Back to the X-Men future
The ultimate X-Men ensemble is back again to fight the same war of survival, but this time across two time periods. In one dimension, the actions of the past have wrought the chaos and violent end of the mutant existence in the future. The past holds the key to saving the mutant species and creating a sustainable harmony and peace between humans and mutants.
In a nutshell, its basically “Back to the Future” meets X-Men. In a dystopian future where sentinels hunt mutants and humans are enslaved, a group of mutants fiddle around with time travel through consciousness in order to change key moments in the past.
So they can’t actually time travel, but they can send back the consciousness of the future Wolverine to the old Wolverine so he can find Professor Xavier and Magneto in the 1970s to convince them that old versions of them sent him from the future to bring them together to stop Mystique from ruining the mutant world in one foul swoop….I think that’s right?
Whether it was by consciousness, sorcery or actual time travel super powers, the reality of X-Men’s newest addition raked in $111 million domestically for the first four days it premiered in theaters. According to CNN Entertainment, the film now ranks fifth among the top Memorial Day weekend openings of all time. The film came in $10 million behind 2006’s “X-Men: Last Stand”.
Confusing time travel notions aside, the most recent of the X-Men film series presents a somewhat coherent plot, tremendous cast and thrilling movie of what could have easily been a total bomb. Though, this seemed impossible to fans when it was confirmed Bryan Singer, excellent at directing thriller-ensemble movies (“X-Men 2”, “X-Men: First Class” to name two), would be brought back on the set to make the newest edition of the series a juggernaut smash.
In comparison to the Marvel “Winter Soldier” counterpart released in April, the ensemble to “Days of Future Past” is a massive hand of excellent cards.
The film features the old X-men gang, including Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Halle Berry and Ellen Page and mixes them with the “First Class” team, including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult who play younger versions of our favorite mutants. To compare with “Winter Soldier”, X-Men is a revisionist political thriller that combines political figures with mutants.
Its apparent the American population is still content to kick around tricky Dick as Mark Camacho hilariously plays the 37th president before his impeachment in the Watergate scandals. And J.F.K. was assassinated because he was a mutant? I knew it.
There were also outstanding performances from some new faces, including Peter Dinklage, possibly one of the most well known little people actors in Hollywood, as the sentinel creator, Dr. Bolivar Trask.
Evan Peters played the mischievous Quicksilver, whose super speed sequence through a field of bullets paired with Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” stole the whole show. The entire sequence is a masterwork of digital effects as Peters grabs still bullets in the air and changes their positions.
It is evident though that the two characters being featured are Jackman, whose muscles clenched like someone on steroids, and Lawrence, whose constant Academy Award spotlight has projected her to Hollywood royalty.
Though the plot revolves around Lawrence, it is clear that Jackman is truly the face of the X-Men and, for better or worse, has agreed to another Wolverine spin-off as well as “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016).
Singer did an excellent job of defining the past and the present in film style, using sharper imaging and digital cameras in the future and an old-time news footage film style to stress the 1970s time period. Though the film didn’t rely heavily on special effects, there were some incredible set pieces used, most of them were given away in the trailer, however.
While there seem to be some plot moments that are inconsistent in other X-Men films, these can be looked over by the X-Men geeks of the world who felt most of these inconsistencies were brought about by inane studio write-ins anyways.
Such as Stewart’s character, Professor Xavier, being there in the first place. Did he die in the third movie? Yes. Singer is telling us to overlook it. He shouldn’t have died to begin with.
X-Men geeks of the nation have much to gripe about as far as the plot. In the 1981 comic, its Kitty Pryde, played by Ellen Page, that sends her consciousness back in time to reach Professor X and Magneto. To continue the audience’s love affair with Hugh Jackman, they rewrote the character for Wolverine.
Pryde was also given the telepathic time-warping powers original to Phoenix, who was killed in the previous X-Men movie, though it was never explained how she got these secondary powers.
In the comics, the sentinels are actually these three-story-tall, flying, pink and purple monstrosities that track down mutants based on DNA alone. That certainly wouldn’t sell on a movie poster in the way the sleek and regal killing machines from “Days of Future Past” could.
Dr. Trask replaced Senator Robert Kelly in the comic books as the sentinel inventor. If you recall from X-Men 2, he was the senator, played by Bruce Davidson, who pushed the Mutant Registration Act as a form of anti-mutant legislation. He could have continued on as this character, however he was turned into a jellyfish and exploded.
Of course in the end, much like the consequences of the “Back to the Future” film series, the past is completely rewritten. While it’s a new and improved future, the audience member also has to realize that the awesomeness and epic world presented by the previous three films didn’t actually happen. I suppose this just makes way for more X-Men movies, and after this Singer masterpiece, and who could argue with that?