Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 29, 2014

‘Days of future past’ joins best of X franchise

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — If I were to say there was one heroic team that stood out more than any other from childhood until now, it would be the group in today’s review subject. From some of my earliest memories of comic books to animated shows and video games, there is none other that came close in all my geekvana.

Like any obsessed fanboy, I’ve have both celebrated what I have seen as moments of glory and given into nerd rage over some of the decisions made for characters who felt as real as my hyperactive imagination would allow. Despite that dedication, I have for the most part been pretty forgiving for even the most doofus induced film scenes throughout the franchise. However, I would also admit it was pretty funny how irrelevant “X-Men: Days of Future Past” made the weakness that was “X-Men: The last Stand (Arguably something that should have at least been two movies if not a whole trilogy with space aliens like the cartoon in the 90s).”

Of all the things this flick pulled off with such a huge cast, the most impressive was how well it merged main characters from both the original trilogy and the younger versions from “X-Men: First Class.” In this ridiculously cool time traveling epic, we meet a very perplexed Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who not only learns that Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is still alive, but has teamed up with his metal warping nemesis Magneto (Ian McKellen) to stop all mutants from being wiped out by purple terminators (called sentinels).

To do this, Hairy Claws must go back to the most devoid of disco ever 1970s (I was thrilled not to see a scene reminiscent of Peter Parker dancing in “Spiderman 3”), to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating their creator Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). He must also convince the hippy Professor X (James McAvoy) as well as devilishly handsome Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to help make this happen in his nonmetallic body, all while playing the only grown-up acting authority to the whole lot of the whiners. Wolverine was again a dominant character and carried many scenes, yet he also blended in when needed and this gave several chances for other characters to shine just as brightly (making it easy to feel connected to just about every one of them in some way).

There are moments where one can just as easily cheer like a hilariously epic scene with Quicksilver/Peter Maximoff (Evan Peters) or cringe when it comes to mutants making the ultimate sacrifice to ensure history is re-written. Even knowing that the goal was to try and make the ending as happy as possible, you can’t help other than to be pulled in by the emotional turmoil these mutants feel as they lash out at each other and the world that refuses to accept them.

With the pace set at the perfect high octane and special effects that are at times the best of the series (again the quicksilver scene and the terrifying way the future sentinels kept coming), one really has to focus to nitpick on the few imperfections that do pop up. Add in it yet another amazing soundtrack for 2014 and I not only recommend this as a must see for the year, but one I would see multiple times in the theater if conditions allowed. I would still say “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is still in the running for best hero movie of the year and really isn’t surpassed by this in overall quality, but there’s just something extra that justifies giving “X-men: Days of Future Past” five out of five mutating genes.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.