For Reel

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
May 24, 2014, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Bryan Singer
4 Stars
X-Men Days of Future PastMore than any of its fellow contemporary superhero franchises, the conceit that holds X-Men together has been consistently rife with social and political subtexts. The double entendre present since the series’ early days have linked the central mutants to just about anyone who isn’t a white, heterosexual male. While Days of Future Past doesn’t mine this idea as much as its predecessors, its intrigue comes in the form of the human response–that is, now that mutants have been “outed”, what can the majority do to maintain their majority-ness? According to Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the mutants must be nipped in the bud before homo sapiens are rendered old-fashioned (much like waking up in a water bed to the sounds of Roberta Flack). As the audience knows from the beginning of the seventh installment of this franchise, the plan put in place by Trask prior to his assassination at the hands of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) was successful in destroying not only the mutant race, but in leaving the not-too-distant future a wasteland. Former adversaries Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy) and Magneto (Ian McKellen/Michael Fassbender) recognize the direness of it all and scheme to send colleague Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to 1973, where the developing mutant genocide was in its infancy. Convoluted as it sounds, the heavyweight cast and the imaginative, quick-tempo direction of Bryan Singer hold it all together. Like any good blockbuster, a levitating baseball stadium and a shouting match between former friends carry similar impact–with the continued incompatibility of their respective ideologies towards oppression, every scene that Xavier and Magneto share feels as thrillingly combustible as… well… a predatory, fire-breathing robot of death from the future.

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