Saturday, May 31, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Despite my protestations about being too tired after an hard day's work, I was forced out of the house kicking and screaming last Friday to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Despite everything that X-Men has done for the comic book sub-genre, I have never really been a huge fan. X-Men is similar in a way to Spider-Man in that it seems that no-one can agree exactly how the story should go.

While the original trilogy provided a nice linear storyline (even though it was getting a little tired towards the end), we were then forced to consume two Wolverine specific movies and, of course, 2011's prequel First Class. Days of Future Past is a sequel to both the latter and the original trilogy.

Of course, being in two different timelines is always going to be difficult to explain, but fortunately Days of Future Past has more than a little comic book magic on its side.

Following the events in the original trilogy, humanoid robots known as Sentinals are gradually exterminating the X-Men, who have only been able to survive due to the introduction of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page). Kitty can project a person's consciousness back in time to pre-warn the group about an impending attack. Due to being a fan favourite his regenerative abilities, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to just after the events of First Class where he must put a stop to the fighting by preventing the original creation of the Sentinals by Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). Simple.

I feel I ought to commend the writers for doing very good job of unifying the storylines, even though the plot now does tend to negate the events of the two Wolverine movies. The best way to look at Days of Future Past is as a film that enables the X-Men franchise to move on without the old guard of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen (even though there is still a possibility for them to return at a later date).

What bothers me is that nobody wants to move on without Hugh Jackman. Sure, he's a great actor and Wolverine is a great kick-ass character, but X-Men should be able to survive without its main character. That's the point of X-Men - there are plenty of great characters, so it is a shame that the franchise is still relying on Wolverine to sell it.

... and that brings me nicely to the point of this. Other than the "old guard" (Magneto, Xavier, Storm etc), can you name any of the other X-Men characters? Sure, there's Kitty Pryde, but I mentioned her. Then there's the guy with foresight, the one that can turn into ice, the one that can turn into fire and the one that can turn into metal. Oh, and of course Beast (Nicholas Hoult). Even Quicksilver's (Evan Peters) character development was hugely disappointing, especially as he looked like one who could actually put some life into the series. In fact, he was the only one to rival Hugh Jackman in turns of screen presence.

Despite that, Days of Future Past still provided some decent entertainment - it just didn't raise my expectations for the future of the franchise.


2 comments:

  1. I had to laugh. You're totally right about Wolverine selling it yet again, and it is getting a bit boring. I wanted to see way more of Quicksilver, and Kitty Pryde's abilities are brand new, but they don't give any reasons behind why they've turned up now. Quicksilver only gets called that once :O, and I only know Iceman and Colossus because they're in the original films. The others (Sunspot, Blink and Warpath) I had to look up. I want more mutants to stay with the franchise! They killed off the young ones!

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  2. Ho-hum. Another superhero movie that I'm in no rush to see. Maybe I'll see it, maybe I won't. Most likely is that I'll eventually forget that it's out there and watch other films.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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