I went through three trailers for X-Men: Days of Future Past to get a screenshot of Jennifer Lawrence in this fantastic hat. I was fine with her take on Mystique before but now I'm in love. Michael Fassbender also gets a cool hat though, like Mystique's, he only wears it for one brief scene.
So hats. But otherwise? A really good movie, the most solid of the X-Men films and a worthy follow-up to X2--I don't acknowledge the existence of the Brett Ratner directed X3 and it's a relief that this new film pretty much doesn't either aside from carrying over a few cast members--like Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde about which I most certainly have no complaint.
More than anything, Days of Future Past shows what a difference a decent director can make. It's of course a great assembly of fantastic actors but it's Bryan Singer who shows us how great they are by putting together an action film where the action is a real and vital part of the lives depicted on screen. The themes at play are again whether or not humanity and strange, exceptional beings can co-exist. Yet mostly one is wrapped up in the relationship between Professor X (James McAvoy/Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Michael Fassbender/Ian McKellan), and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). Dealing with time travel, the film features the older versions of the characters and the younger versions introduced in First Class, which is not a bad film but not half as good as Days of Future Past. We never see Rebecca Romijn in the film because she possibly never existed in the timeline we see--having been killed for her DNA when she was still Jennifer Lawrence in order to make the rather effectively terrifying Sentinels. Thinner, faster, and stranger than their comic book counterparts, you genuinely fear for the mutants fighting them even though Blink's teleporting is as impressively fast and dynamic as Nightcrawler's in X2--rather a shame Alan Cumming so hated the role and won't return.
A few reviews complain about a lack of a "clear villain" while others praise the film for having all the characters possess valid points of view even if they violently disagree with each other. I would say the critics in the latter category are a lot more mature and get a lot more out of their fiction. It is indeed a strength, not a weakness, that we understand the passion with which Magneto declares war on humanity. A scene where Mystique discovers autopsy files on mutants is rather powerful and one certainly doesn't fault her for feeling as she does afterwards.
Twitter Sonnet #630
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