Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 23rd May, 2014
Time : 131 minutes
Director : Bryan Singer; Writers : Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn; Music : John Ottman
Starring : Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Evan Peters, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen
This one has it all…great set-piece action sequences, super visuals, enough logic to keep you engaged and some good one-liners for that all too important dose of humour to prevent things from getting too dark or heavy
In a bleak, dark future, humans have created Sentients…machines which ruthlessly hunt down and destroy mutants. Humans aren’t doing too well either, with only a few left, who control the machines. One way to prevent this scenario is to go back in time, to when the Sentient program is green-lit, and prevent it from ever getting off the ground. But this will have to be done quickly, before the Sentients discover the last remaining bunch of mutants in the present…
The core of X-Men’s appeal lies in mistrust between humans and mutants and the two approaches used by mutants to combat this, typified by Magneto’s (Michael Faasbender) ‘Fear is the Key’ kind of shock and awe approach vs the Professor’s (James McAvoy) more inclusive, Win-Win style, ‘Mutual Benefits’ one. The short-term expediency of the former is balanced against the longer-term sustainability of the latter. Its this battle which keeps us hooked for most of the second half, as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the messenger from the future, has to find a way for both of them to see common ground as time quickly runs out.
One of the most delightful moments of the film though is when Quicksilver has to rescue the others from a tight spot while attempting to extricate Magneto from the Pentagon…that entire rescue sequence is just excellent, deftly executed with generous helpings of humour. Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) powers are always visually exciting and Magneto ensures an almost literally over-the-top spectacle in the grand finale.
There is a feeling of déjà vu as you watch the film, though…the Sentients idea coming close conceptually (though not executionally) to what we saw in the Matrix and the whole idea of the travelling back in time to change the future coming from Men In Black 3. Also, logically, if the Professor can read minds and help alter them using his powers, wouldn’t it be a lot simpler for him merely to change the minds of the hawkishly inclined humans ?
In any case, I found it a interesting that questions like this are raised in your head while you watch the film…amongst all the action, the special effects, the laughter, these more fundamental queries are probably a sign that the film makers have found a way to make you care…for the characters and for the overall plot…and isn’t that a good thing after all ?