Posts Tagged ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past – movie review’

Countless choices define our fate: each choice, each moment, a moment in the ripple of time.  Enough ripple, and you change the tide…  for the future is never truly set.
     —    Professor Charles Xavier
From the closing lines of the movie: “X-Men: Days of Future Past
[Last night I re-watched a movie from last year, “X-Men: Days of Future Past“.  I had planned to see it in the theater, but never got around to it.  Later, when I was viewing a number of movies on bootleg sites, I managed to see it, but the quality was so bad (as it typically is on these sites) that I didn’t even bother to review the movie because I didn’t think I could give it a “fair” review.  And, all in all, I think that was a very good decision.  My opinion of the movie was vastly improved over my prior viewing.
The “X-Men” comic book series was one of the many comic titles I followed when I was growing up.  Much like the “Spider-Man” series, the X-men were geared to a youth audience and sought to express the “angst” of growing up, feeling different, and coming to terms with a growing sense of uniqueness in the adult world much bigger than the imagined (and imaginary) world of our early childhoods.  Combine this feeling of difference with a mild (or not so mild) persecution complex (“they hate us because they fear us; they fear us because we’re different”) and you have a very deep story-line vein to mine for many years of comics (and movies).
The problem with any persecution story arc’s is, of course, the natural tendency of the writer(s) to follow the escalation sub-arc to it’s natural conclusion – the death(s) of all the heroes (the mutants and X-Men) or the death / termination of the antagonist (in this case, the Sentinels).  And, of course, if you kill off all of the heroes – wait for it – no more comic books (or movies).  If you kill all of the bad-guys, same problem (or you have to “invent” new baddies).
The somewhat classic response to this problem is to re-boot the series (either in the comic book or the movie format) or to go back and change time so “it” (the current present) never “really” happened and we can make up new stories.  Sometimes, you do both.  (See the latest two “Star Trek” movies…)
So the questions are: which does this movie do; and does it do it well?  This movie chooses “both”, but with a heavy emphasis on time-travel to get to the re-boot.  The movie goes very dark in the escalation sub-arc and does, in effect, kill all the heroes.  The time-travel also does its job of re-booting (some of) the actors / characters and getting the movie series back to a place where they can now logically create “new” sequels.
That’s the “do”.  How about the “well”?
Like all comic-book movies in general, and X-Men movies in particular, this is very much an action and special effects movie.  The action scenes are too few (for my tastes), but well done.  The special effects are visually well done, but mostly don’t make any sense.  And I mean “suspend belief” cause there’s no way this is possible kind of stuff.  There are far too many to list, but most of the problems have to do with trying to use actors across a 40 year span and technology that could not exist today, let alone back in the 1970’s.
Somehow, though, the “dark”, “not enough action scenes”, “unbelievable” movie still works for me.  The core message is that the future is never “really” set as long as you have hope and that hope is what drives the individual to a commitment to change.  The message / theme is touched upon frequently during the movie, but even I have to admit it (the message) is somewhat hidden in the viewing experience.  All in all, I give the movie a “B+” rating.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  Well worth viewing by any action / adventure / comic-book fan.    —    KMAB]
On This Day In:
2014 You, Too!
2013 Bitter Stand
2012 Lost For Words
2011 On Market Reactions…

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