It is past 2am, I have to get up in a few hours, but frankly, I couldn’t give a damn. Besides, I know if I tried to sleep without venting at least a little, the effort would be totally fruitless. I am just too spasmodically excited. X-Men: Days of Future Past is, miraculously, all it’s cracked up to be. After months of doubting comments like, “The only thing they got right about Quicksilver is that he’s quick… and silver,” and, “Why did they choose lame X-Men like Toad when they have an encyclopedia of cool ones weighing down the shelves?” this movie totally delivers. In every way. Every. Way. I really can’t think of a way in which it doesn’t deliver. If Marvel were a person I would be sending them a stuffed turkey and a gold star.
Normally time travel movies leave you with a dizzying headache and frustrated hand movements which threaten passersby. X-Men: Days of Future Past does not. We start in the future where our beloved X-Men are fighting giant, chameleon-like robots called Sentinels. It becomes pretty clear pretty quick that they and the rest of humanity, mutant or not, are in deep deep shit. Someone made a huge mistake along the way, and the only chance humanity has of survival is to go back in time and give this “someone” a very, very stern talking to. Since time travel is a dangerous, potentially life-threatening activity, who better to volunteer for the ride than the dangerous, potentially life-threatening beefcake, Logan/Wolverine (Huge Jackedman – I mean… Hugh Jackman). He whooshes back to 1973 to stop an event which changed history for the worse, and to shake a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) out of wallowing self-pity and drug addiction. As cookie-cutter as this plot sounds (*sarcasm), I happily floated along through fights, interventions, and break-ins not knowing what was going to happen next and not sure if everything would be alright in the end.
There are a lot of characters and a lot of great actors in this film but somehow it all just works (unlike other big-name-features like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day). Days of Future Past finally provides answers to questions which were raised fourteen years ago in the very first movie. The result is so unbelievably satisfying. It’s like nervously waiting in baggage claim before spotting each one of your suitcases as they slide gently down the ramp, one after the other, without a scratch on them – so satisfying.
We see a lot of familiar faces in this movie but we also meet a few new additions to the team. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) pulls a fast one on the audience and changes the genre from action to comedy in a flash. Not really sure about the fake grey hair, but I loved the character. Other mutants like Bishop, Blink, Sunspot, and Havok appear all too briefly, but I sort of admire how the makers didn’t drag the movie out by giving every recognizable character their fair share of screen time. As for McAvoy, Jackman, Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), and Michael Fassbender (Young Magneto), each one plays their parts with drama, strength, and believability. McAvoy, especially, is Xavier but not Xavier, playing a very defeated, hopeless, shut-in.
This X-Men was pretty damn delicious all the way through, but the plot was based on Logan being conscious in the 1970s while the Future X-Men watched over his defenseless body and controlled his psychic link. The writers cover their bases, making the plot as sensible as possible, but one little question keeps gnawing at my brain: what do the Future X-Men do while 1970s Logan is sleeping? The events don’t span a single day, and the Future X-Men are pretty anxious to bring about a rapid conclusion, not to mention poor Kitty (Ellen Page) has to stand guard over Logan’s helpless body 24/7 to keep up the connection. So… does she just bear with it, staying awake for days on end while Disco Wolverine takes cat naps on private jets? Hmmm…
I can’t write about an action movie without mentioning the effects, so I’ll sum it up quickly: they’re seamless. They’re there, I know they are, but I barely noticed when the acting ended and the computer dummies came in. That’s a sign of very good work.
Warning: don’t leave before the credits are completely finished. One reason I’ll be a sleep-deprived automaton tomorrow morning (or, later this morning) is because the after-credits-scene is the teaser of all teasers. Maybe I was the biggest nerd in the theatre and was the only one to get it – totally possible – but if you know your X-Men you will not want to miss this. Now, away with you, and TO THE THEATRE!
X-Men: Days of Future Past: 9/10
Click for the Trailer.