I saw this on Friday with the siblings and loved it. The plot didn’t feel rushed, it had a wealth of things to say and the humor was spot on. Of course there were some inconsistencies, but for the most part, I appreciated how Singer and the screenwriters left room for more in the future.
At first, I was a little worried. The opening scene seemed like a mix of The Matrix Revolutions and Terminator Salvation with the dystopian plot of mutant destruction set in the future and how the Sentinels functioned. Although it brings us into the action immediately with just enough of an explanation to keep us from scratching our heads in confusion. The characters we know and swoon for do the job of getting us over the “unnecessary information that would bore us anyway” hump.
To save humanity and mutants, Wolverine is sent back in time to the 197o’s to unite Charles and Erik at a time when they couldn’t be more divided. And then everyone in the 1970’s has to unite to take care of a much bigger problem. When you consider that Wolverine was physically perfect to send back in time, the ramifications of him not being emotionally perfect to send back are what make this moving amazing.
Probably the biggest aspect that I appreciated was the crash course on greatness that Singer decided to give us. I’m sure at some time in everyone’s life, they feel the weight of their past, present, and future all pressing down on them and the weight of the world’s expectations threatening to smother them. DOFP tackles this issue in a profound way. How does one of the most human mutants possible turn from being utterly broken into an amazing legend and hope for many?
Xavier in DOFP demonstrates that it doesn’t matter if you’re not equipped at the time and it doesn’t matter if you’ve messed up–you still have the opportunity to turn around and do something great. You just have to be willing to try. Even though Quicksilver is probably my new favorite character to dance in slow motion with, James McAvoy did the most amazing job as a rough-around-the edges Xavier. It’s mesmerizing to watch younger Charles actually get to point where he is calm, cool, and cutting the bull. I liked the notion that you don’t get to be great without the help of other people or standing on the shoulders of someone. Wolverine as the therapy counselor you would never want in any lifetime was perhaps the funniest thing I have seen in a long while.
The movie also makes you feel sorry for Wolverine. I mean, the guy has lived through nine lives of pain with Jean Grey drama alone and they want to put him through the wringer again? It’s truly a wonder that he’s not a psychopath.
I enjoy how Magneto and Professor X are acted with such gravitas on both ends of the time continuum. The movie really attempts to flesh out their relationship. Although by the end I wondered if you could ever truly flesh out their relationship. In the other movies (besides First Class) their relationship is hinted at, like a large elephant shadow casting over everything in its vicinity. But DOFP shines an interrogation light on that relationship and focuses more on the meat of their characters rather than slightly vague references. This helps to balance the film and it seems that action movies with humor might be my favorite thing besides mouthwatering tempura flakes on a spicy sushi roll.
This leads me to five aspects that stood out:
1) Please put Peter Dinklage in more movies. The universe demands it be so. Also the cast in general: Michael Fassbender and everyone else blew the minds of everyone in my theater.
2) My eyes have now been opened to the JFK assassination.
3) There is a glaring problem with the continuity of Professor X. You could argue for any of the others, but there is no excuse for this one (although they do try to make sense of it in this spoiler-ish i09 article)
4) The conflict is so much deeper. It’s humans vs. mutants, but it’s also about battling against the nature of ourselves to achieve greatness.
5) Loved the action sequences and appreciated Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique/Raven. She also did a great job at balancing a tortured Mystique and achieved some agency, when Charles finally allowed it. Thankfully, their relationship went through some healing, but the end leaves it rather incomplete. I wondered how she gets from the current Raven to the Mystique in the first three X-men movies.
Speaking of the first three X-Men movies, and I’m not sure where most people will stand on this, DOFP retconned X3 or all previous X-men movies (depending on your perspective and opinion). So X3 haters, this is for you.
The movie was well done, especially fitting all of the characters (cameos) and the plot points into one movie. The end will blow your mind. I’d probably be excited about the teaser if I was more of a comic book fan and actually knew who it was. I found out later so that I wouldn’t feel like a complete numskull, so I’m looking forward to X-Men Apocalypse and more mutant action.