Monday, May 26, 2014

Film Review: Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past

I think that the biggest complaint fanboys have about their comics being made into movies, is how much is changed from floppy book to silver screen. And yes, many things, ofttimes pretty major things, do get switched up in the book-to-screen adaptation process. Storylines change, characters are given new origins, the continuity of the comics timeline is inevitable skewed. Any self-respecting comic book fan knows full well that the original X-Men were Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, and Marvel Girl, aka the ever-dying Miss Jean Grey. Such a thing has never been the case in Marvel's movie universe, and that is just fine. Much in the same manner as the TV version of The Walking Dead not following Robert Kirkman's original comic book (yeah ladies, Daryl Dixon isn't even in the comics), the filmed versions of the Marvel Universe do not easily follow their comic book counterparts. So basically, films like The Avengers, Captain America, and The X-Men films (as well as Batman and Superman over at DC), are alternate realities, and should be seen as such. With that said, let's get on with just what makes this latest alternate reality Marvel superhero movie tick tick tick.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the most iconic stories in X-history. Spanning just two issues back in 1981 (back when there was just one X-Men comic book floating around, as opposed to the six trillion or so different X-titles on shelves today) it is the story of a dystopian future where most mutants have been either murdered or enslaved. The few remaining X-Men devise a plane wherein Rachel Summers, the future daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, uses her mental powers to send Kitty Pryde, now an aged Katherine Pryde, back into her teenage body in order to warn the X-Men of 1981 as to what their future holds. As to the aforementioned changing of comic book storylines, it is now Kitty (no longer an aged version, but being played by Ellen Page looking just like Ellen Page who does the sending back (still not sure how she is able to perform this feat though) and it is Wolverine being sent back. After all, Wolverine being Wolverine, and star Hugh Jackman being star Hugh Jackman, it only makes sense that he is the so-called focal point of this story. Rachel by the way, is nowhere to be seen, but again this makes sense since her being Scott and Jean's daughter might just confuse the lay-viewer. So anyway, in this version of the story, Wolverine is sent back by Charles Xavier and Magneto (played in a bit of old age make-up by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, reprising their roles from the original X-Men trilogy) in order to convince their younger selves (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, reprising their roles from the best of the X-movies, X-Men: First Class) to do something to save their future from becoming the hell it has become.

Now although this new film does not have quite the same air of style First Class had, there are quite a few fun moments to be had. Granted, Jackman just sort of stands around, never really doing anything other than maybe collecting a fat paycheck, and the mutants of the future are sadly underused (more Colossus! More Storm! More Bishop, dammit!!), but McAvoy and Fassbender, along with Jennifer Lawrence, once again playing the blue-skinned Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy, aka Beast, more than make up for their co-stars lack of definition. The big surprise here though, is the addition of Quicksilver. As a fanboy of my own, my biggest worry going into Bryan Singer's film, was that of Evan Peters' portrayal of Quicksilver. With the strangeness of this character being used both here (though unable to mention that the guy was once an Avenger) and in the new Avengers movie (where no one can mention he is a mutant and the son of Magneto - though there is a fun quip about that in the film) who knows who would have the better mutant speedster. Well, my apprehensions were put to rest once Peters came on the screen. Let's just say that his criminally little amount of time on the screen were some of the best moments of the whole damn film. More Quicksilver, dammit!! Yup, that's about all I have to say about that. Keeping the spoilers in check, I'll just leave it at that, and close by saying that this may not be the best superhero movie, but it sure ain't the worst. How's that for playing the middle of the road. And yes, Singer himself uses the middle of the road in the making of this film, which is probably why this picture is not as good as Matthew Vaughn's First Class, but still manages to hold up better than most. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


5 comments:

  1. Well Alex gave it a thumbs up and now so do you. I have to catch up on the other X-Men before I see this one. I saw the first 3 but not Wolverine or all of the other one where we see the Dr. and Magneto when they were youngin's. I caught the last 1/2 hour of that film which is not fair to the film or moi.

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  2. I was spoiled by the original two-parter in the comics. Hard to believe that was more than 30 years ago! By the way, did you see my Superman post last week?

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  3. B - Yeah, the best one is the one you only caught the last 1/2 hour, so you should definitely go back to that one. This one acts as a sequel to both First Class and Last Stand.

    Fox - I remember reading that one when it was originally out. I was a big X-Men fan during Claremont's run. As for your Superman post, I did not see it (not sure how I missed it) but I have now, and I even added my own two cents about my childhood of playing Superman.

    See ya 'round the web.

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    1. I'm old enough that I was a big fan during the Lee-Kirby run, and every run thereafter until the 1990s!

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  4. The first issue I ever got (of any comic) was X-Men #97. I probably read some Disney or Harvey comics before that, but when I was eight, I got myself X-Men #97 at the grocery store, and fell in love with comics.

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