NeoBaggins reviews X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

NeoBaggins reviews X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Bryan Singer returns to the series that took comic book movies in a new and exciting direction. 14 Years since the first X-Men hit theaters, the director is still full of surprises. Read my take on Days Of Future Past after the jump.

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By NeoBaggins - 5/26/2014


WARNING: SOME CONTENT MAY OR MAT NOT FALL INTO THE CATEGORY OF SPOILER

Not since 2006 have we witnessed the assembly of the original on-screen  X-MEN. After the original X-MEN film, followed by its popular sequel, the series moved on to different directors. Now, after two solo WOLVERINE films and the revitalizing X-MEN FIRST CLASS, the X-MEN are home; with director Bryan Singer.

For a popular series that movie-goers are pretty familiar with, the X-MEN are very modest at the box office. But hopefully and much deserving, perhaps that trend will change with X-MEN: DAYS of FUTURE PAST.

DOFP is a unique movie that combines two great elements to create one great film. The first element is director Bryan Singer; responsible for the best X-MEN films from the original trilogy. The second element is the Matthew Vaughn directed FIRST CLASS; a bold idea that paid off in the form a good film with strong performances. And now, together; Bryan Singer has taken the original X-MEN cast and inserted them in a film with the FIRST CLASS cast, and with poetic efficiency. The concept alone is noteworthy as the director essentially creates X-MEN 4 and FIRST CLASS 2 simultaneously. And if that's not bold enough, the film dares to imply (to me) that every single X-MEN film, "continuity errors" and all, are indeed connected under one continuous story, possibly on different time lines. Other interpretations suggest DOFP actually eliminates certain films all together.

One thing is certain; Wolverine Origins and X2 apparently exist in the same canon as DOFP. But that's another discussion. 

You would think all of this would be rather confusing with its time-travel premise, but surprisingly, the tale is laid out in a mostly easy-to-follow way despite the films scale. There are but two things I'm confused about. Maybe three.



The film opens to an action sequence that brings us up to speed as to where the X-MEN are in the future, or the present if you will. Deadly 'Sentinels' search a ravaged and dark world in an on-going effort to eradicate the Mutant populace. To make matters worse, these super sentinels cannot be defeated by force as they are advanced in absorbing any Mutant power, rendering them indestructible by versatility. And they are brutal, which brings us to the foundation of the plot; Our heroes must travel back in time to stop the super sentinel's from ever existing.

With a group consisting of Iceman, Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Colossus, Blink and Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde; our heroes fight an unwinnable battle where they are defeated then rebooted by way of time travel to try again. Up until this point, Kitty has been able to send a single Mutant back in time, a process where ones current consciousness is placed in their younger body at an earlier time, to warn the group of the impending sentinel attack. But the new plan requires Kitty to send a Mutant's conscious back several decades before the super sentinels were forged, a far greater challenge for her than sending someone back a few days- a process that would tear apart a Mutant's mind. So, Wolverine is chosen for the trip. Because he can take it.

Charles Xavier, Storm, Wolverine and Magneto are back and are working together to overcome the sentinel threat. Despite the missteps of X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, one can't help but smile at the return of the old crew. 

In the standard tradition of the series, we are introduced to additional Mutants. This time around we have comic favorite: Bishop. His live-action debut brings us a character that is more closely visually adapted from the comics than the series is known for. For his stent in the film, he looks great. We also have Sunspot, a character whose power could have been adapted a little better. Here, he looks like the human torch when it would have been nice to see his flames emitting from a pitch black silhouetted. Still, he does his part in the thrilling team attack against the sentinels which include stunning visuals with the Mutant Blink as she and Warpath zip in and out of portals in a strategy to defeat their foes.

But the fun doesn't truly start until Wolverine awakes in his younger body, circa 1970. Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the Wolverine is consistent under all directors, but it soon becomes apparent that the Wolverine is at his best with director Bryan Singer. In DOFP, for the first time, Wolverine is a vessel, a component, a supporting piece of the puzzle rather than an overbearing focal point. Logan is not soul searching or preoccupied with his origins here. And I believe this is the most fun the character has been since the first X-MEN. With a wise crack here and there and of course his tendency to get into fights, Wolverine is tasked with convincing Charles and Eric that he is from the future and needs them to band together- a task that requires a delicate approach, skill and patience. The latter of which Logan admits is not his strongest suit.

