X-MEN (PG-13)


I felt instant gratification as Days of Future Past exploded into action from the starting gate - oh yeah! The mutants unleash everything they have against mega-sized super-robots called Sentinels, but the Sentinels are winning – easily. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) set aside old rivalries and form an alliance to defeat the indestructible enemy. This paves the way for original characters to join forces with their younger selves to prevent the annihilation of the species. Let the games begin…

It was clear Twentieth Century Fox was capitalizing on the movie’s two hottest stars (Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence) by building the story around their characters. It worked. This movie racked up $300 million on its opening weekend proving again the phenomenon that is the Marvel juggernaut. Jackman and Lawrence aside; the other actors aren’t exactly slouches; James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) rounded out the starring roles. DOFP was a time-jumping storyline that stretched across two different periods, but managed to hold onto credibility with a decent script and the believability of the acting talent.

X-Men usually unleashes a few surprises from its never-ending mutant repertoire. Every rendition has that Ahhaa moment when a new mutant’s powers are initially revealed. In this case the newcomer was Evan Peters who stole the scenes from the franchise’s superstars’ as the fast-talking Quicksilver. Peters was a refreshing and hilarious addition to the mutant’s world, who surprised at every turn catching us off guard and hoping for more. (The Pentagon escape scene alone was worth the price of the ticket.)

After the dreary 2012 Wolverine it was good to see Jackman back in the role that has become iconic – and back on course in this rendition. Wolverine’s a fan favorite because of Jackman’s enduring ability to play him in three dimensional depth. We should be tired of this savage loner with a perpetual nasty attitude, but somehow Jackman’s charisma in the part keeps us coming back for another helping. Go figure. Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence reprised her role of Raven/Mystique. As much as I like Lawrence I felt the script could have done more with her character. Mystique was pivotal to the story but the writers reduced her to just another butt-kicking mutant devoid of emotional depth. This is a shame after the way she was developed in X-Men First Class, especially since Lawrence is capable of a wide array of emotional complexity.

Given that this is the 7th cinematic trip to the X-Men universe comparisons are fair game. Personally, I liked X-Men First Class more as an overall story (just saying). I would have liked to see more screen time for the brilliant interaction between Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan’s characters who were largely bystanders. While enjoyable on many levels, the storyline suffered from some time-line inconsistencies (See the other X-Men films). From this blogger’s point of view DOFP was just slightly shy of excellent. But I can’t complain since my action hero thirst was satisfied, and it was an entertaining two hours which is, after all, what a movie is supposed to be. 


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