Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past Soars

I would be hard pressed to take all the comic book movies and put them in an order of like, but of late three in the Marvel world have truly seemed to hit their stride.  The first was the Iron Man 3, the next for me was Captain America: Winter Soldier and the third is X-Men: Days of Future Past.  What have these three movies in common? Is it their common use of spectacular special effects? Is it that their directors are finally understanding how to use 3-D technology? Is it their villains or the fantasy involved in comics?  Is it their story lines?  Yes but it something that too often other big budget films lose.  The movies should never be about special effects or villains.  The movie needs a strong central theme driven by characters.  These three movies have just that.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the best of the X-Men movies to date.  Always a problem for the X-Men movies are the number of super hero characters.  Who gets what screen time? Who ends up on the editing room floor? Will the movie become too much about one character or another? The new movie handles this by simply concentrating not on all the extraneous characters but the central ones that are needed to tell the story. I've heard a few complain that the story is another Wolverine movie and it is probably because Wolverine sells that the poster for the movie looks the way it does, but if one stops and thinks about it, the character of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is really a vehicle for the plot.  Don't get me wrong. Wolverine is more than the plot vehicle, but it is not the theme that he carries. The primary plot line must be carried by the relationship between Professor Charles 'Professor X'  Xavier (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy) and Erik 'Magneto' Lehnsherr (Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender) as they must stop Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing the villain Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage).

The plot is a complex one to say the least combining the endings of X-Men: Last Stand with X-Men: First Class.  Essentially because of the killing of Trask by Mystique humanity and mutants are nearly wiped out.  Using a mutant's power, Wolverine  returns to the past and convince the young Professor X and Magneto that they must work together to change these events and stop the rise of the Sentinels. It is a clever way to bring together both original cast members with the new ones.  It all boils down through twists and turns that we are who we must be and just one person can make a difference.  As always, the X-Men uses the theme of intolerance at its core to make its point.

 It is this character driven theme, and the skills of all the actors that makes the movie work.  It is action packed with great visual effects, for certain, but it is because we care for the characters and understand their motives that we become involved.  I don't think you will be displeased with X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Ignore the purists and fan boys who cannot let go of even the minutest detail of the canon and enjoy.  It is is well worth the extra cost of 3-D, as well.  I will buy the Blu-ray.