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Colonel Angus

X-Men: Movies of Future Past

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Over my vacation I was able to re-watch most of the movies from the X-Men franchise. I've been a fan of the franchise since my uncle would let me read his comics. Then of course came the great animated series, which for me and maybe others my age, are the definitive X-Men.

When Days of Future Past came out, I was suddenly excited. Last year's The Wolverine turned out to be a pleasant surprise, so my hopes were high for this one. Fortunately, it didn't fail expectations; it should save the franchise from being a pop culture afterthought.

My memories of the past X-Men movies were slightly mixed. I watched First Class for the First Time a week before DoFP, & somewhat enjoyed it. I didn't think it was (at the time) the best of the series, but it had it's moments.

I enjoyed Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Magneto, the Holocaust survivor turned misguided Darwinist. January Jones put up a surprisingly good performance as Emma Frost (albeit I had low expectations re: her taking on the role). She may not have knocked it out of the park like Anne Hathaway did in The Dark Knight Rises (another a prejudged inaccurately), but she made the part her own.

This week I decided to do a "marathon" viewing of the other films, starting with the first. For a long time I felt that the casting of Anna Paquin as Rogue was a mistake. Being used to her as somewhat of a sexpot in past interpretations, Paquin didn't quite fit the bill. But I noticed that her character didn't really call for that. Much like Jubilee played the role of protege to Wolverine in the animated series, Rogue fit that bill here. She actually played the role quite well.

Of course, there are things to nitpick, for me Gambit would always be Rogue's beau, not Iceman, & Storm should have made better use of her powers (why did she need to get beat up so much? She's probably the most powerful of the mutants outside of Phoenix & Magneto). Halle Berry, despite being a woman of African descent, probably isn't the right actress to play a character from Africa. I honestly chalk that up to the producers being afraid to take a chance with the casting.

X-2 just improved on the first one. I liked how it delved more into the relations between mutants & humans. From Iceman's brother narcing on the X-Men, to Stryker's abusive relationship with his mutant son, even family bonds are strained by a single gene.

Then there's Last Stand. The most notorious X-Men movie. This one tried to mix the Mutant Cure story line with the Dark Phoenix Saga. Most of the rage towards this one seems to stem from the Dark Phoenix portion getting the short straw, as it only served as a side plot to the much bigger war between the mutants & the government.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was the first spin-off featuring Marvel's favorite mutant. Outside of one glaring cinematic crime, this was a good telling of how James Howlett became known as the Wolverine. The character of Sabretooth was given an added dimension as opposed to the caricature in the first movie, & it introduced popular characters Gambit & Deadpool. Poor Deadpool, Fox decided to take you & wipe their behind with you by turning you into a senseless monster. Hopefully any future movies rectify this. I still shudder at the notion that his katanas come out of his wrists.

That leads us to last years The Wolverine, which is more of a sequel to Last Stand than it is the Origins. Before this years offering, this gave X-2 a run for best of the movies. It had an intriguing plot & the usual sprinkling of Marvel humor in a Japanese setting.

One overall point to be made regarding this series is the questionable continuity. Days of Future Past retcons every X-Men movie after chronologically after the "Past" portion of this movie (circa 1973). However, there are portions of Origins that take place before that time that don't fit with the retcons made by DoFP. Hopefully these things get cleared with the next Wolverine movie.

Comments

  1. Ayen's Avatar
    If there's one flaw to Bryan's directing it's at times he seems afraid to embrace the mutants powers and what they can do. With the exception being Wolverine and Nightcrawler, a lot of the mutants and their powers seem toned down when you compare them to the comics or even the cartoon. Maybe this is more of a budget thing, I don't know. I just want to see Storm flying through the smurfing air and owning trout. Same with Magneto and Jean.
  2. Colonel Angus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ToriJ
    If there's one flaw to Bryan's directing it's at times he seems afraid to embrace the mutants powers and what they can do. With the exception being Wolverine and Nightcrawler, a lot of the mutants and their powers seem toned down when you compare them to the comics or even the cartoon. Maybe this is more of a budget thing, I don't know. I just want to see Storm flying through the smurfing air and owning trout. Same with Magneto and Jean.
    It has to be maintaining a budget w/o resorting to mediocre effects. Thankfully, what they do use is high quality. One thing I should've mentioned was that the movies are visually amazing.
  3. Huckleberry Quin's Avatar
    To be honest, I'm still a little confused as to why Professor X was even alive. Didn't he die? :s
  4. Colonel Angus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Quin
    To be honest, I'm still a little confused as to why Professor X was even alive. Didn't he die? :s
    To be honest, I'm confused by the whole thing, too. I've read that it was possible that he used his mind powers to "give the illusion" of his dead, meaning it wasn't really him there. This might be the most plausible theory.

    One thing's for sure, Days of Future Past was a "get out of explaining this for free" card for the writers.
  5. Ayen's Avatar
    The post-credits scene of X-Men 3 shows us a guy in a coma and Charles voice coming from him, so he switched his mind into a different body. Why does the body look like him? Smuft if I know. I'm glad to forget that movie ever happened, really.
  6. Jiro's Avatar
    I'm a little bit frustrated at the fact that they retconned everything, but X-Men 3 truly was a blight so it's nice to have that gone. I will be interested to see if the Dark Phoenix saga gets a second shot since it seems to be a fan favourite, and Logan having memories of three different time-lines should really add a cool dimension, if they play it right.
  7. Sephex's Avatar
    Late to the party here. Liked the move a lot. I'm actually glad they retconned things because I felt that The Last Stand was pretty awful, so now hopefully they can make a better film around that idea if they choose to do so again.

    They got damn good actors to play X and Magneto. I wouldn't mind seeing a couple more films with those two guys alone!