Tag Archives: X-men

Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) (4 ½ *’s)

X-Men: Days of Future Pastis the latest installment in the X-Men series of movies from Marvel Comics. It is directed by Bryan Singer and stars the usual people as the X-men mutants: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier (older), James McAvoy as Professor Xavier (younger), Ian McKellen as Magneto (older), Michael Fassbender as Magneto (younger), Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique/Raven (younger) and many more. The main character is, of course, Wolverine who has his consciousness sent back in time in the hopes of thwarting a massive war against the mutants with a new, deadly technology.

 

The movie begins in the future where the mutants are on the run from killer robots which have been designed by the brilliant scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage) and unleashed to wipe out all the mutants, good, bad, and indifferent. The robots have been designed with the capability to transform to counter any mutant’s ability whatsoever. That trait comes from and is based on Mystique’s DNA, obtained by the humans in 1973 when Mystique tries to kill Dr. Trask but is captured in the process. It is Wolverine’s goal to go back in time and stop Mystique from her assassination attempt. In such an attempt, he will need the help of both Professor Xavier and Magneto at the height of their rivalry. So, while the other mutants prepare to hold off the final onslaught of deadly robots, Wolverine prepares for his journey, a journey which will take him into his past to a time and place where he does not have his legendary adamantium skeleton. He is simply bone and flesh: still formidable, but not quite as indestructable as he’s used to.

 

Strengths: the acting was good, the plot was engaging, the special effects were great, of course, and the action non-stop. I remain impressed by James McAvoy’s performance; he does a remarkable job as the young Professor Xavier—not that anyone else had a poor performance, I just think Mr. McAvoy stood out. Weaknesses: I can’t think of any specific weaknesses in the film except a trace of confusion concerning how and why Wolverine’s consciousness plopped into the time and place that it did at the end of the movie; it wasn’t made fully clear, at least to me. Besides that, everything flowed well, and if you can accept the basic premises of the movie (mutants and time travel) it made an exceptionally well-crafted tale.

 

Overall, I’ll give X-men: Days of Future Pastfour and a half stars out of five.

Movie Review: The Wolverine (2013)

The movie The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman in the title role, of course. He is reprising his role of the virtually indestructible X-men character to which he seems quite well-suited. According to the earlier story, not only does the Wolverine have an adamantium skeleton (making it virtually indestructible), but he heals at an incredible rate and he has stopped aging. So, Wolverine has a unique problem: he can’t die. And that sets the backdrop for the whole story.

 

The movie begins with a flashback to World War II. Wolverine is held captive near Hiroshima (or was it Nagasaki?) on the day the bomb is dropped. He rescues a lone Japanese soldier from near certain death, and basically survives a nuclear blast (although he is partially shielded by the hole he’s hiding in). Fast forward to the present day, the lone Japanese soldier is now an old man named Yashida who has built a powerful corporate empire. He is now dying. So, he summons Wolverine to Japan and makes him an offer; Yashida will use his technological prowess to transfer Wolverine’s long life and regenerative abilities to Yashida. This will allow Wolverine to live a natural life and finally die in peace. Yashida, who is dying, still feels he has much to accomplish and wants an extra lease on life. They will both benefit. Wolverine, however, declines the offer.  Shortly thereafter, things start to go wrong. Wolverine is attacked by a woman named Viper—she’s a highly intelligent mutant with many snake-like abilities passing for a doctor in Yashida’s lab. Then, Yashida dies and there is an assassination attempt on his granddaughter. Wolverine intervenes and stops the assassination attempt, but is wounded in the process. This time, however, his wound does not heal. And so a deadly adventure of intrigue and mystery begins involving ninjas, mutants, and corrupt businessmen.

 

Strengths: the movie held my interest throughout. The action was good; the plot was good, as was the acting. There were a number of clever ideas, and it was refreshing to see Wolverine showing some limits and vulnerability. Weaknesses: I did not like who they chose for the ultimate bad guy. Although it made the story a complete and coherent logical whole, it just seemed to spit on the whole notion of gratitude. Also, the so-called (and related) twist at the end was kind of predictable. Still, it was a good movie.

 

I’ll give the movie The Wolverine four stars out of five.

 

Oh, and check out my Stupid Hobgoblin Jokes from last week and vote in the poll … just for kicks!