Wednesday, 4 June 2014

written by Akhilan Manivannan, Junior 1 Higgs, Class of 2015

What makes a movie brilliant? Is it the excitement? The suspense? The action? The plot? The cast? All these individual attributes can make a movie good, maybe even great, but what truly makes a movie brilliant is its ability to make viewers think and analyse in awe. When you are completely engrossed in a movie and yet walk out of it full of questions, your brain wheels spinning out of control with creativity, that’s when you know a movie is brilliant. I discovered this personally while walking out of X-Men Days of Future Past as its ingenuity is inspirational beyond belief.

X-Men Days of Future Past is the seventh instalment of the X-Men film series and takes place some time after X-Men The Last Stand. In this high action thriller the mutant race is severely threatened by “Sentinels”, robots which are specialised in detecting mutant genes and exterminating them. These Sentinels also detect humans who can possibly have mutant offspring, exterminating them as well. The film starts off with a few, very unique, new mutants shown battling the Sentinels and eventually escaping the near death situation to meet past favourite X-Men; Storm, Wolverine, Professor Xavier and a surprising inclusion in long time villain Magneto. It is then revealed that the Sentinel programme was initiated back in 1973 when another mutant favourite, Mystique, murders scientist Bolivar Trask, the genius behind the Sentinel concept. In a last ditch effort, Wolverine’s consciousness is sent back to the past in a race against time to stop Mystique and alter the course of history before the present day Sentinels arrive and destroy our heroes.

From start to finish, X-Men Days of Future Past is as perfect a Sci-Fi Superhero movie as we are ever going to get, with intense action throughout coupled with some delightful drama and refreshingly light comedy. This comes as quite a surprise as the plot admittedly is nothing special. New villains, a group of heroes, a life-changing choice for the villain towards the end of the movie, we have seen it all before. However Days of Future Past is executed so well that it takes this seemingly mediocre plot to new heights with twists and turns that  keep viewers constantly excited. What is even more noteworthy is how Days of Future Past impacts the entire X-Men franchise to such a mind boggling degree, truly making it one of the most must-see Marvel productions in recent memory, particularly for fans of the franchise.

As for characters and acting prowess, X-Men Days of Future Pasts different time periods allowed for a wonderful mix of characters, most prominently everybody’s favourite Wolverine Hugh Jackman, Mystique played by Jennifer Lawrence, young Professor X played by James McAvoy and young Magneto played by Michael Fassbender. These four stars shone the brightest on the big screen and delivered wonderful performances in their own individual way. Hugh Jackman continued his spot-on embracement of the Wolverine character and thrives in playing the cool, manly stud of a mutant. Jennifer Lawrence’s graceful yet stealthily aggressive Mystique is no pushover either and continues to capture our hearts since coming onto the Marvel scene in X-Men First Class. 

The true show stealing actors however were James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as their beautifully contrasting portrayals of their characters was breathtaking to watch. James McAvoy played Charles Xaviers depression and mental trauma post First Class so well that it seems to have injected new life into the years of stale, monotone Professor X. His emotional and extravagant Charles Xavier truly touches the heart firmly, but so does Michael Fassbenders Erik, just in a very different way. Michael Fassbenders superbly calm yet passionately unpredictable demeanour makes you stop and forget that he’s only playing a role. That is how natural the character appeals to him. These two actors together strike an unparalleled emotional connection with each other and the audience, playing a huge part in the success of the film.

X-Men Days of Future Past single handedly takes the entire X-Men franchise to a whole new level and Marvel has definitely struck gold with this slobber knocker of a film. If you have not seen it yet I urge you to catch it in cinemas as soon as possible as we may just be looking at the clear frontrunner for Sci-Fi Movie of the Year.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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