Wednesday, 25 March 2015

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

The seventh installment in this now long running franchise! who'd of thought it...not me. So as far as I know, the original trilogy got buggered up after number 2 and then there was the X-Men Origins failure, things looked pretty grim. Then we got 'First Class' which was a prequel to all of it and it worked, nuff said. Then we got another stand alone movie in 'The Wolverine' which followed on from 'Last Stand' (the original trilogy) and I think eliminated Origins from the franchise? not too sure there. Now lastly we have yet another X-Men movie which is a sequel to 'First Class', 'Last Stand' (the original trilogy) and 'The Wolverine' (Jesus!).

The funny thing is (and I'm come out and say it right now) because this movie is a time travelling adventure, what happens effectively erases everything after 'First Class'. Yep the original trilogy, 'The Wolverine' and 'Origins' are all now basically defunct and pointless, all undone, all redundant, complete franchise reset! Gotta be honest...that took balls, big balls, Bryan Singer has super big brass balls. On one hand I think to myself...what a waste! you just eradicated five movies! are the studios happy about that?? Holy shit they only just churned out 'The Wolverine' and you unravelled it Singer!! you literately pissed all over their picnic! Yet on the other hand I gotta give major kudos for having the guts and bowling ball sized cojones to do it!

Right so...its just 'First Class' and this, everything else obsolete...errr thanks? Anyway don't get carried away Hollywood, just because its worked this one time that doesn't give you carte blanche to go ahead and do...oh wait too late.

So good old Wolverine is back in time (mentally) to try and stop Mystique assassinating this guy called Trask. This dude invented the Sentinels which are huge robots capable of adapting to any mutant power making them unbeatable, a problem for mutants because they are set to destroy all mutants to protect mankind...kinda. The assassination gave the world a reason to use the Sentinels against mutant kind plus Mystique's DNA gave the sentinels the much needed mutant power...power ups. So in short the whole idea has a very Terminator-esque vibe about it. OK its pretty much 'Terminator 2' for Pete's sake...there, you know its true, accept it.

Everything follows on from 'First Class' very well, all the locations, outfits, vehicles, set props etc...all look perfectly 70's, I have been consistently impressed with the dated visuals in both movies. The characters in general all look great and spot on continuity wise, although I have a few comments. it me or does this guy look worse in this movie? in 'First Class' he admittedly looked a bit slim and scrawny but that's understandable with his age plus he was more animal-like facially. In this movie he has lost his animalistic facial features and kinda looks like a blue shaggy caveman. This also seems very out of place when we get the neat little cameo surprise at the end because this new Beast look doesn't fit if you ask me, his blue hair is completely different in this, its all curly. The main issue I had though was the fact Beast now 'Hulks out' into his Beast form...just like whatshisname, the big green dude. You can't do that! there is already a character that does that but in know...whatshisname.

It also annoyed me that throughout this movie Mystique never listens to anyone, including Xavier. I can understand why I guess but come on, if there's one thing most of these characters should have learned by now its always listen to the bald guy (Xavier). OK sure she's conflicted big time but come on, all these people telling you the same thing over and over, maybe its true? Staying with Mystique what the hell was with that end twist? you think its Stryker with Wolverine (you know, taking him off for adamantium surgery), but its really Mystique? So does that mean Wolverine will no longer have metal claws? I don't like knobbly bones claws. I'm sure they will sort it out but wow talk about leaving question marks.

It was cool to see some more new characters plus a bit more of classic ones, to a degree. The present day scenes gave us some nice battle sequences showing Colossus, Iceman and Storm alongside Sunspot, Warpath, Bishop and Kitty Pryde. I would have liked to see these guys more involved as it does get a tad boring watching the same regular X-Men trio (Xavier, Magneto and Wolverine), but what we get does suffice with some cool trademark mutant power effects. I did also like the new look for Toad, much better than the original Ray Park version. Of course the highlight (for most it seems) was apparently Quicksilver looking very...odd...with his grey hair and natty sparkly outfit.
His big sequence where we see how time looks for the character at his breakneck speeds was indeed cleverly done and looked great but somehow I wasn't as thrilled as everyone else it seems. Yeah sure it captured the essence of the character perfectly and the musical track (Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce) was a nice touch but did it make me wet my pants in awe? no. The scene was a quirky break from the usual type of action and showcased another character very well but I wasn't blown away by it. Personally his very brief cameo-like appearance just felt out of place because he virtually pops up to solve a problem then leaves, it felt a bit cheap really. And I gotta say his attire didn't appeal to me, yes its the 70's but silver sneakers and jacket? and why would his hair be like that seriously? I know his comicbook counterpart looks a bit silly but sheesh! should of made his hair light blonde or ginger maybe.

The grand finale was indeed grand in every way, how could it not be showing every character getting killed off, but it was still a cliched concept. As the music swelled things slow down to a crawl with both time lines seemingly on the brink of going tits up, in the present/future the X-Men are getting whacked one by one in a very emotional slow motion manner...just like many war movies before it. Whilst at the same time back in the past everyone is trying to stop that stupid blue female mutant from killing the President and at the same time wiping out mutant kind. It is sad to see the main heroes getting killed yet at the same time...kinda cool? or is that just me? The most touching easily being old Xavier and Magneto together with Wolverine's body at the very end, friends again, as it always should of been, going out together.
Although this armageddon sequence did raise a small query. The Sentinels are suppose to be nigh on indestructible yet we see Bishop shooting a few down quite easily plus a few more getting blown up. Don't they adapt to anything thrown at them or do they need time to evaluate the attack or something.

I did really like the final scenes showing all the old cameos which was great continuity on Singer's part, kudos. It wouldn't have been the same if the original cast couldn't have been reconvened. At the same time it also bookended the entire idea nicely going way way back right to square one virtually flawlessly...whilst obliterating all the other movies as already mentioned, still on the shelf over that massive swift move. On the whole the special effects are very good but still not as outstanding as other sci-fi movies I've seen, the Mystique transformation still looking hokey and some characters looking a bit...cosplay-ish (yes I said it). But I can't deny the movie had me from start to finish with its thrilling rollercoaster plot and authentic 70's visuals. Its clearly the best X-Men movie thus far although there isn't too much competition in that field lets be honest.