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X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST REVIEW by Michael Couvaras

Awesome isn’t a word that I would typically use to describe a film, it’s a term that we
associate with the MTV generation, however in the case of Bryan Singer’s X-Men
Days Of Future Past regardless of your age or history it’s a term worth using and
even in the greater sense because this is a film that not only holds this years award
for most awe inspiring summer blockbuster, but it also holds the honor of the most
rewarding.

The last couple of X-Men films have appeared to be so-so, though some credit
should be given to Matthew Vaughn for his prequel First Class, which Days Of Future
Past might have not been if it wasn’t for that outing. Here though we get the film for
the fans, we get the X-Film we deserve, Bryan Singer, the man who started it all,
returns to the director’s chair and takes his job seriously and does it with the power
of an auteur.

We find ourselves in a battle ravaged future, bleak as one out of the Terminator
franchise, a group of mutants led by a dreadlocked Bishop (Omar Sy), Iceman (Shawn
Ashmore) and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) battle against a legion of mutant tracking
machines known as Sentinels which have pretty much made it impossible for our
genetically progressive superiors to live on the planet without facing death, and so
why is all this chaos a reality you ask? Well, during the ninety seventies Mystique
(Jennifer Lawrence) tried to assassinate the man who created the prototype Sentinel
program, Boliver Trask (played convincingly by Peter Dinklage) and though she
succeeded she was captured and her DNA was used to create hybrid Sentinels which
are impossible to kill. Back in the future with the authorization of older Professor
Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellan returning respectively in
their roles), everyone’s favourite non aging adamantium infused mutant Wolverine
(Hugh Jackman), is sent to the psychedelic seventies to set things right to prevent
total annihilation.

This is where Singer shines as a director, from the Mad Men-esque New York City we
find Wolverine waking up in, literally naked and battling off a group of pudgy
gangsters to the sun glistened Saigon where Mystique saves a group of mutant
soldiers, one of which includes a familiar face of energy blasting Havok (Lucas Till).
This is certainly a period piece, an alternate history one at that, we even have a
Richard Nixon in here who extremely looks and acts just like the real guy himself.
When we meet up with the gross depressed young Xavier (James Mcavoy) we
immediately begin to realize our mission will be harder, Xavier has no more faith and
he needs to get it back which raises the stakes and if that isn’t enough we’ll need to
get young Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) out of a plastic built prison under the
Pentagon, and let’s not forget we still have to prevent Mystique from killing Trask.
See, the stakes just get bigger and bigger and that’s what Days of Future Past does
well.

It’s because of the globe trotting nature of this installment which makes our film
never lose pace, it’s like Watchmen meets Inception, in one minute we’re in
Washington D.C and then suddenly we’re in the streets of Paris, the film never stops
and when it does we’re unexpectedly emotional and caught up in different feelings.
Whether it’s Xavier’s lack of belief in the mutant race or Lehnsherr’s relentless
mission to annihilate the human one, we’re always engaged and caught up in it all
whilst being immersed in heaps of well done visual effects. There’s a mastery here, a
technical one from all sides that’s not often seen with the recent superhero
blockbuster trend where everything seems to be impatiently created off a laptop.
Not here folks.

The effects sequences are marvelous, you don’t want to miss the jail breakout scene
with the speedy mutant Peter (Evan Peters), shattering glass and kitchen utensils
have never looked better at two thousand frames per second (and in 3-D I might
add). However, this film contains more intensified character based scenes than it
does destructive, more or less in the vein of a good spy thriller, you’ll have to watch
out for a very intense sequence in a private jet in which Xavier and Lehnsherr
confront each other, Wolverine and Beast (Nicholas Hault) have no choice but to
watch as these two old friends swipe blows without having to actually clench their
fists, smart and intense. The music by John Ottman resonates in an almost nostalgic
manner; we’re taken back to the good old days and strangely at the same time we
feel as if his score is something we haven’t heard before because it’s just been so
long since we actually cared about an X-Men movie.

Bryan Singer’s attention to detail is impressive, in one very crucial scene we find the
perspective of our camera switching to that of an eight millimeter one, showing us a
filmmaker who really gets the difference between nostalgia and being an auteur. His
respect to the material and taking it seriously is evident, together with a great script
by Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg and Matthew Vaughn we don’t get caught up in a
confused time travel plot but instead in pure emotion and urgency.

X-Men Days Of Future Past is perhaps the franchise’s best entry, watching it there’s
very little to complain about and more to love, I dare say that perhaps this is the best
superhero film I’ve seen since The Dark Knight and I mean that with all my heart.
There’s something in this film that’s hard to explain maybe it’s because there’s
warmness to it and a confidence that makes it unforgettable. A true film
masterpiece.

5/5

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