The original X-Men cast return to the big screen as they are under the attack of Bolivar Trask’s (Peter Dinklage) Sentinel program. Casualties are high and rising, as the mutants aren’t the only species being attacked but also the humans who dare to help them. This leaves earth under brutal control of the worst of society, with the mutant killing machines at their disposal. The only way to save the world is to turn back time and prevent the very event which caused the genocide. This requires Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to be sent back to the 70s to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Trask, an event which dictated the view of mutants around the globe.
I will say right off the bat that this is the best X-Men film to date. After multiple viewings my opinion does not change as it’s quite simply a great film. What it does is give us a true in depth exploration of these characters, not all of them, but a lot more than what previous X-Men films achieved to do. This meant Wolverine was able to take a seat back and give other characters a turn. I think Singer recognized that and for once the characters are given the respect they deserve. This film is filled with great character driven moments, and in my opinion they stand out much more than the action, which was also brilliant. This is completely down to Simon Kinberg’s screenplay, which gave us complex characters, encouraging us to think a little bit and allowing us to make our own opinions about these characters. A stand out moment would be a heated argument between Professor X and Magneto (young) as they are flying to find Mystique. It becomes clear that these are two people who have the mutants well being in mind, but their ideologies about how to go about protecting them are vastly different. For once Magneto isn’t portrayed as bad. We are able to understand his ideology and for a moment sympathize for him as he protests Professor X’s self-pity. These ideologies are further explored as Mystique is caught in between them, trying to pave her own path towards saving the mutants. Ultimately the writing really makes this a great film.
I was always a bit underwhelmed by how the characters powers were translated on screen, not all the time, but I felt this way more times than I should have. Days of Future past finally nails it as it feels more fluid and organic rather than confused and flat. I never liked Storm (Halle Berry) because I thought her powers were a bit lame, but after this film I finally understand her badassery. Right from the opening scene I knew that things were going to be different on the action side, and they were for the better. Like they say, one stick is easy to break, but a bunch of sticks are almost impossible to break. Much like their powers, they function better when they work as a team, and quite evidently it’s much more entertaining. It says a lot that Wolverine was probably one of the tamest characters throughout the whole film.
With the rise of this comic book movie phenomenon, it’s encouraging to see that the acting is not being compromised as this film has some of the best performances I’ve seen in a comic book film. If future films of this genre continue to go in this vein then I have a lot of money to save for the 20 odd comic book films which are going to be raiding our local cinemas in the coming years. Seeing this cast on screen is awe inducing right to the end. Making it even harder for me to hold in all my emotions as both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy share an intense moment of screen time, which did not disappoint.
There is no denying that this film will make it onto peoples top 10 lists for comic book films. If not your best comic book films list, then your best comic book film moments list. The moment I’m referring to is the Quicksilver scene, which is hands down the best scene I’ve seen in awhile. It’s inventive, funny, badass and totally appropriate for the representation of his power. One thing is for sure, Aaron Taylor Johnson is gonna have to do something special to have one over on Evan Peters.
For a superhero film it felt somewhat down to earth, as if we were watching real people with genetic differences to us. The way they integrated real life events like the JFK assassination and the Vietnam war made the X-Men universe feel real which only enhances the feeling that this is more than just a comic book film but a film about these characters who are complex and interesting. Bryan Singer has genuinely saved the X-Men franchise by erasing all the continuity problems of past x-men films and giving the new cast a chance at a perfect trilogy without the burden of knowing Wolverin: Origins and X-Men: The Last Stand exist, the ending is the ultimate cherry on top to that.