For a CBM, performances are top notch for the most part. Most notably is James McAvoy as the young Professor X. With wit and raw emotion he portrays a troubled Xavier to tear-jerking levels. Couple him in a scene opposite the intense
Michael Fassbender and you have near perfection. The actors are on their A game and with much material to work with.

This is not the Wolverine show as some detractors predicted. No, DOFP is skillfully balanced. It's Mystique's story, it's Xavier's story, it's Magneto's story, it's the story of Kitty Pryde, her team, and the preservation of Mutant kind. In some ways, Wolverine is a host, a narrator of sorts. Even a heckler with a few well timed wise cracks. We travel along with him as he plays his part in aiding the cause. Wolverine is very entertaining in this capacity and for a brief moment, when things shift towards the character exclusively, we get unique glimpse into Logan's mind that also sends the audience a message about the series itself. But like I said earlier, that's a different discussion.


Nicholas Hoult continues to give us the meek Hank McCoy and the ferocious BEAST. And you can detect a bit of duo chemistry between Wolverine and BEAST as they team up for a brief moment. Every character has his space and role to fill, and overall, Singer is in full control of the ensemble.


In an unforgettable scene after Logan has formed a small band consisting of Xavier and Beast, we witness action and spectacle in its highest form. But first, we're introduced to Quicksilver. The Mutant speedster is charismatic and funny. And no pun intended, but you find him likeable, quickly. Within seconds of his first appearance, he has the audience.

The effect used to display his unreal speed is an unexpected effect that has him zipping around the room with a soft wisp of wind. Another subtle, but nice touch is the hurried speed in which he spoke. But things become more interesting when the action is slowed down for our human eyes to see.

Without spoiling the scene with any details, I'll just say that the excitement and thrills of X2's Nightcrawler sequence are back and bigger.

We look forward to seeing more Quicksilver in future installments.



Peter Dinklage does his job as the ambitious Trask, tho he doesn't really reach a defined level of villainy. He seems like a man who thinks he's doing the right thing. Responsible for creating the sentinels and on the verge of discovering the element needed to create the super sentinels, Trask is a driven man with a purpose.

DOFP is a CBM epic in scope. It is dramatic as it is fun and emotional as it is exciting. The visuals are exceptional from its period piece sets and wardrobe, to the cold, dark, world of the future that awaits the X-MEN.

DOFP is the most ambitious of the series and more than likely will be regarded as the best among many fans, including myself. As of now, I just have to keep returning to the cinema to see it. 

                         

         
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MightOfSentinel - 5/26/2014, 10:33 AM
4 Thumbs Up!
0megaDaGod - 5/26/2014, 12:00 PM
Great review, tho I skimmed to avoid spoilers

Hoping to see this in a few days
BatManiac - 5/26/2014, 12:30 PM
Great review NeoBaggins. Days of Future Past was outstanding!
NeoBaggins - 5/26/2014, 1:38 PM
0mega

Oh, I forgot about that. I held back but I'll add a warning.

BatManiac

Outstanding about sums it up. This was a bottom of the ninth, bases loaded type position for the series. Home run! Would have been curtains with anything less.

Exciting down to the after-credits.
Bailkurn44 - 5/26/2014, 4:26 PM
Great review, I say the best Marvel movie of all time IMO, with First Class 2nd
Brainiac13 - 5/27/2014, 3:02 AM

This is not the Wolverine show as some detractors predicted. No, DOFP is skillfully balanced. It's Mystique's story, it's Xavier's story, it's Magneto's story, it's the story of Kitty Pryde, her team, and the preservation of Mutant kind. In some ways, Wolverine is a host, a narrator of sorts.

