Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

X-Men: Days Of Future Past – 2014

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Young and old collide, time travel is made possible, almost every mutant makes an appearance, Wolverine’s claws aren’t metallic, Bryan Singer is back in charge and modern history is skewed in a bold and intriguing way. This is of course “X-Men: Days Of Future Past”; the long awaited prequel/sequel/reboot instalment in the highly successful superhero film franchise.

Set in different eras, “Days Of Future Past”, focuses primarily around time travel as a way of altering the future in order to save humanity, but more importantly, the mutant race.
In the future, technology has advanced so much that government-constructed machines are able to eradicate the mutant race into near-extinction. Using powers of the remaining mutants, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent on a quest back in time to capture and convince a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) about the proceedings of events that ultimately lead to the mutant’s demise.
He also faces the difficult task of getting these mortal “frienemies” to rekindle their relationship and join forces, which proves even more difficult than anticipated.

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Time travel is always a risky route to explore in films, particularly with an instalment that has so much riding on it. There is a heightened risk of inconsistencies and continuity errors which can ruin a film completely. “Days of Future Past” was brave and ambitious in the narrative choices it made when dealing with the theme.
The lead up to the voyage back in time was made clear and crafted very well, plus the alterations to historical events were fascinating to say the least. In an intrepid turn of events, we now understand that Magneto (Fassbender) was responsible for the assassination of J.F.K, and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) had a large part to play during the Vietnam War.
This is tackled exceptionally well with class, zeal and thought which shows how much care has gone into making “Days of Future Past”possibly the best X:Men instalment yet.

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The film has some incredible action sequences. The sequence involving Quicksilver (Evan Peters), a cheeky and confident youth is incredibly entertaining, particularly in the kitchen scene.
The major flaw with the character of Quicksilver (and the film overall as a matter of fact) is that we don’t get to see enough of him. Just like the character himself, one minute he’s there, but in a flash, he’s gone.
What was so disappointing about “Days of Future Past”was the inevitable fact that when including nearly every single mutant character from the past instalments, there was never going to be enough time to witness growth and explore each character.
We get to see this in the lead roles, but the supporting cast seem to feature for an average of 2 to 3 minutes each which is a great shame as it tends to leave an unfinished feeling to the viewer.
The juggernauts themselves Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen (old Charles and Erik) are featured for quite a lot of the first act, however their flawless talents are blanketed by their younger selves in McAvoy and Fassbender.

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James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are two of the most underrated actors alive today.
Both posses supreme talents and together, they display such impressive on-screen chemistry that it is a joy to watch them together in every scene they occupy. There is so much raw emotion visible within these two characters, and it is expressed so well through their acting abilities.

The primary antagonist in “Days of Future Past”is none other than Tyrion Lannister himself Peter Dinklage.
He plays Dr. Boliver Trask, a mastermind responsible for the greatest threat to the mutant race, the sentinel machines. His presence (and this is not insulting his height) is not grand enough. He doesn’t possess a strong enough motivation to pursue what he does on the level that he does, yet the acting ability of Dinklage makes up for this miniature (again, not being mean) qualm about the film.

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“Days of Future Past” is action packed, dark and very funny at times; it covers all the bases for a modern superhero film. It is shot brilliantly and the acting throughout is superb.
The visual effects are stunning (once again with Quicksilver amongst others) and the way that the film is able to create a true 70’s atmosphere is incredible.
The minor details go such a long way; for example, the 4:3 grainy news footage capturing mutant conflict in the streets is a brilliant inclusion to the film. It creates an incredibly realistic effect to what the audience sees and is quite unsettling too.

With much anticipation riding on “Days of Future Past”, it is refreshing to say that it delivered in fantastic fashion. Clever, big, brooding and brave, “Days of Future Past”includes everyone and everything X:Men.
The visuals are X-cellent (sorry) and the conflict between characters, both external and internal is potent and engaging. The major flaw is the lack of screen time for the brunt of the cast which is upsetting, yet “Days of Future Past”aimed to cram everything in from the outset; what they are able to fit in to the runtime is highly impressive.
As confusing as the title sounds, as strange as the plot appears and as weird as the style of film seems to be, “Days of Future Past”is quite an incredibly engaging film with a brilliant narrative direction that is tackled in a unique and intelligent way.

4/5

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5 comments on “X-Men: Days Of Future Past – 2014

  1. Noémie
    June 24, 2014

    I don’t think that Michael Fassbender is underrated at all. Everybody talked about him in Hunger or Shame, played big characters in numerous movies (inglourious basterds, prometheus, 12 years a slave) and got a few awards I think. You also know that his name will bring people to the movie and you can see him quite often in festivals and stuff.
    But I definitely agree that McAvoy is underrated. I first saw him (I mean, recognized him, because it’s hard to see he was playing in Narnia…) in Atonement which is probably a top 10 movie movie for me. Since I try to follow his work. Not always great films but HE is such a good actor!

  2. wmsteele
    June 24, 2014

    I believe he deserves even more recognition than he gets for his works. He is an incredible actor. But I do agree that McAvoy is more underrated than Fassbender.
    I’m itching to see “Frank” and a friend has recently recommended “Fish Tank” which I have heard is awful haha

  3. noemie
    June 24, 2014

    I’ve seen Fish Tank and I quite liked it haha. but I understand it’s not everybody’s type of movie.

  4. wmsteele
    June 24, 2014

    My friend hated it! She said it made no sense and was just stupid!
    But now I’m more inclined to watch it now that I have heard opposing views!

  5. Noémie
    June 24, 2014

    Haha, don’t have too high expectations, I really understand that lot of people don’t get the point of those kind of stories. Just a matter of taste then.

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