X-Men: Days of Future Awesome
by: J.D. Cook
Seldom do I willingly eat a past article but my rant titled Boycott X-Men: Days of Future Past is going straight into my mouth. Never have I been so happy to be so wrong! This movie delivered on so many levels. It started by taking me back to my childhood with its opening sequence, which was designed to look like the openings of X-Men and X2: X-Men United. After that it was a roller coaster ride of science fiction awesome sauce that literally fixed every issue I had with the series. If you haven’t seen it yet the plot is simple, the X-Men set out to change the past and prevent a bleak future. The story is huge but the writers never let it get overwhelming and it flows wonderfully. The acting is possibly the best I’ve seen in a superhero film to date and this might downright be the best superhero film yet made. It manages to up the ante after the Avengers by giving the audience both a spectacle and an emotionally charged character driven metaphysical drama.
One Minor Spoiler Below
My biggest fear was that this movie would be another Wolverine film disguised as an X-Men film. Yes, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) does have a big role in the film but it is successfully balanced by giving most of the other characters deep and fulfilling story arcs. In a lot of ways Wolverine felt fresher then he has in a decade as the writers did not give him overly ridiculous fight scenes or extraneous dialogue. The real heart of the movie is Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and unlike in X-Men: First Class it did not feel forced on the audience. You really did root for her to overcome her demons and become a better person. I don’t know if I have ever actually felt so fulfilled in terms of characterization, story and action in one film before. Bryan Singer successfully wove together an action packed climax set in both the past and the future with Mystique’s final moral choice that would determine everyone’s fate.
Moving backwards in the story a bit another huge plus for this movie was the battle of good and evil. In X-Men: First Class Matthew Vaughn completely botched the climax by essentially painting Magneto (Michael Fassbender) as a justified leader. Two huge nations turned against a tiny group of heroes and nothing in the film’s previous hour did anything to suggest humanity had any redeeming qualities. Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne) is the lone exception but she ends up inadvertently crippling Xavier (James McAvoy). Magneto came off as a realist while Xavier came off as a naive idiot. In this film the characters are returned to their correct stations. Magneto is framed as an extremist zealot, who is willing to do anything to achieve Mutant supremacy, while Xavier comes off looking like the hero he should. This is especially true in the film’s final moments as he urges Mystique towards the light.
My one tiny problem with the film was that Magneto’s story felt a little too similar to his arc in X2: X-Men United. I would have liked to see more of the 1970’s Sentinels throwing down with the mutants as well.
Beyond that I have nothing but praise for everything else in this movie. Bishop (Omar Sy), Sunspot (Adan Canto), Warpath (BooBoo Stewart) and Blink’s (Fan Bing Bing)roles were small but amazing. (Take a moment to laugh at the fact that people named BooBoo and Bing Bing got cast in the same film). That said the best moments of the film went to Quicksilver. After his bizarre look was leaked I didn’t know what to think of him but Evan Peters stole every second of the film he was in and I can’t wait to see more of him in the future. The Avengers: Age of Ultron suddenly has something to worry about as their Quicksilver really has to live up to the one presented by 20th Century Fox.
Lastly the best moment of the film for me was Cyclops short return. Although the writers again presented him as a bit rude, it nonetheless made my day when I saw him. This opens the door for a younger version to appear in X-Men: Apocalypse, which was amazingly teased after the credits of this film. I don’t know if I like any villain as much as Apocalypse in terms of sheer scale. When he emerges onto the scene in comics or cartoons you always know things are about to get crazy! On that note I guess I will have to write an article telling people to go see the sequel since I tried to get people to avoid this one. Hopefully the two articles will just cancel each other out and the films creators won’t hold it against me!