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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Movie review: X-Men Days of Future Past makes for a satisfying watch

Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 23, 2014
First Published: 14:51 IST(23/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:42 IST(24/5/2014)

The film opens with stark images. Coffin-shaped ships spew out machines called Sentinels which go about killing mutants without nary a glance. In scenes which remind you of Holocaust, much of the human race also seems to have been wiped out, and most of New York (that poor city which bears the brunt every time a superhero film comes out) has been destroyed.

Where socio-political message dealing with mutant extermination end, the action-fuelled story kicks in. The only way to save the planet is to send Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) back in time (1973 to be precise) and change events that took place on a particular day involving Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X (James McAvoy). Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart play their older selves. The bad guy here is a very impressive Peter Dinklage who designed Sentinels.

WATCH: X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST IS A BLAST



Director Bryan Singer weaves a convoluted story in X-Men: Days of Future Past which is both the strength and weakness of this film. He leaves you incredulous; he stretches the thread to the point of breaking but also gives the film its existential angst in the process. Singer and scriptwriter Simon Kinberg together infuse energy in the franchise which was showing signs of fatigue (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, anyone?).

While it is hard to figure out why the film is in 3D and there are bits which could have easily been edited, the film makes for a very satisfying watch on the whole and is a worthy addition to the franchise universe. We list the points which work and don't work for this Big Hollywood summer film…

The canvas
The film has so many A-listers that your mind boggles. What makes the film worthy of your money is what they bring to it. Lawrence looks vulnerable and determined in equal measures. Her Mystique is a woman with a mission and has a mind of her own. A favourite of X-Men fans, she delivers yet again. Singer has Jackman's role cut out and the actor performs. He brings in those moments of mirth, indecision and raw hurt to the film. And while the world gets a chance to see a new side of the actor (he went nude for a shot), India didn't.

We are also introduced to a teenaged Quicksilver (Evan Peters) who is likely to emerge as a fan favourite. 

While Stewart and McKellen don't have much to do this time, their younger selves McAvoy and Fassbender deliver commendable performances. Others like Halle Berry, Ellen Page et al are also their in fleeting appearances. Here's a little spoiler: it is quite treat to see the ever-in-control Professor X as an alcoholic. 

The action

The tightly-choreographed action sequences will leave you reeling. The best, of course, is Magneto's jail break sequence involving Quicksilver and set to Jim Croce's Time in Bottle. Wish the climactic sequence was as good though. There is a strange lack of urgency in that sequence given the fact that the destiny of the world and survival of mutants depend on it.

The time warp

Wolverine lands in 1973 and the kitsch is out in full force. Keep an eye out for the number plate of the car Wolverine commandeers and clothes people wear - you won't be disappointed. However, a few more jokes about the '70s would have been welcome.
Now about the time travel - it has its intricacies that probably only the fan-dom will get and may put off some of the other audience members.

PS: The film tells you why JFK was killed. Guess we have to wait till X-Men: Apocalypse to know who did it.

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