For the past two months or so, Thad and I have been watching one of the X-men movies every weekend in preparation for the release of Xmen: Days of Future Past. We both had seen bits and pieces of several of them on TV but wanted to get a full sense of what had happened in them before seeing the newest one. It was actually a really fun way to lead up to the film, which we got to go see on Saturday.
I thought the beginning was a little rough. Although the initial fight scene showcased mutants with unique powers and had the intrigue and intensity to draw viewers in, it quickly switched to somewhat boring dialogue of Professor X and Magneto explaining what was supposed to happen for the rest of the film. I was relieved once Wolverine was back in the past and we were done with the exposition.
As might be expected with a time travel related story, the plot requires some suspension of disbelief, even within the universe it occupies, but is fun and engaging nevertheless. I enjoyed the 70s setting, especially the Nixon-era political references, such as turning the recordings off in the Oval Office when discussing the sentinels, etc. Seeing the vintage fashion and cars was fun as well.
Days of Future Past, of course, has a great cast of characters from both the original and reboot films. Peter Dinklage is excellent as Bolivar Trask, and does a great job of conveying the character’s simultaneous mix of fascination and fear of mutants. James McAvoy convinced me with his character development throughout the story, Michael Fassbender was stony and just on the edge of sympathetic as young Magneto, and of course Wolverine was Wolverine.
Besides the fast-moving plot and interesting characters, I also appreciated some of the thematic elements – like the individual’s power to change the world for the better and the importance of giving loved ones the freedom to find their own way apart from your ideas of what their life should look like.
It wasn’t a perfect movie – the rough exposition-y parts could have been handled better, the plot suffered from some holes, and I wish Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan had gotten a better chance to shine together, but overall it was a fun adventure with some well-loved friends.