Friday 23 May 2014

Review: X-Men - Days Of Future Past (first-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (3D) Poster

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (3D) (first-pass / SPOILER-FREE)
Cert: 12A / 131 mins / Dir. Bryan Singer
WoB Rating: 6/7

Director Bryan Singer returns to the mutant fold with the most ambitious X-Men film yet, assembling the veteran cast from both ends of the established movie-timeline. There's a slight weighting towards the McAvoy/Fassbender/Lawrence era of course, but only because the lion's share of the film takes place in 1973.

As time-travel movies go, the mechanism is remarkably simple, both in concept and execution*1, and there's a rather clunky scene early on in the film where 'the rules' are explained in very short words. On the whole, I think it works quite well. Further viewings will tell.

While the X-Men series has never been shy of throwing as many mutants as possible in front of the camera*2, DoFP almost (almost) utilises some restraint in this area. There are comparatively few 'new' characters, and the ones we've already met seem to be using their powers in the context of the story rather than turning up just to showboat for thirty seconds*3. There are many nods to previous entries in the franchise, some subtle, some not-so, and there's a concerted feeling that this is 'X-Men: Generations', far moreso than First Class.

If you've been on-board with the X-Men movies so far, it's unlikely that Days Of Future Past will disappoint. For everyone else, exercise the same caution which you would normally. It's not that there's a high price of entry in terms of existing continuity, but the payoff will be lessened for casual viewers.

The business-end:
• What's the 3D like? It's 'there', but whatever.
• Is there a Stan Lee cameo? No
• Is there a mid-credits scene? No
• Is there an after-credits scene? Yes

I think DoFP's reach might just exceed its grasp, and I genuinely can't decide at this point whether the film is good or really good. I'll side with the latter for now, if only because it's markedly better than The Wolverine in terms of scale and impact. Further viewings will tell.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Pretty much.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Pretty much.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I think it probably does, and I'll talk about that in my next, spoilerific, review.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It's made to be watched big, so cinema.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
I will.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
I didn't hear one. What's the deal with the lack of them this year?.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
For those of you who've seen it: A bold move by Fox, or a dangerous folly?

*1 Although while it's straightforward within the confines of this film, the ramifications by the end are headache-inducing, even for me.
*2 With the exception of The Wolverine, obviously.
*3 Yeah, I'm looking at you, Last Stand.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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