Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

X-Men: Days of Future Past (3D) | Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Michael Fassbender | Review

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Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
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X-Men:  Days of Future Past  (3D) | Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Michael Fassbender | Review

Buckle up, because as the title suggests, it’s a trip back to the past to save the future for Wolverine (Hugh Jackman’s seventh portrayal in the franchise).  Our mutant hero and charismatic curmudgeon agrees to let his consciousness be transported to 1973 to stop an event that eventually leads to Earth’s bleak, post-apocalyptic present day, 2023, filled with vicious, morphing, mutant-smashing Sentinels, fueled inadvertently by redheaded, azure-skinned Raven’s DNA, collected 50 years prior.  

Now known as Mystique, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) is a shape-shifting renegade mutant on a mission to kill Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) of Trask Industries, creator of the Sentinels. Mystique’s discovery that Trask has been experimenting on mutants puts her on an assassin’s mission that intersects and collides with that of Wolverine and his younger allies.

All this is possible because mutant Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat has a phasing capability that allows her to project Wolverine’s consciousness back to the days when transistor radios played Jim Croce tunes, Richard Nixon (Mark Camacho) was in the White House, autos were big, hair was long, pants were wide; Vietnam was full of napalm.  Lamps were full of lava.

Younger versions of Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy) Hank/Beast (Nicholas Hoult/Kelsey Grammer) Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender/Ian McKellen) and Pietro/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) team up with Wolverine (whose retractable claws have reverted to bone – no adamantium coating yet) to stop Mystique/Raven from assassinating Trask.  

Why stop someone who seeks to stop the creation of the destructive Sentinels, you might ask?  The domino set-up of events does not fall precisely as planned, and the young team, including the newly freed Magneto, whose motive quickly and spectacularly becomes suspect, must fight a suddenly mutant-aware world.

2023’s onscreen mutants include Ororo/Storm (Halle Berry) Marie/Rogue (Anna Paquin) Bobby/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) James/Warpath (Booboo Stewart) Peter/Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) Clarice/Blink (Fan Bingbing, honest!) and Bishop (Omar Sy).  CGI 3D effects fly, hurl, freeze, burn, and teleport madly during the 131-minute adventure as groups of mutants battle for existence 50 years apart.

Director Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2: X-Men United) helms a smart storyline loaded with clever visuals (a Quicksilver scene is a near-orgasm of superpower perfection).  The 1973 settings add a retro nostalgia component that, when juxtaposed against mutant capabilities, works to provide dazzling conflicts of sophistication and sensibilities.

A Pre-Watergate White House with giant metal Sentinel prototypes hosts a crowd of puny, polyester-wearing humans.  Mutant warfare spills from the Paris Peace talks into its streets.  Wolverine has a nude scene; Charles Xavier can walk. This just scratches the surface of the multi-faceted plot that is part of the whirlwind experience.  3D effects enhance it further.

Singer weaves the astounding into the historic with seamless precision, and the result is a wild ride through time that’s fun, fearless, rousing, and as satisfying as that free refill of popcorn that comes with the jumbo size.  Or as Hugh Jackman says of the film, “It’s a ridiculously large meal that’s actually tasty.”

Casual viewers and fans alike should relish this smorgasbord of sensation, this battle buffet, this truly X-ellent fare.