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X-Men: Days of Future Past - Film Review

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Published May 26th 2014
Warning: this review contains minor plot spoilers
Before you see this film you should engage your amnesia mutant power to forget everything you know about the comics and the animated series otherwise you will have a bad time. X-Men: Days of Future Past introduces time travel and an origin story that will probably upset hardcore Marvel fans and undoubtedly entertain the popcorn crowd.

Xavier
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The future is a gritty, bleak world painted in the hues of a black mobile phone. Among the clouds are ominous obelisk-like dropships that transport advanced robots, sentinels, which are programmed to eradicate mutants. The opening of X-Men: Days of Future Past evokes that post-apocalyptic Terminator 2 feeling by showing mutants struggling to survive. Resistance is futile.

In a convenient sequence of events one of the mutants has the ability to send a single person's consciousness back in time to prevent their sentinel skirmishes from ending in tragedy for the good guys. This temporal trick, unfortunately, foreshadows the whole deus ex machina scenario where the plot will be fixed by a contrived mechanic (don't let that revelation spoil the fun though).

Wolverine
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Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) greenlights a desperate plan for someone to travel back to 1970s America to stop the creation of the sentinel program in an attempt to overcome the inevitable extinction of the mutant race. The only mutant capable of enduring such a perilous journey is none other than Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).

Magneto
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I called it early on that we would see a shirtless Hugh Jackman. Those who appreciate Jackman's fine physique will be ecstatic to know that you get to see a nude Wolverine from behind.

Mystique
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By going back to the seventies we get to see the First Class cast. Michael Fassbender plays a great and egotistical Magneto in his prime whereas James McAvoy's portrayal of a younger Professor Xavier is a refreshing insight into a man that was not always so calm and collected. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has her own agenda using her chameleon skills to sneak around however the surprise-factor is lost because we always see her mark before she does the body shuffle.

Trask
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Game of Thrones viewers will recognise Peter Dinklage as the author of the Sentinel program, a scientist that has breached the code of ethics by experimenting on mutants to perfect his robotic nightmares that he hopes to sell to the American Government.

Quicksilver
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The controversial character that will divide the audience is the dashing Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Where the comics depict Quicksilver as a roughian coerced into bad deeds, X-Men: Days of Future past present a more light-hearted kleptomaniac who likes to pull wedgies and flick faces while he moves so fast that everything to him is going in slow motion.

Overall the movie falls short of First Class, which is a shame. Sure, there was a lot of fun to be had and there were some excellent action scenes but the glamour of the visuals fall away when you ask questions about the narrative that should have been answered. The not-knowing factor of a lot of what is shown in the end of the film will frustrate a lot of people. Hopefully the new paradigm will be more thoroughly explored in the inevitable sequel and what we have seen here is justified upon reflection. Time will tell. Stay tuned for the obligatory post-credits scene.

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Why? Nude Hugh Jackman and time travel!
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