Sunday, May 25, 2014

Movie review | X-Men: Days of Future Past

More than a decade ago, Hugh Jackman travelled through time in "Kate & Leopold", playing a 19th-century duke who finds love in modern-day New York.

Jackman (as Wolverine) does it again in "X-Men: Days of Future Past", this time in reverse, going back to 1973 to prevent the invention of robot Sentinels that decimate the X-Men in the future.

No spoilers here but it's the perfect opportunity to showcase both the younger and older selves of Professor X and Magneto -- and introduce a few interesting mutants -- in the battle against the humans.

As the latest in the movie franchise, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" had its task cut out. Sequels have a hard time matching expectations anyway and this one even more so -- a large cast, an elaborate plot, concurrent storylines -- but director Bryan Singer does a really good job.

A particularly fine Matrix-like sequence takes part somewhere in the Pentagon, when Wolverine, the Professor and a speedy teenager take on the guards while trying to spring the young Magneto from a high-security prison (he's accused of assassinating JFK).

The teenage mutant (Evan Peters) gets all the brownie points, performing with panache in a time-freeze that's the highlight of the movie. Watch him eat a burger in this ad and you’ll get some idea.

Also impressive is Jennifer Lawrence as the shape-shifting Mystique. She's no prop here as she takes on the villain (Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones), the guy who’s building the Sentinels.

As sequels go, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has no yawn-inducing moments. Dazzling visual effects, more than a few laughs, and some crackling chemistry. The lead cast definitely had fun making it (if you go by the Blurred Lines reference).

I go with four out of five stars for a sequel that's still as entertaining as the first "X-Men". Waiting for "Apocalypse", the next film in the series.

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