This really sums it up.........great review.......loved this movie. :)
marvelmaniaco - 5/27/2014, 3:20 AM
Great review! I agree with everything you said! This really has given me my faith back towards to xmen universe
MightyZeus - 5/27/2014, 3:33 AM
Great review. I'm glad you enjoyed the film. You get a thumbs up from me.
MrReese - 5/27/2014, 3:58 AM
Awesome as always @Neo
batz11 - 5/27/2014, 4:12 AM
Agree with most everything you said, well done (not only because I agree with you ;) but your review was well thought out...
Dud - 5/27/2014, 4:33 AM
Good review! I got bored there for a minute though. It started reminding me of First Class, but it picked back up thankfully. Fassbender is a great actor, hands down. 3.5 out of 5 for me.
CombatWombat - 5/27/2014, 4:41 AM
Nice review, agree with most of it. McAvoy and Fassbender were both brilliant
CaptainAmerica31 - 5/27/2014, 5:05 AM
Good review couldn't agree more.
Gamera623 - 5/27/2014, 5:09 AM
I didnt like it as much as Captain America 2 or Amazing Spider-man 2....but X-Men: DOFP was still a pretty good movie.

Its just that the continuity was just as jacked up as ever and that was a little dissapointing.

3/5
Unspoken - 5/27/2014, 5:27 AM
You guys are on crack to think this movie was good enought to get a 5 out of 5. Any movie that has Wolverine in it and just has him walking around and talking with two other guys, or laying on a table is not worth a 5 out of 5. If you put Wolverine in a movie, let him do what he does best. Hell they could have sent me into the past and I would have been as productive. He was just a waste of a good character. Captain America 2 was way better then this movie.
RedMosquito - 5/27/2014, 6:04 AM
Am i the only person in the world that didn't like this movie? To be honest, i found it a bit dull. After the fact, i am wondering if that could have partly been caused by knowing the movie would get the 'time travel reset button' treatment in the end? Whatever it was, i found that it just couldn't hold my attention. I was doodling, playing with my phone, thinking about work ETC, basically anything but pay attention to what was going on onscreen.

I didn't like the cast of First Class, and still don't like them here. Mystique baffles me. If they are clearly going out of their way to get Jennifer Lawrence to look and (now) act like Rebecca Romijn did in the original movies....then why not just get Rebecca back again? She was much better as Mistique than Jennifer Lawrence was anyway. But no, Jennifer is the 'it' girl that we all have to love at the moment because the powers that be say so, so i guess we're stuck with her.

The reset button at the end still doesn't work for me, as simply doing that doesn't explain how all the continuity errors happened in the first place, like Emma Frost being younger in the first Wolverine movie than she appeared in First Class despite like 2 decades passing...

For me personally, i think the X-Men movies have had their day, and need to be put out to pasture. They just don't work for me anymore. Same with X-Men comics too. When i was a kid, i absolutely loved the X-Men but i really can't be bothered with them at all now. There is enough whining and moaning in real life without having to listen to the X-Men complaining about being born with awesome powers and living in a huge mansion where all their needs are met...

Before anyone tears me a new one for saying i don't like this movie, relax. this is just my opinion, and you're entitled to yours also. If you liked the movie, then good for you. You probably had a lot more fun watching it than i did:)
wyatt1234 - 5/27/2014, 6:13 AM
for sure one of marvels best movies yet. felt kinda like watching the old cartoon. best cbm this year.
X-Men DOFP 4 1/2 stars
Cap 2 4 stars
Spider-Man 2 3 1/2 stars
Azazel1 - 5/27/2014, 6:35 AM
Having seen Spiderman 2 again in Theaters, okay, it was not a great film but it was not AS BAD Josh said it was.

Batman and Robin it is not..
Gamera623 - 5/27/2014, 6:37 AM
@RedMosquito
I cant really say I dissagree with anything you said (except pullingout your phone durring the movie...RUDE).

The contimuity errors were added and piled on even more in this movie....until a big reset button was pushed at the end.

Added to the fact that I feel that X-Men is one of the lamest parts of the Marvel Universe and I may be a little biased.

Lately in my old age (Im almost 40) Im seeing that my tastes are either maturing..or Im getting senile haha.
Amazing Spider-Man 2 was fantastic! It was almost perfect. I gave it a 9/10 and chest bumped my freinds and walked out with a big smile.
X-Men: Days of future's past was.....OK. We all kind of said it was entertaining it was worth the admition, gave it a 7/10 and walked out indifferent.

