Friday, May 23, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Typically, a superhero film heavily emphasizes more on special effects and spectacular destructions but focuses less on character development and storytelling. While this film doesn't disappoint its fans by showing off lavish computer generated images (CGI), it admirably tells a mostly coherent story involving a few interesting characters, a dazzling vast cast, and a confusing "future past" phrase in the film's title.
The future is 2023, less than a decade from now. In an apocalyptic location in China, the last remaining group of mutants hide out in isolation away from Sentinels—killing robots designed by Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) to eliminate mutants. The mutant group's leaders include the brainy Professor Charles Xavier/X (Patrick Stewart), the powerful Erik Lensher/Magneto (Ian McKellen), the muscular Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and the decorative Storm (Halle Berry).
When the US government deploys Sentinels' massive attack to extinct mutants, the mutants are left with one last option: going back to the past to alter the history in order to ease the hostility toward mutants. With the help from Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Wolverine is brought back in time to the '70s when Nixon was raging the Vietnam War. Wolverine needs to convince younger Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) to help him in tracking down vengeful Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) who determines to kill Dr. Trask in order to stop the Sentinel program. Will they be successful to alter historical events and to save the mutants?
Although the 3D is not quite effective, the film's visual is impressive nevertheless, and sometimes a frame looks like a page lifted off directly from a page in a graphic comic book, which the film is based on. But it's the story and characters that often take the center stage. That's a remarkable achievement for director Bryan Singer who faces immense challenge and high expectation.
There are large amount of big or small characters in the film and many of them are colorful, even Nixon. One of the most enchanting character is Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) who is able to move incredibly faster than others, even faster than flying bullets. Unfortunately, he disappears quickly from the story, while some others stays on unnecessarily, such as Storm who doesn't do much besides being stunningly beautiful.
The film is aimed to entertain us, and it's well done in that regard. It paves the way for more sequel to come. It shows us what a high quality stadium should look like and what a president's bunker should not look like. It proves that history is not always written by the winners of a war.