Friday, June 13, 2014

"X Men: Days of Future Past" (2014)

There is a real challenge for viewers of the latest X Men film: maintaining a sense of urgency as the action progresses. Perhaps the very first readers of time travel stories managed to worry about their protagonists, only to sigh in realization at the end that the whole time-travel plotline is essentially a cheat when it comes to storytelling. However, as today’s time-travel-weary audience, we wryly and perhaps even wearily grin as our heroes are killed—not once but twice—because we know it will all be worked out in the end. Scratch that. We all know it will not have happened in the end.

Despite that big frustration, there is fun to be had here. Action sequences and set pieces are well choreographed and orchestrated, and the seventies context and art direction are very well done. However, the worthwhile aspect of “Days of Future Past” is the way it addresses classic ideas. For example, the classic Hitler time travel speculation. Here, instead of going back to kill a man’s evil before it can happen, the hope of the future lies in preventing a killing. Or, an even more satisfying idea is the struggle that Xavier has in trying to change Mystique’s mind. His “power” is that he can read and manipulate minds, but here he has to learn to trust someone to do what is right. It is that very act of trust that triggers Mystique’s better nature and saves the day.

More than anything, one gets the impression that this film is all about closure for where the franchise has been, and opening up a myriad of directions for Fox to take it next. Brace yourself for a lot more Marvel Cinema.

1 comment:

  1. Wolverine gets lots of camera time, visual effects look stunning, the time-travel theme is intriguing -- though sometimes confusing - and HOPE emerges as the film's appealing message.

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