Quick Hit: A comic book brought to screen.
This is easily one of my favorite comic book movies, because it was the first comic book film that I watched that really felt like it was based on a comic book. There’s multiple time-lines, tons of nods to fandom, and an instinctual need to understand not just some, but all of the material behind it (in retrospect, I probably should have made Shannon watch all of the X-films prior to this one – oops).
I can’t even begin to describe the plot, which somehow seamlessly blends both the First Class timeline and the original X-men trilogy timeline. Logan (Hugh Jackman) gets sent to the past to convince Erik (Michael Fassbender) and Charles (James McAvoy) to prevent Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) who is about to build Sentinels (giant robots) to take out the mutant race by using Raven’s DNA. Honestly, there could be entire pages just written describing the plot and all the comic book implications from this movie. I’m here to review it, but if you’re interested, head over to DenofGeek.com. They had a really good article on it, once upon a time.
The movie itself is incredibly entertaining, at least to a solid geek like me. Newcomers to the franchise would have been heavily confused, but if you have a knowledge of previous characters and iterations of them, seeing them all on screen is like a welcome embrace from an old friend. One of the reasons that the X franchise continued to be so enduring is how many of the actors do so well in their roles, which easily could fall into the realm of silly. Indeed, when we see Nicholas Hoult groaning and growling as he transforms into the blue, hairy Beast, it easily has the potential to come off as cartoonish, but instead it isn’t. Even moments like Logan’s cameo in the last film are now played for dramatic beats, in ways I never would have guessed. The screenplay by Simon Kinberg is truly a masterpiece at comic adaptation.
Bryan Singer, who directed the original X-Men back in 2000, now seems much more at ease with the source material. Everyone on set is crisp and clear with their movements and actions, even the characters that appear only in glorified cameos thoroughout. And the action scenes are terrific at times, with Blink being one of the true power highlights of the series. In one of the finest uses of 3D I’ve ever seen, her powers seem to come at you off the screen, which in turn allows the characters to come from a three dimensional plane. That, coupled with the emotional beats that are coaxed from the different members of the cast, are terrific.
And, I don’t think I could write a post on Future’s Past without bringing up the excellent Evan Peters and the unforgettable “Time in a Bottle Scene”. That is another excellent representation of powers that easy could have been taken too far, but instead allows both character traits and thoughts on the character come through. Well done editors, well done.
All in all, it’s one of the few films that each time I go back and watch it, I find it harder to nitpick. I guess Jackman has that effect on me. I’m giving the film an “A”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"