Wednesday, May 28, 2014

X-Men: Shoring Up The Past

There's only one superhero franchise still standing. It's the same one that sparked this 15 year surge of nonstop superhero concepts in the first place... X-Men.
When I think about what FOX has turned X-Men into, I get pretty confused. Because, after the massacres that were The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, one would have assumed they were ready to just start over again like Sony and Spider-Man. And while I must admit I'm glad they haven't gone that route yet, I still find myself at a loss. Days of Future Past, much like its predecessor First Class, attempts to find a way to start over without losing all of the information we already have. The only problem with that is, since that terrible flick (The Last Stand), these movies have been going without their core team. To me, this seems inexcusable, but somehow FOX has been able to sell it to us again and again, each time giving us new hope that these stories can have a purpose and revive our love of the original two films.

Okay, so Days of Future Past was pretty entertaining, all-be-it incredibly convoluted. Literally, there were shots used from EVERY OTHER X-Men flick to help explain what the hell was going on. And while at the end, it did manage to glimpse some bit of a universe that could make sense again, the rules of the majority of the movie seemed poorly explained and too frequently ignored. I know this comes out of the nature of the original book... to some extent. But the other black fact is, these really aren't the X-Men I know or grew up with.

The new cast (the First Class guys) hit their marks as best they can and frequently do succeed (though Xavier and Beast didn't make any sense to me this time around) and it is incredibly fun to witness the original cast getting another go around. But their future feels limp and undefined and the new characters (and even the ones added from The Last Stand... looking at you Kitty) don't really make any sense or have much of anything to do. It's a remarkable conundrum when you consider just how well defined the past is meant to be.

Everywhere you look, plot holes abound. It makes it hard to focus on the story when every rule they give you gets broken. If Trask tells us the sentinels cannot be controlled by anyone but himself, then Magneto comes along and well let's just say what he does makes no sense and doesn't actually connect back to his powers in any way... much like   Wolverine's peculiar adamantium claws which shouldn't exist after the events of The Wolverine. Or Kitty's newly given power to send peoples' consciousness' back in time.
HOW? I'm trying really hard not to sound like an angry fan boy... and believe me, I know I'm failing. But what am I supposed to do in the face of such debilitating ignorance?
Btw, I am totally on board with FOX's version of The Flash... since this probably isn't what Quicksilver's supposed to be like...
All of that ranting aside, the movie as a whole is pretty entertaining. It doesn't capture the same quality of the first two mostly because too much has happened since 2003. But it does try to shore up the issues that have existed since that third film obliterated all hope of us ever getting a real Phoenix movie.
Bryan Singer is really working hard to fix those mistakes. But the more I disconnect from the experience of watching Days of Future Past, the more I realize that is an impossible task. While I am excited about the prospect of an impending Apocalypse film, I do honestly wish this franchise could at last reset, revert to its original creators, and give us a universe wherein X-Men just already exist. That is many years off and Marvel will likely never get these film rights back, but a fanboy can dream.

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