J A Garrett

Curiously nerdy posts.

X-Men: Days of Future Past reviewed.

The new novel of The Dresden Files comes out today! GET HYPE!

But since I can’t exactly read it until after I’m done working today, instead I want to talk about the movie I went to see on Friday for the first movie date night with my wife: the new X-men movie.

I’m pretty knowledgeable about all things X-men. The Claremont/Lee run on the comic was HUGE back in the early 90s when I was a kid, the cartoon came out on Fox that was a big hit that I watched every Saturday morning… also, I’ve read basically every major storyline since the big Giant-sized issue in 1975 that introduced the “new” X-men. So yeah. I was excited for this movie. Not as excited as I would be if it were a Marvel studios movie, but I hoped it would be as enjoyable as X-men:First Class. Was it?

Well….

What I liked:

The sentinels. The sentinels have always been the X-villain I’ve found to have the most potential, with the exception of Magneto. But Mags has kind of been done to death at this point, so it was good to FINALLY see the movies take a crack at them. What’s not to like? They’re a viable threat, and an extension of human prejudice. And besides, who doesn’t love a good giant robot?

Well, I wasn’t disappointed. They were scary, and they were BRUTAL. I loved the visual of them coming slowly through the night sky, in drop ships that looked like giant coffins.

Nothing says “You’re gonna die, son”, like a giant floating coffin.

For a movie rated PG-13, there were some pretty cringe-worthy executions pulled on their victims. Iceman and Colossus got taken out classic Mortal Kombat style, in particular. And it was awesome. Sentinels, when not toned down for mediums like cartoons, should be highly efficient killing machines. And that’s exactly what they were in this movie… an enemy that the good guys literally could not defeat, save through extraordinary means.

Hugh Jackman. If I had a short list of man crushes, Hugh Jackman would be on it. He’s in RIDICULOUS shape for his age, he has a great singing voice, and he’s apparently a pretty decent guy. He also knows how to play his character perfectly, which was especially important for this movie.

70s Wolverine looked all kind of badass.

Magneto. Both actors who played him in this movie are truly excellent, so I can’t really single out either of them. It seemed sort of superfluous, at first, as to why they NEEDED 70s Magneto to succeed in their rescue mission. But upon second thought, it made sense. If Mystique wouldn’t listen to Xavier, she would certainly listen to Magneto. And if she didn’t, well, surely she would stop and think about something that they both agreed on.

Even if there wasn’t a logical reason, though, I’m still glad he’s here. I’ve always loved Magneto the character. It’s commonly said that a good villain doesn’t believe that they’re a villain at all. Well, honestly, I don’t consider Mags to be much of a bad guy. He’s close friends with Xavier, after all, and as others have said, basically plays Malcolm X to Xavier’s Martin Luther King Jr.

This movie did a superb job differentiating them, though. I loved their argument in the jet. Xavier is still depressed and beaten down over the Vietnam war wrecking his plans for a school for mutants. His dream is dead, at the moment. He is angry because didn’t get what he wanted. Magneto, well, Magneto is angry because Xavier abandoned his former students and didn’t help protect those that were experimented on by Trask.

The best way to understand them, I think, is this: Xavier cares about the concepts and ideas. Magneto cares about the actual individuals.

Also, I wish I was half as cool as Michael Fassbender.

Balls of steel.

Quicksilver. FINALLY. It only took 70 years or so, but there is finally an accurate depiction of a character with super speed that is done correctly. If you had the power to run really, really fast, you would also need super reflexes, reflexes that make everything else seem like it was going in slow motion. Otherwise, you’d just slam into the first wall you saw going 600+ miles per hour, and your bones would explode into powder. You would NEED this to properly see where you’re going without killing yourself.

Despite this, in almost every movie and cartoon I’ve ever seen featuring the Flash, Kid Flash, Sonic the Hedgehog, and whoever else, they always get owned by someone putting something in front of them, and tripping them with a banana peel or something. That should NEVER happen. In fact, the bad guys would never even have time to drop the banana peel on the ground before being beaten into a pulp, while getting an atomic wedgie at the same time.

But JA, you may say. Wouldn’t that just make any character with super speed unbeatable, and just really boring? Well, there’s an easy solution to that. Tie their power to adrenaline, so that they only get fast when it kicks in. Just a fix as simple as that would create plenty of peril for a speedster.

That being said, I don’t think anyone is going to complain about Quicksilver being boring in this movie. I greatly enjoyed everything about the character here. The scene in the kitchen was, of course, awesome, but it was the small touches that made it for me. Him owning a guard with nothing but a roll of duct tape. Him sitting around impatiently while talking, as if he has to wait forever to just hold a simple conversation. His goggles. Everything about him was awesome.

Well done, Fox.

The big retcon. Long story short, this movie basically retcons ALL of X3, and some of X2. And that is definitely a good thing.

 

What I didn’t like:

The continuity. There’s a popular picture on the internet right now pointing out a humorous flaw in the timeline of these movies.

Xavier had a rough 13 years. On his hair, anyway.

And of course, that pic doesn’t even show how he was already paralyzed in 1973, and mysteriously could walk again in 1986. For that matter, didn’t his mind take residence in a coma patient at the end of X3? A guy who looked completely different from Patrick Stewart? Is he just hypnotizing everyone around him to make them think he looks the same in the present day?

Also, how does Wolverine have adamantium claws again? Didn’t he lose those at the end of The Wolverine? Magneto has his powers again, but at least that makes a small bit of sense.

Regardless, the point is that this movie just flatly ignores anything the previous movies did, which annoys me. Just to deliver what people expect out of the characters, rather than what would actually make sense. It’s not a dealbreaker, but definitely not something that can be ignored.

The explanation for time travel. So, uh, Kitty Pryde can make people time travel now? I don’t mind adding new things to established characters, but again, there is absolutely no setup to this at all before this movie, even though she was in all of X3.

 

Wow, this is a great deal longer than I’d planned to write. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Bottom line, I give this movie ****. It’s good enough to watch again, and is a fun comic movie, but insults the intelligence and previous attention span a bit too much to be a real classic.

At least it was a lot better than The Amazing Spiderman 2.

 

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One comment on “X-Men: Days of Future Past reviewed.

  1. CMrok93
    June 4, 2014

    Good review. Reminded me exactly why I loved this franchise so much to begin with. Let’s hope they keep the magic moving.

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