Bryan Singer's X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Maybe it’s just me but I was bored through most of this new X-Men movie. A terrific and mostly recognizable cast is just spread too thin. We got lots and lots of “things crashing into other things” as the effects laden story plays itself out. The time travel element has been done before. Having Prof. Xavier and Magneto send Wolverine back in time to convince the young Professor X to stop Peter Dinklage’s character from getting killed by Mystique is worthy of a thin comic book but not a summer blockbuster.
The movie just feels too crowded. The 1970s artifacts that abound look sterile, not lived in. Dragging in political characters and settings from that time just makes the film feel cluttered — even if, as my friend Charlie said, they got the Vietnam service ribbons right on the military uniforms.
I can’t help but compare this film to a good Pixar movie. I just finished reading Creativity Inc. where Pixar CEO Ed Catmull recounts the tortuous and collaborative process that Pixar directors go through to create emotionally engaging characters and stories. Everything in the complex Pixar creative process focuses on that. But with a movie like X-Men you get the sense that there is just too much of everything — too many characters, too many action scenes, too many speeches, too many forgettable details. By the time Singer got to the editing room with such a vast assemblage of cinematic stuff as you have here with the latest X-Men movie it was probably too late. Even Rogue was left on the cutting room floor.
One could argue that, even with all the dramatic flaws, it is worth it to see something like this on a decent theater on a large screen with a good sound system. I admit there’s something to that. Even there, though, I’ll take the last Wolverine movie over this one just because the story and character development were so much better integrated and interesting.
I did enjoy the tantalizing glimpse of the desert and pyramid after the credits finished; was that a scene from Alex Proyas’ upcoming GODS OF EGYPT? (maybe not)
Review (c) 2014 by Dennis D. McDonald