So, I went and saw X-Men. Probably 90% because it has James McAvoy, who, as a general rule, makes pretty wonderful films (except Wanted – don’t even get me started on how awful that was). The result? A confusing, yet fun two hours. Confusing you ask? Well, aside from the whole conundrum of ‘he’s from the future to change the past, but if he changes the past then he changes the future – but if he changes the past then surely that means he can’t be sent from the future because the future will be different – but if he isn’t sent from the future, he can’t change the past so…’ I went and saw it with Paul, who hasn’t seen any of the X-Men films.

Here’s basically how the conversation went down:

Me: There’s the original X-Men trilogy, which is set in the timeline of old Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen). That’s pretty much the storyline of the school and Wolverine (aka Hugh Jackman). But then there is a spin-off series of two Wolverine movies (I think?), which don’t really have much to do with the original trilogy. Then, you have the prequel to the original trilogy that has YOUNG Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender), which is when they first gather all the X-Men together. Except then they have a fight, and Professor X becomes a paraplegic, but apparently he can walk in this film for some reason…Anyway, the conclusion is that this film is the second film to the prequel series to the original series.’

Paul: ‘Right. So is Hugh Jackman in every one of these films? Which were all made in the past 15 years?’

Me: ‘Pretty much, yeah. Basically, all you need to know is don’t piss off the guy who controls metal with his mind, and you’ll be fine. Special effects, the end. Got it?’

Now that we’re up to date, the latest film essentially involves future Wolverine to go back to 1973, to band back together Professor X and Magneto so they can stop Mystique/Raven from killing Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), who is  this douche-bag of a scientist who wants to hunt down and kill all mutants. Why would they want to stop the death of such a vile human being, you ask? Well, after killing him, Mystique got captured and set off a chain of events that leads to a dystopian society where all mutants and pretty much all humans are being hunted. Bummer.

As far as action films go, this one was pretty great. The storyline was fast-paced, yet considering the (previously mentioned) convoluted plot, I wasn’t bored or lost. And though there were necessary parts of the story that had to occur before the ‘main’ bit occurred, it wasn’t boring or trite. In fact, the scene where Magneto escapes from the Pentagon is one of the highlights of the film (largely thanks to Peter Maximoff, who is capable of super-human speed). Plus, there were hints of humour, which sorely lacks in many action films.

Though the special effects were impressive, and expensive looking, and it was great to see all the old cast from the original trilogy, what made this film for me was the ‘newcomers’ James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Not only were they all ridiculously attractive, but they are all phenomenal actors who brought something different to their characters. McAvoy has pretty much mastered the role of a character who is both disturbing and likeable; Fassbender emanates a cold, controlled anger as Magneto so that even though he is ‘the bad guy’, you can kind of see where he is coming from; and Lawrence perfectly plays Mystique, a character that is both a young woman who is longing to be included and loved for who she is, and a calculating mutant who will stop at nothing for revenge. The combination of this trio makes the film far more emotionally evocative than most action films, and although the film deals with a society of mutants, they make it almost human and believable.

Plus, considering how good an actor Peter Dinklage is, isn’t it great to see him in a role that didn’t diminished him to ‘dwarf’?

I have no idea if this is the last film in the franchise, or just another one of many, but whether you view it as the 2nd, 5th or 7th in the franchise it still exceeded my expectations. If you’re interested in watching a high-class, fast-paced thriller with great acting and impressive cinematography, then I’d recommend seeing X-Men: Days of Future Past.

 

Have you seen any of the X-Men films? Are you a fan of the prequels? Would you watch it for Hugh, Jennifer or James?  Let me know!

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