Wednesday, May 28, 2014

[Review] X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in the bleak future where mutant prison camps exist and shape-shifting war machines known as The Sentinels are assassinating the remaining free mutants.

Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) are cooking up a plan with some crucial help from Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), in order to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to the 1970s so he can band together with the younger versions of Xavier and Magneto (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) and alter past events. But none of it is easy, as it all results in a proliferation of complex tasks.

This installment hinges on tricky time-travel leaps, and the cast of characters is overflowing, yet somehow it all manages to avoid being confusing and convoluted. It's miraculously fluid. The adroit execution of the story on all parts makes for a greatly paced, multidimensional super hero movie. Everything culminates in a crescendo of thrilling arcs and entertaining setpieces.

Quicksilver (Evan Peters), a slacker that can move at lightning speeds, is an instant highlight. He gets to do all the fun stuff. One of coolest scenes of the film involves him prankishly manipulating a shootout during an extreme slo-mo escape sequence. Wolverine is more restrained than usual, but still just as grizzly and charismatic, even adding his own bits of comedic relief. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique is on an ass-kicking rampage, straddling the lines of hero and villain. James McAvoy gives an impressive performance as the most turmoil-filled character. And Peter Dinklage just always makes everything better.

Amidst all the dazzle and sometimes goofy looking costumes, it's the grounded levels of humanity, well-developed character relationships, and historical context that drive the story and deepen the experience. There's an ever-present sense of urgency, and the total balance and purpose of every piece propels X-Men: Days of Future Past into the upper tier of comic book/super hero films.


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