Four Letter Nerd

4LN Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

The film kicks off in a dystopian future (funny how often that seems to be the go-to for movies these days) where a small group of the X-Men have survived a mutant holocaust at the hands (and the laser beams) of some very evolved Sentinels. The team devises a plan to send Wolverine’s consciousnesses back in time into his younger self (which is really a matter of perception with ‘ol Wolvie) so that he can warn the original X-Men of the impending doom of the future and they can hopefully change the direction of the mutants fate.

 

Acting/Cast:

Bill –
I thought tha casting was phenominal in this movie. I loved the interactions between the old X-Men and the First Class crew. After watching this movie, Fassbender has become one of my favorite actors that’s out there right now. I have to say, in First Class he was amazing as Magneto, but in this movie… It’s an entirely different level of kickass-ness. It was awesome seeing Bishop and Sunspot on the big screen, I never thought that would happen. I will say, I was really let down that my girl Magik and my boy Cable didn’t make any cameos or quick appearances. In a perfect X-Men movie, Cable and Hope Summers would be kicking ass together, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet.
I also want to say the acting was really top notch in this film. I don’t remember any cheesy or lame moment in the movie. It was really an all around great movie.

Stephen –
The returning cast all do a great job. I’d even go so far as to say that there isn’t one weak link in this cast. In every other X-Men film there’s been at least one awkward performance but not here. I do wish we could’ve gotten to know the new characters from the future world a little more (Blink, Warpath, and F–KING BISHOP!), but I get that those characters exist in a world of urgency so there’s not a lot of “Hey, how ya doin?” time.
I’ve been a fan of Peter Dinklage since his breakthrough performance in The Station Agent, and I’ve followed his career right on through to now with Game of Thrones. Peter Dinklage is an incredible actor, but I feel like they didn’t give him enough to work with here. It’s as if his role was just a means to an end and so it’s sort of 1 dimensional. He still does a great job, but they could’ve made that role a little meatier.
The real standout in the flick, and I don’t think anyone would deny this, is Evan Peters as Quicksilver. While I personally still hate his stupid costume, the dude performed brilliantly. Every scene he was in he stole like a bandit. I’ll admit I was nervous about how he was gonna come across but he really nailed the part.

Cody –
Stephen and Bill covered it pretty well. I do want to say two things. One, I was really happy to see Bishop, and glad he made some screen time. He almost had more screen time than Colossus does in all four movies, so I can’t complain too much.  Secondly, Evan Peters totally made up for his goofy costume. His moments in the film were so charming and you genuinely wanted him to be in the film more. He was the comedic relief, but he played the role perfectly and made you see past his weird costume; it was really just the Powerman 5,000 goggles.

 

Cinematography:

Stephen –
On a personal level, I don’t really like Bryan Singer. No, I don’t know him or anything (I know what you smart asses were thinking), but in interviews he just comes across as an arrogant prick to me.However, with all his missteps over the years, one thing I can’t deny… is that the guy can shoot the hell out of a movie. Since X2 he’s only directed 3 other major motion pictures and none of them are considered to be massive successes (with Valkyrie being a possible exception, but depending on who you talk to). However, all of them are visually impressive. DOFP is no different. Every shot is just amazing. He perfectly captures the large scale visuals as well as the more intimate shots with seamless transition. There’s a technique he uses in one scene where they go back and forth from the traditional film style to showing the scene as if it was 8MM footage from the ’70’s. That scene really impressed me.

Bill –
Unlike Stephen, I really enjoy Bryan Singer, and his directorial style. I thought this movie was beautiful and well done. My favorite scene in the fim was when Charles and Erik are fighting in the airplane and Erik is crushing it. I don’t get chills much in movies, but that scene really made me sympathize with Erik and why he fights. I have always been a die hard X-Men fan, hell there are always several X-Books in my pullbox, and this is the film that X-Men fans deserve. So much of the movie was visually appealing and it felt as real as a comic books movie could feel.

