peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2014 05 23 XMen DaysOfFuturePast

X-Men: Days of Future Past

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An age ago I saw The Wolverine with Dave. This latest outing does not live up to the post-credits sequence we saw. I went to the 5:30pm 3D session at the AMC River East 21, for $17 (= $16 plus a $1 convenience charge — I bought ahead of time as I thought it might be packed. 6pm was packed, 5:30pm not so much.) As is traditional, I sat four rows from the front in a decent-sized theatre. The movie failed to quell the Russians behind me, which just about sums it up.

The exposition at the start was tiresome. Show us! ... and as plastic is the god of the 20th century, why isn't there an equivalent of Magneto for plastics? Would he be a good or bad mutant? (I'm not going to entertain the idea of a she, though they'd have an actress ready to go in the form of January Jones.)

As with all of Bryan Singer's XMens, this one is very derivative; it's like he gets to go back and remake all the scifis of his childhood. Here we have Terminator 2, right down to McAvoy instructing Jackman to "show him". The metallic skeleton, the general indestructability; clearly Arnie should have played the older Wolverine. Now that would have been an irresistible teaser! Fassbender is annoyingly bland as the young Magneto; perhaps this was what he did in 300. So, McQueen to direct the teaser, with Arnie. McAvoy is quite good, and Peter Dinklage too; more screen time for the latter would have been very welcome. Ellen Page is all Hard Candy to me: a little too much Gen Y absolutist shrug/smirk under a cute button nose. Jennifer Lawrence plays a much softer Mystique than Rebecca Romijn's almost-silent one. Jackman is a passenger, for the most part, which was annoying. I liked seeing Shatner on the teev; it reminds me how far we've failed to come.

The plot is pretty crap. There wasn't much laughter at the funny bits, such as Wolverine failing to set off the metal detector. The best scene was in the Pentagon kitchen, no question, as observed by both A. O. Scott and Dana Stevens. (Dana gets it wrong on so many of the details that I wonder if we were watching the same movie. For instance: McAvoy puts down the needle under Jackman's steady gaze; Fassbender never goes near the XMansion as far as a I recall. Oh, I see — she thinks the die is cast a bit earlier. That stranger wasn't naked, nevertheless.)