X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Review; "Bryan Singer Has Finally Made A 5* X-MEN Movie"
We've all had our doubts and Quicksilver in particular has been a hot topic, but with X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer has made perhaps the best movie in the franchise yet and one which certainly tops his previous efforts. Hit the jump for my spoiler-free thoughts!
As someone who liked but didn't love Bryan Singer's X-Men movies, I was very disappointed to learn that it would be him helming the follow-up to Matthew Vaughn's far superior X-Men: First Class. However, with X-Men: Days of Future Past, the director has proven that he is capable of making a 5* X-Men movie, and it's a movie which will deservedly find a place in many a Top 10 list of great comic book adaptations moving forwards. Perhaps the biggest issue with what has been called an "inbetweenquel" is Singer's decision to just pick and choose the elements he wants from both the comic books and the previous movies. No explanation is given as to why Wolverine has his adamantium claws in the future after the events of The Wolverine, while characters are conveniently killed off and powers are altered and played with simply to serve the plot. Instead of writing a story featuring the X-Men we all know, Singer and writer Simon Kinberg change them to suit themselves. It's lazy storytelling, but the unfaithful adaptation remains one of the best instalments of a unfaithful series of movies.
The plot of X-Men: Days of Future Past works, and the time travel elements are well explained and handled nicely. Though the future scenes all look a bit bland and Matrix-y, Singer does a mostly solid job of bringing the 1970s to life and the soundtrack is killer. While we only pick up with a few of the First Class cast members (the explanation behind where the rest are is extremely satisfying though), they're perhaps the best ones and Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence are all on top form here. Contrary to popular belief, this movie isn't the Wolverine show, and while he does play a prominent role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the relationship between Magneto, Professor X and Mystique is still very much the focus. New and old cast members alike are all very good in fact. Peter Dinklage's Bolivar Trask doesn't get the same sort of powerful material we've seen from the actor in Game of Thrones, but as a lead villain of sorts, Singer couldn't have found anyone better.
Bryan Singer seems to have finally mastered the art of delivering solid action scenes as well, and this movie contains some of the best fights from not only the X-Men franchise, but superhero movies as a whole. The special effects are top notch, although it's disappointing that Singer went for such a futuristic design for the Sentinels in both the past and future scenes. Sure, they look great, but seeing the classic designs would have been so much more satisfying and they would have worked a lot better in the 1970s. Again, the director seems to just want to do things HIS way, and that includes using technology which is ridiculously too advanced looking for that time period. Then again, Captain America: The First Avenger did the same during its WWII scenes, and in this type of universe, it's hard to be too critical about that. It's just a shame that the director didn't quite embrace this time period as much as Matthew Vaughn did with X-Men: First Class.
Perhaps X-Men: Days of Future Past's greatest achievement is what it sets up for the future by the time the credits roll. There's a possibility we could see two new franchises spinning out of the events of this movie, but it more importantly manages to make up for so many of the X-Men movies' past mistakes, and the last few minutes are immensely satisfying. At two hours, the movie flies by and it leaves you wanting more. It's obviously not clear whether or not Bryan Singer will return for 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, but I for one hope he does (and that's not something I thought I would ever say). Now, one thing that has to be mentioned here is just how great Evan Peters is as Quicksilver. Called "Peter" here for some reason, his scenes are actually some of the best, with a slow-motion sequence particularly incredible visually. He was a better choice than Juggernaut for Magneto's breakout, and it should be very interesting to see if Joss Whedon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson can now top this in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It perhaps doesn't top Captain America: The Winter Soldier as 2014's best comic book movie (so far), Bryan Singer's latest effort comes VERY close, and serves as a great way of washing away the taste left by the not so amazing The Amazing Spider-Man 2. X-Men: Days of Future Past is a much watch!
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