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The Movie Review: “X-Men: Days of Future Past”


Friday, May 30th, 2014
Issue 22, Volume 18.
Robert T. Nickerson
Special to the Valley News


The idea that we could have an alternate life is fascinating. If the multiverse theory is correct, in which there are an infinite amount of parallel universes, how many kinds of possibilities would you want to know?

I love the idea of alternative timelines, given that when we make one choice, the alternative would have done the opposite. What would have happened if you never went out on your first date? What if you went to school in a different country? What if the smallest decision you made over a lunch break was actually a universal change that you would never have guessed?

In the world of fiction, especially fan fiction, it’s interesting to see how our favorite characters would have evolved given different circumstances. Alternative stories will usually happen when the original idea has its own flaws.

The X-Men franchise has been given plenty of sequels, spin-offs, and the recent X-Men: First Class that unfortunately causes this universe to be kind of messy. I like the X-Men, but I’ll admit that X-Men: The Last Stand took a lot of directions that did not properly portray its heroes and took away ones that could have been interesting. X-Men: Days of Future Past attempts to undo those actions.

This X-Men movie is both a sequel to the 2000 series and X-Men: First Class, blending the older actors with the new. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. It starts in a dystopian future where robots called Sentinels have nearly wiped out the human race, hunting mutants and regular people. The X-Men have done their best to defend themselves, but both Professor Charles Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (played by Ian McKellen) know that the only way to stop this is to prevent the war altogether. With Kity Pryde’s (played by Ellen Page) ability to send a person’s consciousness back in time, Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) wakes up in his younger body.

Now in 1973, Wolverine travels to a younger Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) to discover Advertisement
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a broken man and a mutant who has lost his powers in favor of a serum that allows him to walk.

Wolverine persuades Xavier to join him to find Raven/Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and prevent her from killing the creator of the Sentinels, a brilliant scientist Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage). It all seems to go well, until they realize they need the cooperation of a young Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) who still seems bent on making mutants the superior race.

Without a doubt, I can say that X-Men: Days of Future Past is the smartest and most thought provoking of the X-Men series. The previous movies have ranged from being great to mediocre. Most of them felt like crowd pleasers, but this one really takes chances and had one goal in mind: to stop an event that may erase previous events before.

Getting there is not a chore as it both gives us plenty to digest about the views on mutants and how one must find wisdom to make the right choice.

While this is an amazing X-Men story, this is not the most action orientated. Oh, there’s a lot of fighting, but most of the story is all about Wolverine working his way around 1973 and convincing younger characters that their older selves sent him there.

Because it sacrifices superhero action to quality story, this may not be the ideal superhero movie for kids. What about non-X-Men fans? Will they be able to enjoy this as much as I did? It’s not 100 percent necessary to know the X-Men, but it helps to know the situation they are in. Give the franchise a skim before watching the best. You know what they say, save the best for last.

I’ll give this five Magneto helmets out of five. The X-Men have gotten the movie they deserve, even if it won’t please all audiences. I hope people will this a chance and they may find themselves becoming X-Men fans. 

Robert T. Nickerson is a film critic. His work can be seen at

mastermindfilmproductions.com.


 

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