Monday, May 26, 2014

Review- X-Men: Days Of Future Past

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (20th Century Fox, 2014)

I was obsessed with The X-Men in the '80s. I read and owned everything. Giant-Size X-Men #1, Uncanny X-Men #94 up to whatever-issue-was-current in 1989, I had them all. I had two paper routes and poured all of my money earned from years of toil into collecting comics and cassettes. I sold 90% of my comics off when my Mom died in the mid '90s and I suddenly found myself needing cash fast, essentially giving them away for pennies on the dollar. I wish that eBay existed back then! Thanks to collected editions I have since reacquired my entire collection. My favorite run on the title was the Claremont/Byrne one, and issues 141 and 142, Days Of Future Past, were among the ones that I revisited over and over and over.

You might want to get a drink and a snack before you begin reading, because this could take a while. If you have not seen this movie and/or are averse to spoilers, then you should exit this post now.

I have been disappointed with all of the X-Men movies except for X-Men: First Class, which, while largely unfaithful to the source material, was a highly enjoyable movie. This, the sixth (fifth if you don't count X-Men Origins: Wolverine) movie in the franchise is the best one yet, being at or near the same level of quality as the Marvel Studios films of recent vintage. The story flows smoothly and the edits are all tastefully done. No Dramamine required to watch this one, folks.

The movie takes place in the future of 2023 and the past of 1973, a stark difference from the comics, which took place during the fall of 1980 (the time of original issue publication) and and the future of 2013. Kitty Pryde, whose only comic book ability is to phase, takes the place of Rachel Summers from the comics (Cyclops and Phoenix/Marvel Girl's daughter from what became a divergent timeline, since the X-Men succeeded in the comics) to send Wolverine into the past to prevent the assassination of Bolivar Trask that helped launch the Sentinel program. Kitty Pryde was the one sent back in the comic books to prevent the assassination of Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly. Kelly was portrayed by actor Bruce Davis (Willard, Ben) in the first X-Men movie. 

Bolivar Trask was not a midget in the comics. I have no idea what the point of that was. The typical politically correct douchebag fanboy rant would paint me as anti-midget since I thought that his casting was wrong. No, morons, Bolivar Trask was not a midget in the comics, that is why I don't like it. Too many crybabies on the Internet these days. Tolerance now means absolute compliance in this bizarre divergent future timeline where tragedies such as 9/11 and Justin Bieber happened.

The Sentinels of the future seem more like The Fury from Captain Britiain. The Sentinels of the past don't look anywhere near as cool as Jack Kirby's or Neal Adams' versions. Like nearly all movies with flashback sequences, the 1973 of the film is more 1973 than 1973 likely was. Quicksilver wearing a silk screened Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon t-shirt is stupid and flat out wrong. Real shirts from that tour did not look like that, and store bought shirts of the era were iron-on transfers, not silk screened images. Speaking of Quicksilver (played by Tate from American Horror Story), his sequence got the best response from the audience. The character was wrong on every level, but worked for the movie.

Every X-Man from every film gets at least a cameo here. Some, like Colossus, finally get some screen time. Others debut here for the first time: Bishop, Sunspot, and Blink. Bishop is like the Jar Jar Binks of the X-Men. I honestly can't think of a single appearance of his that has ever made me not wince in pain. The best thing about this movie is that it essentially wipes out everything that has happened in the previous films. This is a sequel that is a prequel sequel that is a reboot.

Product placement and deviation from the source material aside, this was a fine movie as a movie. I did not see some of my favorite comics come to life but I did see a fine alternate universe movie. I really enjoyed it for what it is, and I am honestly looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse, which is teased in the after credits scene.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5. 

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