X-Men: Days of Future Past
Marvel’s latest instalment of the X-Men film series is definitely something to behold through a 3D gaze. This visual extravaganza, bolstered by a star-studded cast, has enough humour and action to satisfy. The visual effects are astonishing: at once the viewer is transplanted into the world of mutant superheroes struggling to keep such a world afloat, ultimately fighting for the survival of their own species.
Days of Future Past, as the title suggests, jumps between two different time periods. There is the dark, dystopian fortress of the present – a secluded mountain temple – the last remaining outpost for the mutant superheroes who are on the brink of annihilation from robots called Sentinels. Ellen Page, similar to her role in Inception, is entrusted with the task of transporting Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), whose healing capabilities allow him to withstand the rigours of time travel, back to the 1970s to prevent humans from ever being able to create the robotic Sentinels.
Jackman is the perfect retro, macho mutant X-Man with his bushy hair and solid frame – not to mention his claws. He is a great Wolverine and the channel through which most of the film’s comedy is enacted, helping to break up the relentless action. His transportation back to the 70s involves a funny morning after scene, involving him waking up to the sound of some slow country rock with a beautiful woman next to him, slightly weary from the exhaustions of time travel.
The dark future Wolverine needs to prevent taking shape is made of the Sentinels’ inventor (Peter Dinklage) hatching his monstrous creation, designed to destroy mutants. Unfortunately, Dinklage’s role is rather restricting and does not allow the Game of Thrones star to demonstrate just how good an actor he is. Likewise Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Mystique, is hard to grasp. Despite being blessed with the ability to transform herself into different people she spends most of the time strutting around naked with her body covered in blue paint. It’s hard to connect with her character as a whole, with her unrelenting rage.
An assemblage of mutants, then, gather to set aside differences to help the cause, mediated by Professor X (James McAvoy) and his telepathic abilities, who has to overcome his own slightly unhinged mental state in order to use his telepathy to its full extent. It may be worth noting that this is all set within the backdrop of what appears to be the war in Vietnam, involving a US president that strongly resembles Richard Nixon. But these human matters are minuscule in comparison to that of the mutants who enter the frame.
The plot is undoubtedly convoluted and hard to follow. Darting between two different time periods, using past feuds and histories as reference points, the film could only be easily followed and fully understood by an X-Men fanatic. But ultimately it does well to balance the old guard of X-Men (Ian Mckellen and Patrick Stewart) with the introduction of the new.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is released nationwide on 22nd May 2014.
Watch the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past here: