Like every kid that grew up in the 90s, I spent countless dollars every Tuesday buying the new X-mags and Saturday morning was spent watching the new episode of the cartoon series. Like everyone else, I had given up on the franchise after X-Men 3 and the first Wolverine franchise. Also like everyone last weekend, I corralled my kids and went to the theater to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. It was getting some great reviews and it seemed like this was going to be the movie to redeem the franchise. When I got out, I had a strange feeling. For the first time, I couldn't decide if I liked or hated this movie. Even now, a week later, I still cannot decide.
It was entertaining, action-filled, great special effects, and despite a longer than normal running time, never really got too boring (meaning my kids didn't fall asleep in it). I was cautious about seeing it. Days of Future Past is a favorite storyline among X-fans and after watching the complete and utter destruction of the Phoenix saga, I was worried that this was going to do the same. Despite the numerous changes, I was satisfied with what they did change. After watching it, I was glad they didn't destroy the story, but I was also disgruntled about what I had seen. There was definitely a lot of good, but also a lot of bad.
For once, we get to see mutants using their powers to full effect, and not just as bookends. Throughout the entire movie there are complicated action sequences where numerous mutants are using their powers at once. The previous movies all had great sequences, but they were used to start and end the movies, with long sections of talking inbetween. We get to see Magneto be the complete and utter badass he is supposed to be, unrestrained and uninhibited. This movie also brings in a bunch of mutants yet seen on the big screen. Who are they and what are their powers? Unless you're a comic book follower, you'll never know. This movie only focuses on four characters: Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique. Besides Shadowcat, everyone else serves as cannon-fodder for the sentinels, and even Shadowcat is reduced to just a plot device. Even Boliver Trask is reduced to just a few lines. While everyone is gushing over Jennifer Lawrence as an actress, it seems she left all her acting abilities at another movie. Her performance here is very stiff and dry, even when she's attempting to be emotional. Part of the marketing campaign for this movie was teasing the fact that Quicksilver was going to be in it. Until the final trailer, we got a few still shots, and even in the final trailer, they didn't show him much. When we get to finally be with Quicksilver, not only is it satisfying, but it is awesome. The scene with the guards while breaking Magneto out of his prison was phenomenal. But afterwards, what happens? He gets tossed aside like garbage, never to be seen from again, until the end of the movie holding what's assumed to be his sister while watching television. It turns out that, like Shadowcat, he is just a plot device and not an actual character. Speaking of the end of the movie and not using characters correctly, what about Blink (the one creating teleporting holes). If they wanted to buy Wolverine more time in the past, once the Nimrod Sentinels started attacking, why not just teleport them to the other side of the planet? Wouldn't that have made more sense than trying to fight them one on one? There's scenes that don't serve the plot at all, like the one where Mystique saves the group of mutants, Havok, Toad and others. Last thing on my rant: when Wolverine came back to the future (snicker), wouldn't he still be in his older body? I get that he'd be confused with the two different timelines in his mind and all of that, but his grey hair is gone (which would be the only sign of his older body). Wouldn't his body still have gotten older?
Overall, it was an ok movie. However, I am still waiting on an X-Cellent X-Men movie.