Tuesday, May 27, 2014

X-Men Days of Future Past, or Terminator 2: Motivational Speaker Edition.

"You need to make stronger life choices, son."

It's the future, guys.  It's really dark in the future.  And the T-1000's Sentinels have been killing all of our mutant friends.  The solution, of course, is to send Wolverine into the past, because Kitty Pryde (who went into the past in the comic incarnation) is a woman, and women aren't allowed to be main characters in movies.

The resulting film is an X-Men family reunion composed largely of motivational speeches, since the majority of the plot is articulated to us within the first fifteen minutes by narration, and then relayed to the X-men of the past via Wolverine's first of many motivational speeches to a young Professor Xavier.  Thankfully, we're also treated to the obligatory getting-the-band-back-together sequences, which are the moments in which Days of Future Past actually remains bearable for a while.

Quicksilver.  Thank God for Quicksilver.  His presence in the film is short-lived, yet he produces the most memorable sequence of any of the X-Men films to date, and he's sandwiched between two very strong JFK jokes.  He exists in the film to break young Magneto out of jail, a task he accomplishes with much flair and then, unfortunately, goes back to doing hoodrat things off camera.  The film moves on, and Wolverine, Professor Xavier and Beast spend the rest of the film wondering why they sprung Magneto in the first place.

Now that the band is back together, their goal is to stop Mystique from killing Tyrion Lannister, the creator of SkyNet the Sentinels, as his murder is what prompted the government to start viewing mutants as a threat.  The government, for the most part, has apparently forgotten that they had a mutant division only ten years prior.  The X-Men stop the murder, but end up getting a whole lot of mutant destruction broadcast on television, so Nixon freaks out and tells Tyrion Lannister to build some mutant-killing robots.  Then, in an effort to give the midget a two-dimensional character, Tyrion Lannister waddles around a lab and gives a speech about how mutants are totally cool.  Nothing ever comes of this sentiment, and everyone wonders why it was in the movie.

Meanwhile, the young X-Men are crying because they didn't stop the future from happening yet, so Professor Xavier gives Mystique a motivational speech, Wolverine gives young Professor Xavier a motivational speech, young Professor Xavier gives young Magneto a motivational speech, then young Professor Xavier touches Wolverine's head so that old Professor Xavier can give young Professor Xavier a motivational speech.  Young Professor Xavier feels motivated, figures out how to shoot web again, tuns on his fancy psychic machine and uses it to give Mystique a motivational speech using the bodies of about nine different people.

Mystique is still cranky and wanders off to kill some government officials.  Young Magneto is still cranky and wanders off to do the most absolutely ridiculous thing you can possibly imagine (and also kill some government officials).  At this point, half of the audience wonders, "How can you possibly think that killing a bunch of government officials is going to stop people from trying to kill mutants?"  The other half is still marveling at how far Jennifer Lawrence's leg can stretch.

The big climax is young Magneto reminding everyone why you shouldn't let him out of jail, while old Magneto tries to save all of the X-Men in the future.  RETRIBUTION, CHARLES!  The film begins cutting between young X-Men and old X-Men in order to build tension, and everyone wonders if the young X-Men can change the future in time to save the X-Men in the future from dying—because the writers of the film made no attempt to make time travel logical.  Wolverine gets thrown into a lake because he's been useless for the last forty-five minutes of the movie, and all seems lost until young Professor Xavier gives Mystique his absolute, most powerful motivational speech yet.  Finally, the day is saved.

Afterward, Wolverine returns to the future, and some characters that you thought were dead aren't dead anymore and all X-Men fans everywhere are satisfied.  This is what we call fan service.

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