Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PCP in Theaters - X-Men: Days of Future Past

It has been an insanely busy last few weeks at work for me, and busy on the weekends as well, so it was nice to finally have a chance to get to the movie theater again for a new flick on the big screen. Although it came out a month ago, we finally got a chance to see X-Men: Days of Future Past in theaters this past week. And fortunately, unlike the Amazing Spider-Man 2, this summer's second (third if you count April's Captain America 2) major comic book franchise film did not disappoint.

X-Men: Days of Future Past.  2014, rated PG-13. My rating: 9 out of 10.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (hereafter referred to as XM:DFP) has a very challenging act to pull off. The film has to combine the characters from six previous X-Men films, and also find a way to paper over the continuity errors and other problems with the preceding films, which is especially difficult because originally the timeline of X-Men: First Class was not designed to match up perfectly with the original films (as noticed most readily by Emma Frost being younger in the 1970s in X-Men Origins: Wolverine than she was in the 1960s in X-Men: First Class). It also has to do justice to one of the most popular story-lines from the comic books, when the franchise already botched a different popular story-line (the Dark Phoenix) in X-Men 3. So, going in to this film, I was hopeful that it would be able to pull this off, but I was worried that the deck was stacked too much against the movie for it to be a success.

I was very glad to be completely and utterly wrong. The movie wound up being a ton of fun and was very entertaining. The film starts out in a bleak dystopian future, where mutant-killing robots known as Sentinels have slaughtered millions, not only mutants but humans that were carriers of the mutant genes and due to have mutant children or grandchildren. There is a great action sequence following characters we have never seen on film before, including Blink and Bishop, and some we have in Ice-man, Colossus, and Kitty Pride, as they fight to survive against the Sentinels. Their group links up with Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Storm, and come up with a way to send Wolverine's consciousness back to his body in the past, to prevent the Sentinel program from ever getting off the ground, thus preventing this dark future from ever coming to pass. From there, the film switches focus to the 1970s, where Wolverine has to bring together the younger versions of Magneto and Professor X to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask (Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage), because his death actually causes his robots to be put into production.

The film is very heavy on action, but it also has quite a few funny moments as well, and many shout-outs to the other films within the series or events that readers of the comics will understand but might be missed by those that have only seen the films. The film makes no allowances for new viewers, as it expects you to have seen the prior films and know who is every character on the screen. So, if you haven't seen at least X-Men 1-3 and First Class, you might be a little bit lost. The best action sequences are Magneto's escape from prison in the past (filled with some very funny moments thanks to Quicksilver), the battles with the Sentinels in the future, and Magneto's battle with the Sentinels in the past. The movie clearly spent a large portion of its $200 million budget on special effects, and they look fantastic. And while the film is not quite perfectly able to iron out the myriad continuity issues from having to fix the narrative errors of the previous six films, they do a good enough job to make the film work here.

Overall, XM: DFP was a very enjoyable movie, and easily the best in the series since X-Men 2. We got to see many familiar faces from the prior films, as well as some awesome new mutants too. The film also ends with a scene after the credits that makes fans of the comics very excited, and sets up the next film in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse coming in 2016. I can't wait!


  1. The bad taste of X3 has finally been wiped out of my mouth. Thank heavens. Good review Mike.

    1. X3 wasn't that terrible (ok, it was) but it was still better than Xmen Origins: Wolverine. Now that movie was bad. Thanks for the kudos! Keep up the great work over on your blog too, I wish I had the time to post as often as you do!