MOVE reviews the latest installment in the X-Men franchise

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a crowd-pleaser unlike any other Marvel film

By Crystal Duan | May 26, 2014

Tags: Movies Reviews

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The X-Men have always had it pretty hard. The cooperation the American government gives S.H.I.E.L.D. and all its world-saving associated parties is basically non-existent in the mutant universe, especially in the latest installment, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

This time, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) has designed some nifty machines called “Sentinels” that date back to 1973 and utilize mutant powers, modeled after Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), to exterminate the mutant race. And the war’s still raging in 2023, when even static crusty-ringleaders Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Ian McKellen) are desperate enough to work together in sending un-aging Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time.

His task is to convince an emotionally numb Xavier to stop Mystique from catalyzing the war, and that’s about all he really does — for someone whose actions drive the plot along most, the witty and weathered Wolverine of previous movies has a less-than-impressive presence in this one.

But everything else about the plot wins, because it is based on the characterization of Xavier’s ‘70s ragtag bunch. Anyone who’s seen “X-Men: First Class” will appreciate the continuous ideological clash between Mystique, Xavier (played in 1973 flashbacks by James McAvoy) and Magneto (played in flashbacks by Michael Fassbender), in the context of how gray their choices are.

But more importantly, the movie highlights how “X-Men” is ultimately not a superhero franchise.

The films, darker than their Avengers counterparts, are labeled “superhero” simply because they are from Marvel Studios and have a cult following, to boot. But anyone who watches “X-Men: Days of Future Past” will know that the evolutionarily inclined protagonists aren’t, in fact, superheroes.

The gifted in this series are simply trying to survive, and an additional way in which they are superior to the rest of the human race is in how noble they can be about it.

This installment highlights the differences between their kind and the rest of us in a digestible but negative manner, and doesn’t have to rely on special effects to make its audience feel things beyond excitement. If anything, it poses some moral questions as to how, in the waking world, we should regard anything we view as different.

MOVE gives X-Men: Days of Future Past 4.5 out of 5 stars

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