X-Men: Days of Future Past (12A)

After my rant about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 I decided to give Marvel a shot at redemption. Was it worth the risk?

Our story starts just as all of the mutants are about to be wiped out. They hatch a plan to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to stop the war that now threatens their very existence. We are rather conveniently told that he doesn’t age and so will look pretty much the same.

“You don’t age, so you’ll basically look the same,” explains Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), before teleporting the soul of Wolverine back from the apocalyptic future to the retro-70s past in order to rewrite the present.

But Wolverine has more strenuous tasks at hand to be overly concerned about tiny details like his appearance or how he ends up back in time. He has to unite Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) at a time when the total annihilation of the other would bring them nothing but joy.

They need to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing a scientist named Dr Task (Peter Dinklage) who plans to wipe out their kind using his mutant-hunting robots known as the Sentinels. If Mystique kills Dr Task then she will be captured and her DNA will be used to enable the Sentinels with her chameleon-like abilities.

But first they need to break Magneto out of a Pentagon prison. The slow motion break out scene is just as one would expect from an X-Men movie, slow motion, cocky and humorous. The action loses its lustre when the authorities aren’t immediately on the hunt for Magento. It’s as though everyone just decides to move on with the next part of the movie.

They manage to track Mystique down but she refuses to divert from her murderous path. Wolverine and his gang of mutants must stop her to ensure the future of both humans and mutants.

The jump between the past and the future was no doubt intended to create a sense of tension but it exposes some major plot holes. You can’t half arse a time travel movie, there are time ripples to consider. If someone from the future dies whilst in the past then surely time would shift and that version of the future would no longer exist. But Director Bryan Singer doesn’t seem too concerned about logical thought.

The linear narrative of the X-Men story had been all but exhausted in sequels (X2, X-Men: The Last Stand) and prequels (X-Men: First Class) and spin-offs (various Wolverine flicks), and so one assumes that this was a not so subtle chance at a do-over.

I won’t give the ending away but sufficed to say that it makes the last few X-Men movies superfluous. Like a cheap TV dinner this movie has all the ingredients to be a real treat, but in the end it just leaves you yearning for the real thing.

Sort it out Marvel.

By Ruth Walker
★★☆☆☆

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