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X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

SYNOPSIS:
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. The X-Men join forces with their younger selves from the past in an epic battle that must change the past - to save our future.

Review by Louise Keller:
Happy to report this is a satisfying full throttle spectacular that tinkers with minds as the past and present intersect and the future of the mutants and mankind hangs in the balance. With director Bryan Singer comfortably back in the saddle, there's a wondrous sense of scale about this ambitious Marvel adventure as the element of time travel to the 70's offers a springboard for unbridled creativity and imagination. The plot may occasionally defy logic, but logic can be overrated; the brilliance of ideas and their execution is more than enough to make this X-Men fantasy an outright winner.

Beginning in a bleak future where the desolate, miserable world is without hope, the story's compass is put in train with the question 'Is the future set; or can we change it?' The fact that Hugh Jackman's Logan/Wolverine, with his ability to regenerate is the one able to survive the treacherous journey through time, ensures the appealing Jackman's presence front and centre. His mission is to change a key event in the past involving Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). The inclusion of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as younger versions of Patrick Stewart's Charles/Professor X and Ian McKellen's Erik/Magneto is inspired and both deliver magnificently. The scene when the older Charles confronts his younger self is eerily good and Fassbender as the metal-controlling mutant has carte blanche to display his considerable charisma.

The time travel adventure begins when Logan wakes up in a water bed beside a lava lamp and a pretty girl, a Roberta Flack hit playing on the radio. The fact that he looks the same despite the 50 year leap into the past is well handled, and the challenges he faces with the young Charles (who has not acquired the wisdom of his later years) are often amusing. We are in on the joke and this is part of the film's charms and why it has so much appeal.

Evan Peters is a real scene stealer as the silver-haired Quicksilver, whose talents lie in his ability to move with incredible speed. The brilliant scene when Quicksilver's slo-mo perspective of life is played out while everyone else freezes is the film's highlight. He walks on walls and the miniscule is magnified as Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle plays its haunting melody. Ah, the 70s!

Peter Dinklage is a welcome addition to the cast, as the 70s scientist whose Sentinel program designed to eliminate mutants relies on obtaining the DNA of the fabulously curvaceous Mystique. Lawrence is striking and decorative as she morphs from different personas to her shimmering blue shapely self, her body manipulated into formidable FX situations. I am still chuckling at the left of field idea that JFK was a mutant and Erik was responsible for the curved bullet that killed him. Watch out for Mark Camacho as Richard Nixon. It's a superb cameo.

The locations jump from New York, Moscow, China, Vietnam, Paris and Washington, where the extended and spectacular climactic sequences in front of the White House are set. This is a great example of how great special effects are used in line with the narrative and not for effects' sake. All the X-Men characters pop up at some time or other but it's the Big Five of Jackman, Stewart, McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence who keep the film's heart pumping and elevate it to its max.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (M)
(US, 2014)

CAST: Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Hugh Jackman, Evan Peters, James McAvoy, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Shawn Ashmore, Patrick Stewart

PRODUCER: Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner,

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer

SCRIPT: Simon Kinberg

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Newton Thomas Sigel

EDITOR: John Ottman

MUSIC: John Ottman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: John Myhre

RUNNING TIME: 133 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 22, 2014







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