Then I go on website and these kids all live in Bizzaro World. :)
Betty - 5/27/2014, 7:03 AM
Yeah, DOFP was ok at best. It was about the best they could do with what they had to work with. DOFP may have erased X3's steaming pile but there still needs to be a reboot. I love Hugh as wolverine as much as the next guy but I'd rather see a new cast and turn over the rights to marvel entertainment. This isnt going to happen though. Not unless they buy it back, which i dont know if its even an option. I dont know how the movie world works.

If I had control of the franchise I'd make an Old Man Logan movie with Hugh and reboot the xmen franchise.
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:04 AM
@NeoBaggins

Great review man, thumbed up!
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:07 AM
This is my top 10 of movies for 2014, obviously the 4 comic book movies released so far are in there ; )

1) X-men days of future past - 5/5
2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier 4.5/5
3) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - 4/5
4) Godzilla 3.5/5
5) The Lego Movie 3.5/5
6) Noah 3/5
7) Non-Stop 3/5
8) Robocop 2.5/5
9) 300 Rise of an empire 2/5
10) Nymphomaniac: Volume I 2/5
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:08 AM
friends and peolple i talk to in the movies and social networks are saying this movie is far better than any Marvel studios release and on par with The Dark Knight and damn! I agree with them
drfate - 5/27/2014, 7:09 AM
Fair enough review....except this: writers like you take it upon yourself to write or rewrite history as if its canon. It is not. First Class was not a perfect, nor even a good film. And your saying so doesn't make it so. Of all of the X Men movies, the most coherent one Was X3, which is the most bashed of the films. Go back and watch X Men. Its ridiculous, we were just happy finally see X Men on film. X2 was much better but had a lackluster villain. William Stryker was a psycho priest, but Singer has remade him in his ill motivated version who is into his third actor now.

Days of Future Past...I enjoyed it better than all the rest, but let's set the record. First Class was not universally awesome (it sucked...almost as bad as X Men origins Wolverine). And X Men United was indeed the best of the first three. Done. My pen versus your pen, er keyboard.
Sunnyd - 5/27/2014, 7:09 AM
Didn't feel it.
Was an ok movie but lacked action for a CBM and the drama was heavy handed and while I will say all the actors where on their top game the script was just not that good to me.
3/5 Not even in the same ball park as CATWS and only slightly above TASM2 which by the way at least had more and better looking actions scenes.
Criminally under utilized other X characters...who are in it pretty much as Cameo's and weak ones at that.
Future mutants in the first fight couldn't take out a single Sentinel...
Not one....
Past X men... best scene is the QS one and then bam gone and not utilized anymore even though part of the heavy handed drama is in the future you all die but hey why let the only helpful guy go on his merry way.....
I can go on and would love to hear the parts that people think were so fantastic since at this point I am wondering if I saw the same movie as the people who are giving it such raving reviews.
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:11 AM
This Year is a great time to be a Comic Book fan!

-X-men days of future past - 5/5
-Captain America: The Winter Soldier 4/5
-The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - 3.5/5
-300 Rise of an empire 2/5

GOTG, Sin City 2 and TMNT have to be terrific to catch on the quality of the fils we have had so far
Gamera623 - 5/27/2014, 7:11 AM
@Karmatron
No way. Thats crazy town banana pants talk right there. :)
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:13 AM
I loved CATWS but after seeing XMDOFP I just realise X-Men are the clear winners this year, at least to me
Gamera623 - 5/27/2014, 7:15 AM
I've only seen 7 movies so far this year:

#1 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (10/10)
#2 - Amazign Spider-man 2 (9/10)
#3 - The Lego Movie (8/10)
#4 - Muppets Most Wanted (8/10)
#5 - 300: Rise of an Empire (7/10)
#6 - X-Men: Days of Future's Past (7/10)
#7 - Godzilla (6/10)
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:18 AM

@Gamera

I loved TASM2, I never thought I would see the Gwen stacy scene so well adapted. It brought tears to my eyes but as I had company I had to fight back those bitches

Green Goblin was creepy as hell
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:20 AM
@Gamera

You should see Robocop. It's great and pays homage to the original without being a frame per frame re-adáptation.

