X-Men: Days of Future Past (USA/UK, 2014)

rs_634x939-140324091106-634.jennifer-lawrence-x-men.ls.32414Directed by : Bryan Singer. Like Django, I saw this one on an airplane, when I was in a particularly bad mood and needed some comfort junk-mind-food, so my opinion of this won’t be based on a detached, fair-minded viewing. But frankly, I don’t know if any of these movies really warrant a detached, fair-minded viewing. It’s escapist comic-nerd fluff meant to appeal to my inner 14-year-old, and it does a good job of doing all of that stuff. I’m not super familiar with the comic book storyline that this is based on, but the general idea is definitely neat, and the idea of pairing the distinguished veteran actors of the old films with their young counterparts through the device of time travel is too good to resist. There was no way I wasn’t going to see this movie. But frankly, based on how much praise it got from critics and friends alike, I was a bit disappointed. This was a cool movie, a fitting end to the franchise (and I hope it is the end), but it wasn’t much more than that. It had the same kind of bizarre mixture of flat, half-assed-ness  from the overall tone of the movie and incredibly puffed up, overqualified acting from Fassbender that made X-Men: First Class so strange and compelling to watch, but this one is also weighed down with the heaviness of the doom-and-gloom holocaust future, which unfortunately is really limited in screentime. The whole character of young Beast and his romance with Amanda Lawrence/Mystique is something that I literally could not care less about, and even the minimal amount of screentime it takes here is too much, considering how many balls this film is juggling. I guess what keeps me coming back to these films is the central core of the X-Men mythology that Stan Lee set up back in 1963 or whatever: the idea of using comic book superheroes whose powers are a curse of biology, a mutation rather than a happy accident, to make an allegorical universe that you can use to comment on the fucked up nature of real human societies and the history of hateful, difference-based violence and discrimination that is, unfortunately, as relevant today as it was in 1963. And in that sense, the X-Men mythology is the superhero mythology that is the most directly relevant and the least mindlessly escapist one out of this sea of superhero branding that we’re drowning in more and more each day (this week has been full of ads for the Gotham and Flash TV shows—great). But even that being said, I really hope that they end it with this one because, Fassybendy or no Fassybendy, this ride has run out of steam for me.

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3 responses to “X-Men: Days of Future Past (USA/UK, 2014)

  1. Pingback: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (USA, 2014) | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: Guardians of the Galaxy (USA, 2014) | Offhand Reviews·

  3. Pingback: X-Men: Apocalypse (USA, 2016) | Offhand Reviews·

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