Cody –
Guys, are we forgetting all the damn ominous scenes of sentinel drop boxes and a baseball stadium being used as a terrifying barrier? There are tons of beautifully terrifying scenes where the power of mutant’s are really put on display. Kind of like that time in First Class when Eric uses his power to turn a satellite that looked like it belonged on Endor. One thing that Singer has done well, specifically with Magneto, is show how powerful he really is. If you haven’t seen this film yet, expect plenty of moments where you think to yourself “man… I’m glad Magneto is just a fictional character.” I also felt that this film really helped tie a lot of the other films together. You might need to refresh yourselves on the X-men movies before you go (except Last Stand). As with any on going movie series, it will help your viewing experience.

 

Story/Plot:

Stephen –
The Days of Future Past comic arc is really good. While this film changes a lot of it, I never felt like it was a bastardized version of the story. We pretty much summed up the movie for you already, at the beginning of this review… Essentially, Wolverine goes back in time because he;s the only one who can successfully make the trip, due to his regenerative ability. His mission is to locate the younger Xavier and Magneto so that he can warn them of the forthcoming mutant annihilation and how to stop it. However, they quickly realize that stopping it means stopping Mystique, as she is very integral to what happens.
There are many characters from First Class who are noticeably absent but that is explained, and I felt like they did a good job of handling that explanation.
While they tried to answer a few questions that the previous films left us with, there are still some inconsistencies that go unanswered. In an interview I read with co-writer Simon Kinberg, he attempted to explain why Charles Xavier is back in his regular body after being COMPLETELY OBLITERATED by Jean Grey in X3, but he did a poor job and there’s no evidence in the film of this explanation. That’s just one example, but there are several unanswered questions that won’t matter after you see this movie.

Cody –
What he said.

 

Overall Thoughts:

Bill –
As I said above, I have always been an X-Men fan. My first love was Jean Grey followed by Kitty Prdye, so I have always had a connection to this group of misfits. What I love about the X-Men are they are “normal.” They didn’t get their powers from some freak accident, they were born that way and they accept who they are. I haven’t been as excited for a comic book movie like DoFP since The Dark Knight Rises. This movie lived up to every expectation that I had. This was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, and I can’t wait for the next films. Nothing about this movie disappointed me. Go see it!

Stephen –
Bill is absolutely right here, in that you should definitely go see this movie right now. It’s fantastic. I won’t say I think it’s better than Captain America: The Winter Soldier, because my opinion on that movie is that it’s just a really well-made film regardless of the characters. If it wasn’t a superhero movie, it still would have been an amazing political thriller/action movie. But, DOFP is WAY better than ASM2. It’s got much better balanced direction and doesn’t rely on just big action sequences to carry it. For me though, the end of this film… I wish there was a better way to say this… it pissed me off. Lots of people are going to love it. More than will hate, as I haven’t found another person yet who feels the way I did. I felt like the ending was a cop-out. Yes, It’s very much like a comic book. That’s what EVERYONE keeps saying. I get it. But, for some reason, that doesn’t make me like it any more. Maybe it’ll grow on me.
Make sure you stick around for the credits, because after they finish rolling there is (in true comic book movie fashion) a little teaser for the next installment in the X-Men film saga, X-Men: Apocalypse. This one little scene successfully brought me back around to really, really excited for the future of the X-Men.

Cody –
Unfortunately for me, I had to leave at the very end of the film because of a childcare issue. So I’ve yet to actually understand what happened at the very end. I will say that I’ve always loved the X-men comics, cartoons, movies, and I was in no way disappointed with this film. It was definitely the best one yet. I’ve heard some things about the ending (cough* Stephen* cough) that make me not sure how I feel about it. But for now I love it. It’s definitely one you need to go see.

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Stephen Andrew

Stephen has spent most of his life reading comics, watching horror movies, listening to death metal music, and speaking in the third person. His favorite comic book character is The Punisher, and he believes that the Punisher: War Zone movie is criminally underrated. His favorite film of all-time is National Lampoon's Vacation, and his favorite album is Pantera's "The Great Southern Trendkill".

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