It’s a Marvel movie. It’s a Bryan Singer super-hero movie. It’s a Matthew Vaughan-Jane Goldman script. Stand by for incomprehensible clap-trap across the front-lines of a time war, ripe dialogue, no jokes and none of the younger actors remotely resembling their older selves in look, word or deed. Admire a quality cast battling with poor material.
In the passing of the torch, McKellen and Stewart impart their wit and wisdom to the younger generation of X-men. There are some impressive set pieces in their future battles with the mighty-morphin’ Sentinel robots as several of the young X-men grow into substantial warriors. It’s just a shame that the 70’s timewarp is such a dreary anti-climax.
You could read this as the first truly feminist super-hero movie, as troubled Mystique (not entirely convincing Jennifer Lawrence; Hunger Games) throws off the control of both Magneto and Professor Xavier. She’s angry alright and her determination to assassinate scientist Bolivar Trask (Game of Thrones’ superb Peter Dinklage) sets off the Sentinels war.
While I’l watch Fassbender (Haywire, Centurion) in anything – except maybe Ridley Scott’s misbegotten ‘thriller’ The Counselor) but the part is so underwritten, he has no material. James MacAvoy (Wanted) is truly disastrous as Charles Xavier, which means the 70’s X-men is held together by Hank McCoy’s Beast (Nicholas Hoult – Jack the Giant Slayer).
The 1970’s are only able to match the future Sentinels war with excellent Matrix-influenced escape from the Pentagon sequence featuring the super-fast Quicksilver played with relish by Evan Peters .
Then there’s Hugh Jackman, gamely revisiting Wolverine (again) as the Clint-Eastwood-esque time traveller, for this episode gone very touchy-feely and the least effective we’ve seen him in any outing so far.
DoFP can’t escape the poverty of the core story as written by Matthew Vaughan-Jane Goldman script. Still not forgiven for Kick-ass, and bearing in mind even their best work, Stardust, is riven with holes, this is wordy, contradictory, uneven and in most of the set-pieces, plain daft. Yes I know it’s a super-hero movie, but it’s standing on the giant shoulders of X-men I and II.
How daft is it? Well, that plainly isn’t Richard Nixon, but a chubby bloke with a false nose who neither looks nor sound like him. And which tailor sold Magneto that camp Valentino asymetric cape?
If this franchise is going to continue, the 80’s and 90’s efforts will have to do better. RC
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Running time: 2 hr. 11 min.
Genre: Sci-fi, fantasy
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Daniel Cudmore, Bingbing Fan, Adan Canto, Booboo Stewart, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Lucas Till, Evan Jonigkeit, James Marsden,
Related: X-Men First Class (2012)