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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Movie Review: Days of Future Past

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

The fifth installment of the X-Men franchise was a good (though not great) movie. It certainly was not without flaws, and it makes me wonder about the MPAA ratings system.

First of all: This movie is way too violent for a PG-13 rating. Some of the things that happen in this movie:

  • Iceman is decapitated and has his head stepped on and crushed.
  • Sunfire has his arm ripped off before he is killed.
  • Colossus is ripped in half by two Sentinels.
  • Blink is impaled three ways by the Sentinels.
  • Storm is impaled and thrown off a cliff.
  • Bishop is overloaded by Sentinel death rays and explodes.
  • Wolverine is impaled multiple times by rebar and drowned.
  • Magneto is nearly drowned in a water fountain, and sews the wound on his head back up.
  • Another character has his face burned off by a Sentinel death ray.

This may make me sound old, but this movie would have easily been R-rated twenty years ago. I have actually seen older R-rated movies that are significantly less violent than this badly mis-rated PG-13 movie. Days of Future Past is not child-friendly in the least, and it is irresponsible to put that much graphic violence in the movie (especially with the heroes being killed in horrible ways) knowing there will be a number of children in the theater.

As to the plot: While Kitty Pryde was a major part of the original 1980 storyline in the comics, it makes no sense to have her send Wolverine's mind into the past. In the comics, Rachel "Phoenix" Summers (the alternate-future daughter of Scott Summers an Jean Grey) was the one who sent Pryde's mind into her younger self. Introducing Rachel Summers would have been too complex for this movie, but there should have been another psychic character to do it.

Professor X is the obvious choice, or perhaps Psylocke could be introduced. It could even be explained that Blink can create portals to send someone's mind back through time in addition to creating portals to teleport matter. That would be a stretch, but would make more sense than using someone who has not shown any psychic abilities whatsoever. It makes no sense that she should be able to do that with her established power set.

My other problem was the ending. While some may appreciate that X-Men 3 was undone, the universe's timeline has been completely rewritten. I strongly dislike reboots in general, but if the franchise is going to get a reboot it would be better as a hard reboot that starts everything from scratch instead of a soft reboot where some things happened and some did not. All that does is make things unnecessarily confusing.

Despite my complaining, this was a good (if badly mis-rated) movie. The acting and action were both good, and the time travel was handled well. Seeing Stryker was fun, even if his history is different. It did show how hopeless the Sentinel-ruled future was. It was a classic storyline brought to the big screen, and the Sentinels were very menacing - not like the pushovers they have become in the comics.

Final Grade: B-

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