bryan Singer back in the directors chair is also a plus, making his biggest X-Men film to date. As if to apologise for leaving the franchise for Superman, he goes all out in doing this popular plot line justice and I think fans will love him for it.

However, whilst I admire the film’s mechanics, on a whole it left me a bit cold.

It’s not that I walk into summer blockbusters with an air of pretentiousness; there’s something fantastic about films which are made purely to entertain. It’s just that other than its final act, the rest of Days of Future Past feels significantly flat.

The primary fault lies with the younger, angst-riddled characters whose problems seem insignificant compared to their apocalyptic future. A love triangle which offers nothing new or original once again takes centre stage and drags down proceedings.

I know we’re talking comic books but there are moments which border on the ludicrous, Xavier’s floating wheel chair being one of many, which I found to be jarring and completely laughable.

Add to this one of the most annoying characters I’ve seen on film in quite some time (Quicksilver) and there’s just about enough to keep me from completely recommending the film. Seriously, his character is still irritating me hours after the film has ended and makes me angry even thinking about it.

X-Men: Days of Future Past does have plenty on offer in terms of its special effects, direction and cast, but compared to the other summer-fare I’ve seen so far this year it’s definitely on the lower end of the scale.

A passable but not entirely satisfying experience, it left me slightly malnourished but will be sure to please fans of the previous films.

 

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