Thursday, October 23, 2014

3 Short Paragraphs: X-Men: Days of Future Past

2014, Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Jack the Giant Slayer) -- download

That issue of The Uncanny X-Men, that one with the cover, that one this is inspired by! There was something about Wolverine with the gray in his sideburns and the crossed-out X-Men. Dystopia! Internment camps! Killer sentinels and time travel! That comic was one of the key points in building my fascination with dystopias. Also, one of the points for establishing my 'body count means plot weight' opinion. You would think I would have a lot invested in seeing the film adaptation. Maybe it was for that reason, that I was very meh about the coming of this movie. Or maybe it was my already deep seated meh for First Class that contributed. That said, I had no interest in seeing it in the cinemas and thus didn't suffer the usual anguish when I was forced to download it.

In Days of Future Past Bryan Singer returns to the franchise to connect the prequel First Class to his pair of X-Men movies. In a dark future where mutants are hunted down or thrown into detention camps, the remaining X-Men all embittered and determined, need to make use of a new power being used by Kitty Pryde, to send someone into the deep past and change history, thus eliminating this Darker Timeline. Of course, Wolverine is the best choice not just because he was there in the time period they need to go to, but also because his powers allow his to recover more quickly. And thus, with the help of Professor X (a completely unexplained, returned Patrick Stewart), Wolvie is sent back to talk with younger Professor X (James McAvoy).

Well, I'll be damned but this movie was a lot of fun. And its meaty, relying on the already established characterizations from the first three as well as the rebooted prequel cast. Its like they finally are finished with establishing movies and can just riff on their versions of characters I have known for thirty years or more. McAvoy and Fassbender are incredible together, the pain and anguish of each man's failings played out well against the confirmed dark future. And the flash forward battle scenes between morphing Sentinels and new/old X-Men is just ... colorful. With Wolverine tying the two stories together, a little mixed up but pretty much the same in each timeline, he pretty much plays observer as much as we do. If I can fault the movie for anything, it is the annoying bloodless PG ratings attached. Seriously, why have claws bone or metal, if you cannot spray blood as you delimb every foe you run into. He's too violent a character to revert to a cartoon version, in a movie that has such emotional weight to it.