Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult
Studio: 20th Century Fox
“Days of Future Past” is the latest X-Men sequel. Forgoing the style of “First Class”, this film feels more like Bryan Singer’s need to cap off his original X-Men vision before beginning a new venture with Marvel’s merry mutants. From the opening, which desperately tries to evoke the hopelessness of the classic X-Men storyline…it fails. You’re getting bombarded with people that you never met before or those that had gained new powers. Old favorites die, as everything is shoved together just to keep the script moving. That’s when you can find material for people not named Wolverine to perform/mutate/etc.
I appreciate Singer using his classic Ottman film cues and playing with the familiar. It’s just that, it feels so rough when contrasted with the tone that Vaughn tried to establish with “First Class”. Vaughn’s efforts on that first movie are what won me back to the franchise after the disappointments of “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. I’m not completely positive that the time for Singer’s vision has passed. However, this film needed to make a case for his return to the franchise and I don’t believe I saw it.
If there’s one thing wrong with the film, it’s that the cast isn’t engaged enough with the material. So much of the film is Logan’s Wild Adventure Through Timey-Time. That being said, the large cast is usually waiting on Logan to eventually show up and do something. Quicksilver is the only character that gets a moment to break out of the mold during the Magneto prison rescue. That being said, I felt like I saw a better version of this scene in “X2”. So many other scenes play out like they’re having to create contrived moments to give the characters definitions. Professor X is addicted to some drug that Hank concocted. Magneto might’ve killed JFK. Nixon loves some mutie-hunting robots. But, it doesn’t matter. Wolverine is going to stop Mystique, get the mutants out of Vietnam and find a way to set everything right.
The slavish devotion to making Hugh Jackman into the center of attention comes at the cost of giving Lawrence and Fassbender more material. I get that Lawrence and Fassbender want to leave for greener pastures. That being said, they need to close out their time in the X-Universe. Maybe, “X-Men: Apocalypse” will be that film. At a point in time, the First Class crew will start tripping into the original timeline. Get in Channing Tatum at Gambit, make an 80s storyline and force a Legacy Virus/AIDS metaphor with hammy fists down our throat. You know it’s coming and I know it’s coming. Let’s just call it what it is. Also, stay for the end credits. You won’t regret it, if you’re a comic nerd or an 11 year old child.
RELEASE DATE: 05/23/2014