X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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X-Men: Days of Future Past – IMDb 235/250

The war between humans and mutants continues and potentially culminates in the seventh instalment of the X-Men film franchise with the 2014 smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, the most critically acclaimed film of the lot and the only one on this IMDb list.

Days of Future Past is set in the near future where many humans and mutants have been wiped out by Sentinels, a super adapting robot that was initially created to destroy mutants but has since destroyed much of the world’s population.

And so everyone’s favourite X-Man, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is sent back in time to 1973 to stop an event that will birth the creation of these Sentinels, thus changing his and the worlds future.

Like many time travel films, Days of Future Past does struggle not to get overly convoluted, so that when I first watched this film during its release I just thought it was a little bit stupid, overly confusing for an action film and not a patch on X-Men: First Class.

However, before watching it this time I sat and watched an entire box-set of X-Men films, and I have to say I was surprised how much I enjoyed them all, as well as Days of Future Past.

Dealing with much darker issues than say the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as our fear of the uncanny (unknown), discrimination, intolerance, the X-Men film franchise is a lot more poignant than I used to believe, but its struggle comes from the fact that many of the films are interchangeable, and I am afraid to say I think I would tarnish Future Past with that same brush.

The overall story of Mutants vs Humans is told in all most every X-Men film with the exception of The Wolverine, to the point where really the story we are seeing is repeated again and again, and I do hope with this one that overarching story can now be put to bed… I haven’t seen Apocalypse though.

That doesn’t mean this isn’t an excellent addition to that story. The time travel element to the film allows us to see Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Ian McKellen’s Magneto in the same film as their younger versions played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, which works really well, as we get a sense of how each character developed over their troubled history.

Visually this film is stunning as well, unsurprisingly earning an Oscar nomination for its visual effects, with Magneto’s destruction of a stadium to build a wall around the President a particularly striking image.

The acting remains solid as well, with Jackman an excellent bit of casting as Wolverine throughout every film in the series, Peter Dinklage as the villain another brilliant choice and our mutants played by Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Halle Berry and more all doing a wonderful job of bringing their superhero characters to life, so that we can sympathise and empathise with their plight much more than we can relate to a Captain America or Superman.

Whose the better Magneto, Fassbender or McKellen?

Whose the better Magneto, Fassbender or McKellen?

But when you sit and watch every film in the franchise you do notice the plot holes and inconsistencies that do take away from its story.

They try to in some ways explain these inconsistencies by taking the Star Trek route, saying the future is now completely different due to the actions of Wolverine in 1973, but really this was just a get out clause to reset everything, allowing the production company to continue releasing more and more films without having to worry about continuity issues.

And essentially what this reset means is the previous 6 films a fan has just sat and watched through never happened other than in Wolverine’s memory, characters are back from the dead, life changing events never took place, it’s all a little silly and a bit frustrating for someone who has invested in this overarching story the franchise created.

Ultimately though I did like X-Men: Days of Future Past a lot more than when I first saw it, which I can say for a lot of the franchise, even Origins and The Last Stand had their merits.

But I am surprised Future Past is the most critically acclaimed. For me, my order would go: First Class, X:Men 2, Days of Future Past, The Wolverine, X:Men, Origins, The Last Stand.

But what watching these films has done is created a new fan in me, which I am sure their proud of. Now on to Deadpool again which I really enjoyed, and Apocalypse, which I haven’t heard great things about.

X-Men: Days of Future Past 6/10

Paul

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