Given the fact that the film X-Men: Days of Future Past is based on a comic book story from the late 1980s it seems fairly apt that despite seeing the movie twice I have failed to write anything about it until now.
Let’s be brutally honest here and state that this is the X-Men story that has been crying out for a film iteration for many many years. When fantasy casting sessions took place in the letters pages of the UK printed Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends comics, Patrick Stewart was the name that rang all the geek bells. FFWD to the middle of the 20-teens and we get the movie we wanted and the Professor X we yearned for – except – did we?
X-Men movies have by and large been pretty bad. I forgave the first one for its failings as it tried damn hard. By the second I managed to fall asleep halfway through and I spent the third sobbing into popcorn by the time that Vinnie Jones crashed through the script with his “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!”
It was a happy day when the rebooted franchise came along with some damn fine actors on board and the very enjoyable X-Men: First Class. First class it was and yet it was a shame that the shift of time periods would mean the loss of some of the better elements of the first 3 films – this was in spite of a cameo from the (contractually mandated?) appearance of Wolverine.
We all (at least fandom) frothed at the mouth with the question of how could the best of both worlds be hammered together. Clearly the obvious answer is TIME TRAVEL. Of course that is the answer – never has any film franchise ever gone to shit due to the use of that plot device.
Shockingly FOX hasn’t dropped a pile from a big height with this movie and has managed to build on the great elements of the first (Fassbinder, McAvoy and Hoult) and has pulled the ultimate trick of providing Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) with a swift glug of the fountain of youth.
You can probably infer from this that I enjoyed it. I did. It’s a comic book movie. I like comic books – as seen in the reviews I did for our mates down at Film Futures – however, I know that there are some who dislike the genre. I can list down a decade or two of face palm adaptations and disappointments. I could rip X-Men: Days of Future Past apart for the very obvious way in which it takes the source material but it has been written about very well here already. It doesn’t matter that it’s not Chris Claremont’s exact vision – that story hit the new-stands in 1981 and was subject to a far different audience.
Actually? Not that different an audience but the same one – older, more jaded, full of unreachable expectations and maybe even fiercely over-protective of a 20p story.
You can probably still catch X-Men: Days of Future Past on the big screen. You should. Especially if you want to get in the mood for Guardians of the Galaxy. They might occupy different cinematic universes due to the chaos of licencing agreements but this is comic book world. A great world to visit. We saw this twice. Once at the multiplex and then again on the Giant Screen at Millennium Point and we enjoyed it twice – which for Mrs L means that it is a decent movie.
A bunch of mutated chromosomes minus half a sentinel for under use of Anna Paquin which is made up (as far as Mrs L is concerned) by an additional optic blast for gratuitous Jackman arse.
John is brought to you courtesy of an overindulgence of visits to Nostalgia and Comics and a friendship with Mr Peter Howard. Mrs L is fond of the retro but pines for the internet. We are grateful to the team at the Giant Screen for the comp tickets.