Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, Bryan Singer)

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RATING: 9/10

Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Halle Berry, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy
Screenplay: Simon Kinberg

From the opening of the film, you realize that you are in for an undoubtable treat – a superhero film of epic proportions, a blockbuster with the right action kick and emotional zest that’ll keep you glued to your seats and forget about the popcorn that you’ve spent a good penny on. And that’s what makes “X-Men: Days of Future Past” so brilliant, is that it brings “popcorn flick” to a whole new level. It doesn’t matter if you’re into comic books that even the smallest flaw will piss you off, it doesn’t matter if you’re a film snob – the film will keep you interested and on the edge of your cinema seats. At least that’s what happened in my cinema, and I was one of the many viewers who was wide-eyed and mesmerised by this cinematic superhero flick.

Set in two two time lines, the near future (where the world runs a muck, as the robots known as Sentinals try to destroy every living mutant) and 1973, we find Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) sent back in time to try to stop young Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from doing the wrong thing that led to the chaotic world. There, he needs to bring back together the X-Men to do the task, but finds it rather difficult as the young Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) lives in agony after the happenings of the first film.

As “superhero” as it sounds, the truth is the film has many more layers then the timelines they present during the duration of the film. Director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg has found the proper balance of action and emotion to keep the movie just as spectacular as a mutant’s power and as touching as the human spirit. The inner problems of each ensemble cast member and their character is shown throughout the film, and they never forget to show the deeper emotions of every one of them. Be it a short glimpse during a rampant fight scene or scenes heavy with dialogue, we’ve got a writer and director that bounced their visions onto each other and made blockbuster bliss.

Jennifer Lawrence’s mediocre portrayal of Mystique in the last film was improved vastly. Though it was the dialogue of “X-Men: First Class” that really hurt her last time, she begins to understand the camp of the character mutant and goes all out. It impresses me how this young woman can always shine in an brilliant ensemble. The rest of the class is great too. Hugh Jackman, though he’s done better (acting-wise) in other X-Men films, primarily “X2”, has truly brought everything onto the table for this one. Fassbender, was great. And Ellen Page does so much with the little she is given. But McAvoy was phenomenal and was the by far the best performance in the film. His torn Professor X was nothing short of sublime – with the feel of a depressed war veteran who has lost his way, McAvoy does wonders with the material he is given. Most of his line delivery was very near perfect.

Patrick Stewart is always wonderful as the older Professor X. His understanding of the character (which he’s portrayed in three previous films) makes us want to see more of him. Ian McKellen, isn’t given much to do as the older Magneto, but I beg you, please give him more in the next film. He’s always a highlight, but at least he’s there!

The film’s visuals was nothing short of perfection as well. “X-Men” films always tend to be overlooked when it comes to the art department but they often do some of the best production design and visuals then some of the Oscar nominated work. “Days of Future Past” takes all the cake from every “X-Men” movie in that department and truly becomes a feast for the eyes. From the production design and costumes of the dystopian future all the way to Wolverine’s groovy button down shirts, it’s become my favourite design work of the year, so far. The visual effects was just the cherry on top. The cinematography was and use of lighting was wonderful was well.

It great to see that lately, the blockbuster has decided to get itself some balls again. I think it’ll be hard to dethrone this film for me as my favourite blockbuster film of the year. I sang praised to “Catching Fire” last year, but this was certainly better in all aspects. All I can say is that I want the next few years to come faster, cause I need more of the “X-Men” in my life. This will have to do for now. Need to run to the theater for my second time, and probably a third and fourth as well. Moviegasm.

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