X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Those four words meant a lot to me when I heard this was getting made. One of my favorite X-Men memories is watching the cartoon show back in the day and falling in love with Bishop, and the whole concept of a world ran by the sentinels. I knew exactly where they were going to go with this, and felt like it could really redeem the franchise. I was very cautious when I heard about the Dark Phoenix storyline, ESPECIALLY because it was Brett Ratner. Bryan Singer returning, as is a bunch of the original cast. Seeing the comic-con panel, I was ready. The X-Men have always been my favorite comic book series ever. Over Batman. Over Superman. Over The Avengers. Over Spider-Man. Give me my X-Men, any day, everyday.
I don't know why, but I was never pessimistic as this was being produced and filmed. I never had a doubt in my mind that this was going to be really good. I think it was the fact that BOTH casts were going to be used for the film, and even intermingling at times. I loved James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender was great; pairing them up with Hugh Jackman and the OG cast? Awesome. Although we didn't get to see too much interaction (or any at all for that fact) between guys like McAvoy and Halle for instance, it was still fresh to see.
So, spoiler time.
Starting the film off in the future was a cool move. Drop us off in the middle of the future, and take us through what's going on, first hand. I'll say this now, so I won't have to mention it later. Man, I really wish there were more Bishop in the film. He had always been one of my favorite X-Men, and I felt like Omar Sy looked good enough in the part, and he was cool when he was doing his thing, but just not enough. I know he's kind of generic in his superpowers, especially compared to the mutants featured in the future, but I felt like he could have played a bigger role. He could have been the one sent back to the past. The rest of those guys though, although there was no real character development, they were cool. I really liked Blink and Warpath. Colossus of course is a major badass, and Sunspot was cool too, though he did nothing to separate himself from Human Torch, which was kind of disappointing. All in all, they did a good job with how the characters mutant powers were displayed, but we're just kind of thrown into the situation without really caring about the mutants all that much (which is a complete opposite of what we got in the latter half of the film). It served it's purpose, but came up a little dry. But the urgency was there, and it was cool seeing all the remaining mutants meet up one last time and try and hold down the fort.
One thing that did kind of throw me off was that Logan didn't seem like he was from the future at all. He wasn't weathered, he just had a streak of grey, similar to Rogue. I felt like they could've shown him age a bit more via make-up. I mean, if you're going to try and make it seem like he doesn't age, state it, because he obviously had the greys in his hair, but I just felt like they could've put more emphasis there.
And that also brings up another point that made me kinda iffy at times. The timeline. I know I'm overthinking things, but First Class takes places in the 1962. This film takes place in 73. So, Hank, Xavier, Erik, Mystique, all these guys supposed to have aged about 10 years since the last film. Xavier? Ehh, fine. But Hank? Man, he looked 17 during First Class, and he looks 18 in Days of Future Past.
. And then you're going to try and tell me that Erik has an older teenage son? I know he's in his mid-thirties, but it just seemed kind of odd that Quicksilver could be his son. On that same note, what year are we supposed to believe the original X-Men came out? Because Ice Man looks really no different than he did in the first film.
This film is about the sentinels, yes. It's also about Bolivar Trask, yes. But the main thing it's about is the relationships between the mutants, and as is always a theme, how they fit into the world co-existing with humans. This film knocks that out of the cotdamn park. James McAvoy was decent in First Class, but he killed it here in the same way that Fassbender killed Erik in First Class. I actually felt like McAvoy out-shined Fassbender in this film. McAvoy's character develops so much over the course of the film, and his arc is so compelling because he means so much to the mutant species' that you know how pivotal of a character he is. And McAvoy delivers. There are moments that literally had me at the edge of my seat anticipating what was going to happen next, and it was just him deciding whether or not to take another injection of his anti-mutant serum. Some of the monologues he gives in this movie man.... That's why I like this film so much more than the prior films. It really elicited emotion from me. And although the film isn't as Wolverine-centric as his stand-alone movies (obviously), the final scene with Logan realizing that they had really saved the world, and his emotion seeing everyone back to life that he had let die.... The feels man. They all came out, especially once he saw Jean. That, and Logan letting Xavier know that he remembers everything and welcoming him back..... Got me. It's something that I had been really seeking from the X-Men films prior to this. Before this, we'd have some fake, forced emotion, and it all felt very hokey. This felt real.
The sentinels themselves? The future ones were definitely badass, and it all made a lot of sense from the plot's perspective. I felt like they nailed the look of the '73 sentinels, and really showed their destructive force with the future sentinels. Trask was fine as well, served his purpose, not necessarily a throw-away character, yet at the same time he wasn't a memorable villain. Stryker either, and I really disliked how much they shoved him down our throats. They forced the issue with him so much. Yes, we saw X2, and saw what he did. I just felt like they were trying to hard for us to remember who he is to make sure we're getting it. I could've done without a lot of that.
Quicksilver played a pivotal part of one of the early scenes in the film, and his part was so fun and refreshing, I just wish we had seen a little bit more. It might have been tricky without it seeming too gimmicky, but I really wanted to see how he would've fit in with the team. The scene he had was REALLY cool, and much lighter in tone.
Probably my biggest disappointment was how much Mystique was involved. I mean, I know she kind of has to be, but man, Jennifer Lawrence just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it's the make-up, but she is so distracting as Mystique. No idea if it's I was used to her original design with Rebecca Robijn, but she always looks, off. And when she's trying to be dramatic, it just doesn't work for me. I really like Jennifer Lawrence, but just something about this role, just irks me. I mean, tell me she doesn't look dorky here. I never cared for the scaly look either.
One other minor thing I think that was an issue with the film is that there was too many characters. Promotional material had tons of characters being involved. And while they all get screen time, this is the Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, and Mystique show. Beast, Storm, Kitty, Trask, and the rest of the cast and crew are all ancillary. They are there, serve their purpose, but really, there's not a whole lot of them.
I wasn't expecting to see a lot of Jean Grey or Cyclops or anyone, but the one character I expected to see a lot more of that I didn't was Havok. I was really hoping to see more of him. I really liked his character in First Class, and to me was the standout of that group.
And the stinger? Oh my God. I am so ready for Apocalypse. It's looking like they're going to show his uprising, which is fine. I just pray they do him right. He has SUCH a unique look to him, that I really pray that they get it right. Spend the time, money, and effort to get the make-up right. I don't care if they have to CGI him, just please God get him right. Make him a goliath. Make him powerful. Show his destructive power. I can die a happy X-Men fan if he is done right in this next film. It'd be great to see some other big X-Men villains like Mister Sinister, or even Omega Red, but man, Apocalypse is what needs to happen.
I'd go on a bit more, but I saw the movie 14 hours ago, and am a bit drained.
So, the next X-Men movie better not be the Gambit standalone film, because I'm not looking forward to that **** at all.
. Gambit is my favorite character, but not looking forward to Channing Tatum at all.
X-Men: Days of Future Past does a tremendous job intermixing the past and the future, and trying to shape the present to make it a better world for mutants.
And the film did it's job. Kudos Singer, you did another good X-men film.