It has been a very long time since I wrote down my thoughts on any film, long or short, here on my blog. Something I feel like I need to get into the habit of again. Admittedly, I’m no film critic – so far from it. But … I think I miss regurgitating my thoughts on films I’ve seen.
So here I am, starting it up again with the latest X-Men film – X-Men: Day of Future Past.
I think there’s been something that I have enjoyed in all the X-Men films that have been made. Yes, even in The Last Stand. Which, overall, wasn’t a good film. But I don’t believe it’s nearly as terrible as people make it out to be.
X-Men: First Class got me excited about the film franchise for X-Men again. It was fresh, new and had something different in it, compared to the previous three.
So I was a little bit disappointed when they brought Bryan Singer onboard and the original cast from the first three X-Men films for Days of Future Past.
Hear me out.
First Class worked for me because it was a concerted step away from the previous three films. It was setting up a new universe in the already establish X-Men universe and while still being faithful and kind to it. I wanted Day of Future Past to continue down this route. Acknowledging that there have been past films, but carving out its own path.
Watching Days of Future Past, I was conflicted. While the opening action scene was epic, and seeing all of our ‘old’ characters again was great, the combination of the music and this felt like we had slipped into the ‘old’ X-Men film universe again. And it made me pine for what First Class had given us.
After being transported back in time to the 70s, back to the world that First Class created for us, I felt happier. Much happier. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Patrick Stewart as Professor X. and Ian McKellen back in their roles did send a shiver down my spine, I just really liked what First Class did. (If you hadn’t got that vibe already.)
Days of Future Past is a strong X-Men film. The cast members look like they have really settled into their characters with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender owning their scenes. James McAvoy’s totally torn up Prof. X was pretty heartbreaking to watch. Not a side of Xavier anyone’s used to seeing.
Though, one new mutant did steal the show. Yes, like everyone else I am praising Evan Peters’ Quicksilver scene in The Pentagon. Now THAT is an action scene. Perfectly done. Despite the fact that whoever chose Quicksilver’s look for the film did a terrible job, I am sad that Evan Peters wont be in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Jennifer Lawrence was a huge weak point for me. I wasn’t sold on her Mystique/Raven in First Class, and Future Past did nothing more than to tell me she’s not right for the role. Dinklage disappointed as well. Sacrilege? Don’t know. But I’m used to Game of Thrones’ Tyrion-level Dinklage. As Trask, it felt like he wasn’t all there.
Back to the film. In short, I really, really enjoyed it. Probably my favourite of the year’s comic book films. So far. Still got Guardians of the Galaxy coming up. But, yes. Future Past rocked it. The Sentinels were fantastic – really liked how they moved them along. Sure, it’s not what I was expecting, but that’s what I liked. The continually evolving relationship between Xavier and Magneto, which remains one of the most important parts of the X-Men film franchise. Which in turn, makes me very happy.
I’m just a little confused as to how all of what has now happened affects the timeline of X-Men films that we know. I tried to talk it over with the OH but wound up confusing myself and, maybe worst of all, proving him right.
SPOILER COMMENT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN FIRST CLASS Interesting review because definitely not all good or bad. I think that even First Class confused me because in Last Stand, I think, we see a walking Prof X meet Jean Gray, and in First Class, he gets shot at the end. And in the screen shots above, I see that Prof X is again walking….nevertheless, I can’t wait to see the movie, especially that Pentagon scene!
Yeah, there’s a lot that goes in this film that was surprising! Hopefully, you’ll get to catch it one of these days, Lisa!
Nice review, Jaina, and I think we’ve found another one that we’re in agreement on. I, too, have come to really enjoy what First Class brought to the franchise, and so I really hope to continue to revisit that cast in future X-flicks.
As for how this particular one affects the series, basically it hit the reset button. All the prior films outside of First Class no longer took place, with only Wolverine carrying any memory of them. So this, in effect, gives them freedom to start with a clean slate and no longer have to worry about any kind of continuity issues between films moving forward, ideally at least.
See, I liked the reset button that JJ pushed for the Star Trek film series. That was a smart way to do it. This feels a bit ham-fisted.
But as long as we get to see “old” First Class style of X-Men I’ll be happy. Really loved the style of that film over Future Past.
You said everything I wanted to say about this film! I enjoyed the first film more, but this felt too much like a filler film for the third one. The last scene was so intriguing!
There was a lot I liked about the film. A lot. Just miss the style of First Class. 🙁
I also enjoyed X-Men First Class more than the previous series, but compared to Days of Future Past I still enjoyed First Class more! Agree with Lawrence and Quicksilver
The timeline of the X-Men films is a train wreck. And I don’t love a lot of the casting choices they’ve made (which I dig further into on my review posts of Future Past).
But what I like about Future Past is that it sort of undoes all the horrible timeline carelessness and starts fresh with things not having to line up because history has been changed. So, in a way, the first three films never happened in the current Future Past future.
Mostly, though I love the character interactions and the great performances from most of the actors. The ones I thought were poorly cast, I don’t like their performances so much 🙂
Firstly Well described and presented review, i watched wolvorine and disappointed, hoping that future past don’t disappoints me this time…….
I’m in agreement that First Class was more enjoyable. I’ve read a lot of praise for Days of Future Past, and also quite a few negative reactions. I’m somewhere in the middle, there were things I liked such as the positive message and slow motion “Time In A Bottle” scene with Quicksilver. Then there’s the matter of similar scenes in other movies, which at times was distracting to me. Was confusing to keep track of the past and present and figure out which actor played who. I felt the studio wanted it to be a group as in The Avengers, because that made a billion $
Yeah, that’s my feeling too. Avengers was fantastic and a great film, but not all comic book films should aim to be like it, and that’s okay.
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Hey, Jaina, nice review. I pretty agreed with you on every point. I think the way they are resetting the continuity is a bit dumb, but we’ll see how it pans out. You never know, it could turn out amazing by the next film.