Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past

This film is based on the iconic story from Chris Claremont and John Byrne (with Terry Austin, Tom Orzechowski and Glynis Wein). It's a story I was old enough to read in single issue form as it arrived in the mail wrapped in brown paper. That's my history with the story in the spirit of full disclosure.

DoFP is the sequel to X-Men: First Class, which I liked well enough. The cast is pretty near pitch-perfect between the two films and the writing is interesting. Set in (roughly) 1973, the premise is that - well, you probably know all this already. If you don't you can check out the film's IMDB page as easily as anyone else.

The world of the future (ten years ahead) as we know it is not just apocalyptic, it's dying. The armies of Sentinels are more than formidable and there's a distinct sense of doom to go with the gloom. Mutants who haven't appeared before are the last hope of any kind of salvation. They have a plan and it's a holding action at best. Anyway, Logan is launched back in time and the story begins.

These two films, First Class and Future Past, are really Raven Darkholme/Mystique's story as much as they're about the dynamic between Charles and Erik. Despite major changes in the players from comic to film the movie story rolls right along. This movie is a comic book in nearly every aspect, connecting to all other X-films in meaningful ways. Lots of things are right about this and it's easy to get sucked into the story.

Hanging on the abilities of Kitty Pryde and using characters in ways that they never were in the comics, Future Past excels at updating and combining X history in interesting ways. Everyone in the film is incredulous when confronted with the time traveling aspect of the story despite the fact that they live in a world where genetic mutation creates super powers. The biggest moments of the comic story play out in new and interesting ways. This may be the best X-movie of them all.

Don't expect perfection, though. It's got its moments of whoa wait a second (at the end especially) but overall it's the kind of film I dreamed of as a kid getting my copies of Uncanny X-Men in the mail all those years ago.

If you're a fan of the X-Men this is a worthwhile investment of your time.

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