fri 03/07/2020

X-Men: Days of Future Past | reviews, news & interviews

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Revolution and end of days as Bryan Singer returns to the franchise

Why so blue? Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

Frankly, the idea of a female superhero flying solo at the front of a modern movie is becoming a bit of a joke. Despite there being a Wonder Woman film in the pipeline, that this relies on the success of "Batman vs. Superman" (both of whom have had their fair share of reboots) is disheartening. But going into an X-Men film there’s always the hope of both sexes having gripping storylines - a trend we’ve also seen play out in Captain America: The Winter Soldier - so step forward Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique. In a film that’s all about righting past wrongs you can't do much better than casting an Oscar-winner with a multimillion-dollar franchise under her belt right at the centre of your movie.

If the 60s-set X-Men: First Class was Mystique’s coming-of-age, then its sequel Days of Future Past (which sees Bryan Singer return to the helm) is her reckoning, with the chance for a peaceful future resting in her hands. When Mystique is given the chance to undo a destructive decision, thanks to the power of time travel, she is once again forced to wrangle with her beliefs and allegiances.

Michael Fassbender in X-Men: Days of Future PastWe meet Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen), who are firm friends in the near future, just as a vast swarm of sentinels approaches their hiding place. They come up with a last ditch attempt to save the world by sending Wolverine's consciousness (Wolverine is played once again by Hugh Jackman, who never seems to age) back to his 70s body, in a Back to the Future / Terminator 2: Judgement Day type mash-up. It's the era of the Nixon administration, with the president playing a key role here and, before you look it up, no Nixon is not played by Steven Van Zandt from the E Street Band (aka Silvio in The Sopranos) in prosthetics - it's actually Mark Camacho.

Of course Wolverine needs some help so he is tasked with assembling some old friends: a younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) who is constantly high on junk - well, a serum that allows him to walk but strips him of his telepathic power - and the soon-to-be Magneto, Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender, pictured above right) who has been imprisoned deep below The Pentagon, accused of assassination.  And so, we are taken on a prison break mission with the addition of young whippersnapper Quicksilver (Evan Peters from American Horror Story) whose super-speed power is introduced in one of the most inspired and fun moments of the film. It's a comic slow-mo scene that plays out to Jim Croce’s "Time in a Bottle" and works just perfectly. 

The fallout from the revolution plays nicely into the 70s setting, with many of the mutants in personal turmoil and suffering from raw wounds. Charles and Erik are at a stale-mate, sparring with one another over the sadness and regret of fallen comrades, which fits in perfectly with the film's Vietnam War backdrop. Fassbender and McAvoy excel at delivering bitter blows and heightened emotions, yet still manage to keep a twinkle in their eye when delivering fan service.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is convoluted and some of it doesn’t make sense but it’s a complete blast from start to finish thanks to a fine cast, good sense of humour and Fassbender spouting James Brown lyrics at random.

Overleaf: watch the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past

Fassbender and McAvoy excel at delivering bitter blows and heightened emotions


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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