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X-Men: Days of Future Past; Team Work Takes a Back Seat to a Few Characters

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

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As a fan who has read some X-Men comics, watched the early 1990s cartoon, and loved most of the X-Men films of this century, the only real complaint this writer has about X-Men: Days of Future Past was that so many great characters were shoved into the background or not in the film at all. Granted, it is pretty impossible to do justice to half a century of stories in a two hour film, but it is possible to make multiple characters relevant. Team work unfortunately took a back seat to a few characters getting to shine.
Within this very film, there was a huge distinction between the quantity of screen time in contrast to the quality of screen time. Quicksilver, for example, had less screen time than Storm, Iceman, Shadowcat, Future Magneto, Blink, Bishop, Warpath and even Beast (Nichol Hoult was great in the film, but didn’t get to do as much as he could have). The audience got to see the latter characters in peril and using their cool powers, but based on this film alone couldn’t say much about those characters beyond their physical appearance and cool powers. All of the team members introduced in X-Men: First Class except for one who made cameo appearance, were completely scrapped from the film. At least their names were mentioned, but there was so much promise for those characters in the last film so it was a shame that they were tossed aside.
Quicksilver really got to shine with the few minutes of screen time he had in this film. One scene in particular he got to save the lives of his fellow mutants with an action that provided the moment in the film that was arguable both the funniest and most awesome moment. That just goes to show that characters do not need a huge amount of screen time to be relevant.
Wolverine certainly got to shine in this film, as he did in Singer’s previous X-Men films. This writer would be a lot more annoyed by that if Wolverine weren’t such an awesome character, but as a fan would just like to see more characters get quality screen time in future films. While the reason for Wolverine being the one to get sent back in time in this film made perfect sense, the character was at the center of the previous trilogy and has two stand alone films. There are a lot of other great characters played by great actors who deserve to shine as well.
Mystique also got to shine in this film, perhaps better than she have even shined before. She continually got to use her brain and fighting skills. Jennifer Lawrence continued to demonstrate what a talented actress she is. Peter Dinklage was fantastic as Trask. He was a much more interesting villain that Stryker was in X2. James McAvoy is perfection as a young Charles Xavier. The superficial part of this writer has to point out that he is both great eye and ear candy. The less superficial and more geeky side of this writer is completely impressed at how well his performance compliments that of Patrick Stewart. Michael Fassbender was also terrific, but seemed to have less to do in this film than in the last one.
The special effects were really cool in this film. The Sentinels had an impressive design, as did the mutant powers of the characters. The story was mostly solid was well done. It was entertaining and encouraged people to use their brains, but didn’t force the people who simply wanted an entertaining popcorn flick to do so. There were genuinely thrilling, touching, and funny moments seamlessly blended into the story. There were also relevant themes embedded in the film. The idea of people endangering everything by acting out of fear and prejudice has been present in the X-Men stories since the beginning. It was strong in this film. The film did a good job of showing other relevant topics like the ethics of drone attacks (the sentinels), how soldiers and veterans are treated, especially soldiers and veterans belonging to marginalized groups (a good thing to ponder on Memorial Day Weekend), and the danger of letting go of hop especially without learning the truth. This reviewers plans to see the film again and buy the DVD/Bluray combo pack when it come out. X-Men: Days of Future Past was a pretty awesome film.

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