The long awaited next instalment in the X-Men movie franchise is being released worldwide today, and as a huge fan of the comic books, you know I made sure to go and see it. This time around we’re taken to the future where the Sentinels (a group of mutant hunting robots) have all but wiped us out. In an effort to save both mutants and humans, the X-Men send Wolverine back to the past to stop the one event that catapults us into this dreaded future.
This movie could be considered is kind of an apology to the comic book fans for the pervious movies, where they killed off key characters and took away what the fans loved about the comics. The premise of this movie gives Director Bryan Singer a great opportunity to fix all the wrongs and start the franchise from the beginning, and while that’s made me excited to see what will come next, I thought this movie was just ok. I didn’t hate, but I didn’t love it either. My first instinct going into this movie was to not get my hopes up, Hollywood’s interpretation of the characters has ruin them before and I wasn’t going to allow myself to be devastated again. And yet I still found myself getting incredibly excited sitting in that cinema waiting for the lights to go out.
The movie flashes back and forth between the future, which we assume is around 10 years from now though no date is ever mentioned, and 1973 at the end of the Vietnam War. Wolverine’s consciousness is sent to his younger self so he can warn Professor X and stop the Sentinels from being made. A few aspects of the story followed on from the comic books but in true Hollywood style some things were changed. I didn’t mind the story line changes from the comic, it makes sense to make Wolverine the main character as opposed to Kitty Pryde (who is the one who goes back in the comic), Mystique is still a key player and the story has been adapted in other ways for the cartoon anyway. But I would have loved to see more mutants and powers. In the future we see some X-Men using their powers, Ice Man, Kitty Pryde and Storm are there, as well as some side characters that only the comic book fans would know. When we’re in the past very few mutants make an appearance. Mystique plays a huge role but besides her, Magneto and Beast are the only characters who really show their powers. Wolverine’s past self hasn’t gotten his Adamantium skeleton yet so (like Rouge in the first three movies) his powers are muted and Professor X has forfeited his powers for his legs (although he does get them back as the story progresses). They also never give you an explanation to how Professor X is alive after the events in X-Men: The Last Stand. I know this is something small and probably won’t bother most people, it wouldn’t bother me so much either if they didn’t reference scenes from that movie, but they do and I kept waiting for someone to bring it up – I’m still waiting.
Having said that, the movie can still be enjoyable and if you’ve never read the comics I think this makes for a great sci-fi movie. There’s some action and some really great special effects. James McAvoy is excellent in his role and actually makes me like Professor X. The introduction of Peter Maximoff, as Quicksilver, also brought some life to the story and allowed Singer to include some really awesome slow motion scenes. Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender are two really great actors and bring so much to any role they play. Mystique’s character is so much more in depth this time around and she played it so very well, Lawrence is a chameleon of an actress so I think the role is quite fitting for her. I liked how the Sentinels were portrayed, not 100% like the comic but really cool and a bit dark, which I really liked.
The ending does open up the franchise for some really incredible future movies, and with confirmation of Gambit finally being featured in a future movie, we can only hope that they’ll bring back and redo the classic characters we love. In true Marvel style if you sit through the credits you’ll get a teaser scene at the end, though only true die-hard fans will understand it.