X-Men: Day of Future Past

May 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Posted in 2014 | Leave a comment
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◊ ½

I’m not sure who loves this film (though, clearly, there are those who do).  I would think it delves too deep into  the X-Men universe for the casual film goer and delves into it too poorly for the true fan. The movie is a barrage of characters, some of them played by two different actors, and none of them given any context or back story. So many actors were crowded into this film (Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin,Kelsey Grammer, Famke Janssen, James Marsden) that there was scarcely any time for any of them, except Hugh Jackman, to spend more than 10 minutes on screen. As such, there is just too little to hold onto here and no one to care about. It’s clear you are expected to have seen every other X-Men movie ever made, how else could you possibly be expected to make sense of the mishmash of flashback references to those films? Yet, the film also cheats on its own story, significantly altering (or outright ignoring) the history it established in those films. How is Professor X still alive in the future when he died in a previous film? How is the villain Stryker a man of about 30 in 1973 and in his late 40s 36 years later? And how did Kitty Pride suddenly acquire a whole new ability? The film is sloppy but it doesn’t care because it assumes we won’t care either, and perhaps we shouldn’t. But I do. The Chris Claremont/John Byrne short story ran in the X-Men comic in 1981. I read it as a kid and loved it’s nihilistic vision of the future and the larger metaphor of how societies treat outcasts (this was the first time it had been so clearly expressed within the X-Men world). However, in cinema today, nihilistic futures and the mutant as outsider metaphor have been done to death, robbing this film of any potential impact. All that is left, is just another action film. But, if “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is just action movie fun, then shouldn’t it be more fun?  With the barrage of characters and the jumping back and forth between time periods, it’s hard for any particular scene to gain any traction. In the end, they were just explosive moments of special effects.  At one point in time (not that many years ago), cool effects were enough, but not any more.  In the end, I was bored more than anything else in this film.

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