The CGI is great, action and direction. It's a shame it was a failure in box office : (
ChuckV - 5/27/2014, 7:27 AM
Enjoyed the actors involved but wish they had better material to work with. Lots of people left the theater confused with what they just saw, but praising the fact that they had seen all these cool X-MEN characters in action. Most comic fans seem very forgiving because they're just happy another X-MEN film was made. Guess understanding the story just isn't necessary anymore.

For my tastes, a reboot of this franchise would be a good start.
ChuckV - 5/27/2014, 7:30 AM
Unlike WINTER SOLDIER or even THE AVENGERS, DOFP really doesn't have any amazing, memorable action scenes.

Nothing left me saying, WOW THAT WAS A COOL SCENE I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE IN THE MOVIE!!
Karmatron - 5/27/2014, 7:31 AM
Strange, the people at the theaters I have been (Seen it 5 times already) understood everything just fine.

Only thing they did not catch was
"What does EN SABAH NUR mean?"

but it is almost the same when thanos face showed up and a lot of non-comic fans was like

"Is that Darkseid? so is superman gonna show up in avengers 2 to help them against Darkseid?"

LMAO
ChuckV - 5/27/2014, 7:58 AM
So, you understood.... Why they'd send Wolverine back and NOT Xavier, the most powerful TELEPATH??

WHY wouldn't they recruit Quicksilver to stop Mystique from shooting Trask? That wouldve been the better plan than
breaking Magneto out of prison KNOWING he can't be trusted and has his own agenda!!! Did future Magneto forget what an insane asshole he was back in the '70s? (Logan could have wrapped up his job in a day or two if he simply hadn't bothered to break Magneto out of his jail.)

HOW exactly does stopping Mystique change the events of X3-LAST STAND?? That story had nothing to do with the Sentinels program.



Herc509 - 5/27/2014, 8:01 AM
I thought it was the best X-Men movie to date (which isn't hard considering I hated 5 out of 6 x-related films), solid writing, it's by far the funniest of the films & QuickSilver's scene was awesome (similar to Nightcrawlers debut). But for movie about a team of mutants, it lacked the team. The 10 minutes of the actual team was kinda janky to me. 1 of the reasons Avengers scored so well is because they were able to give each character time to shine, that clearly isn't the case with this movie. The actual team was never a factor in the movie. That's been part of my problem with the X series, other than Rogue, no other X-Man not named Wolverine has been the focus (with the exception of First Class which is probably why I semi-enjoyed that one also). It's too many X-Men to keep making Wolverine the focus.
Gamera623 - 5/27/2014, 8:01 AM
I wish the movie explained things a little better is all. You dont even need to show me..just one line like Magneto saying "After I rescued Mystique from the Trask lab we didnt think much of it after that" would have stopped these questions from popping up.

- How does Wolverine have Adamantium claws again?
- If sentinals were approved by the government in the 70's because of Trask's death, why are there no sentinals seen or mentioned in any previous films?
- If Mystique was captured and experimented on in the 70s, how is she in the original trilogy?
- How is Professor X back? His mind was tranferred into that coma patient but how does he look like himself again and even need a wheelchair?
- Since when could Shadowcat send people's minds back in time?
- Why was the mutant cure in X-3 such a big deal if Beast and Charles were using a form of mutant cure in the 70s?

But the reset button was pressed and only First Class is cannon anymore so we arent supposed to ask these questions right?
Unspoken - 5/27/2014, 8:35 AM
@Gamer623 I agree with you 100%.

@Karmatron I respect everyones opinion but, I just can't understand how you think Spidy and Xmen, where better then Captain America. Captain America was a well balanced movie. Solid action, as well as good character development. Spidy and Xmen, just seemed like they said, lets get as many high priced actors as we can in this movie and start to film. Kinda like Grown Ups. Marvel imo does things the right way.
Shamo - 5/27/2014, 8:41 AM
Good review, greatest CBM to date.
WinterSoldier24 - 5/27/2014, 9:05 AM
No company-bias on my end; this really was a great movie. My wife though it was great too. Of course I'm gonna say CA: TWS was the best CBM to date becaue, well, he's my favorite character. But, this flick was really, really good. I'll probably even go see it again with the fellas just to make sure I liked it as much as I think I did ;)
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