Monday, October 6, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past - Latino Gamer Reviews

Today we take a look at Fox's latest addition to the X-Men franchise.
The latest X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, follows up the events of the previous film, X-Men: First Class, and also brings back the cast of the X-Men trilogy (X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand) to tie those movies together. The main plot revolves around the mutants’ plan to send someone into the past to prevent the slaughter of their people at the hands of advanced Sentinels. The surviving future X-Men serve as somewhat of a framing device while the main plot follows Wolverine and a younger Charles Xavier as they seek out the necessary allies to change the future.

And I was played by a completely different actor.

I grew up with the nineties X-Men cartoon and this movie certainly has shades of their, “Days of Future Past” storyline while being a distinct story. The X-men movies continue to write their own continuity, including the change to Mystique’s character. It is interesting to see the two casts in one movie, though mostly only Wolverine interacts with both.

So you can still be Hugh Jackman.

As a stand-alone story, this movie is basically a science-fiction thriller. Like First Class, it is less action heavy and allows more focus on the story. Those beginning with this movie can certainly get a lot of enjoyment out of it, although they may be confused as far as a lot of the characters’ connections. It helps to watch First Class beforehand, since this movie references a lot of what happened there, including Mystique’s relationship with Xavier and Magneto. The beginning feels like it is rushing to get to the past storyline, giving little screentime to Storm, Bishop and the other future X-Men. Still, there are impressive action scenes and enough story to enjoy as well as a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle continuity nods for the fans.

No one told Quicksilver about his...

Days of Future Past continues to weave the story of mutantkind into real life history, albeit noticeably more heavy-handedly than First Class. The story of X-Men has always had a theme of prejudice against those who are different and how they deal with it. The stark contrast between Xavier and Magneto, two men who have so much respect for one another and in many ways have the same desire, is seen here through the lens of alternate history. The humans’ fear of mutants parallels historic events, such as Japanese internment and, of course, Magneto is himself a holocaust survivor. The star power of veterans Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, weighted toward the later parts of the film, also serves to bolster this story as we see how they view one another later in life.

This movie is very transparent about the fact that it is trying hard to mulligan away the mistakes of X-Men 2 and 3, which fans of the franchise may find awkward. Its low moments feel like the writers trying to preemptively answer away inevitable fan complaints. Of course, this just leads to more continuity problems for those invested enough to look for them. This is made worse by the fact that the two casts come off as playing separate characters rather than old and young versions of the same people.

You wanna start a good discussion with your friends? Answer this question: is Magneto a hero?

At its high moments, though, this movie is like the best from Futurama with events in two different periods somehow happening concurrently and the unique drama such a technique allows fiction writers. It even has its own Richard Nixon.

As seen on Futurama.

While I still find First Class to be the best of the X-Men movies, Days of Future Past is a very enjoyable ride. Most of the problems with this movie are inherited from its predecessors and are due to the writers trying to tie five or six movies together. Those with enough suspension of disbelief will find it easier to enjoy and regardless of continuity problems, this movie is strong enough to stand alone and entertain you for a couple of hours with its drama, action and even a bit of humor.

You don’t need to see our identification.

There’s also something incredibly human in the stories of these characters. The immense desire to want to believe in another person, the anguish that comes from spending years apart from people you regret letting go of or wishing that you had a chance to change the past and prevent the mistakes of your life are experiences we can all imagine. Now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray (or download) it is worth the purchase as it is the kind of story you appreciate more on repeated viewings.