X-Men Proves That to Go Forward Sometimes You Have to Go Back

After several sequels dragged down the X-Men franchise, it is refreshing to see the latest movies prove that super hero movies can have deep themes and human context. Days of Future Past balances character development with action for an enjoyable movie.

The sequel begins in the future as viewers catch up with their favorite mutants and a host of new ones. Wolverine, Xavier, Magneto and Storm connect with Kitty Pride and her group of refugee mutants hiding from the giant machines meant to kill mutants. Hugh-Jackman-X-Men-Days-of-Future-PastThey need Kitty’s help to send Logan back in time to keep the Sentinels from destroying just not the mutant, but the human world.  Logan is transported into his body to the ‘70s and must keep a young mystique from killing Bolivar Trask the creator of the Sentinels. But to do so he will need the help of young Xavier who is at odds with his powers.

Like First Class, the film does well harking back to themes in the original X-men movie. The film delves into social norms and how we use our gifts when they are against those norms. Xavier and Mystique both fight with their powers and how to use them. It’s about accepting your differences and focusing on whether you express these differences with love or hate.

The film reverses the role of Xavier and Wolverine, and it’s interesting to see these characters outside pre-defined boundaries. The best moment? When Xavier throws Wolverine’s words in his own face.  But for everything we see these two overcome, viewers are still face with an inevitable end with Mystique and Magneto. Or are we?  The movie lags as Magneto rages out against the humans even though this becomes turning point for Mystique. Yes, he is full of rage and hate. We get that by now.  We know what becomes of these characters and of their predestined roles as villains.

But the ending proves we know nothing. The last few minutes of the movies make up for any mistakes made in the last X-Men movie and leaves viewers wondering how much of the X-Men cannon has changed now that the past has been altered. This makes the franchise ripe for the taking. Instead of a new Wolverine, the producers should focus on these changes within the X-Men world. There is so much room to expand whether in the present time or in the First Class world.

X-Men Days of Future Past is thrilling and fun. Though it has one lag, the last minutes of the film make up for any issues with the movie. This franchise can keep going and be successful.

The Wolverine has Claws but no Heart

I love the X-men series. At their best, the films are deep allegories for life. At the worst, they are fun action flicks that bring a childhood story to life. The Wolverine falls somewhere in the middle. Luckily, it’s not Last Stand but it’s not First Class either.
rs_560x415-130327085118-1024_wolverine_ls_32713The Wolverine is Hugh Jackman’s character second stand-alone story. This particular tale spans his time in Japan, both during World War II and present day. Wolverine is summoned to Japan by the man he saved when the nuclear bomb exploded. The old man is looking for everlasting life and offers wolverine a chance to become mortal. Though Wolverine declines, he finds himself unable to heal and stuck in the middle of a corporate conspiracy.
The Wolverine takes the basis of its story from the comic book arc of 1982 but really branches away from the original story. While that is par for the course for many of the X-Men movies, it’s still an issue with comic fans. As a fan of the movies, it does not bother me though I can see their perspective.

For an action film, The Wolverine is visually pleasing and viewers are treated to unique settings with humorous twists. There is a beautiful sequence on top of a train that uses Wolverine’s unique ability to his advantage and gives a new perspective on the train top genre. Blending Wolverine and the Japanese’s fighting techniques leads to exciting hand to hand scene as well as swords to claws scenes. The action is fierce and keeps the plot going.the-wolverine-picture03

As an X-Men film, it lacks a certain hear that was feature in the original movie as well as First Class. These stories were clearly allegories for minorities and outcasts. By bringing bringing them together for a certain cause, the films remind us that we don’t have to be alone. The Wolverine was ripe for this, letting Wolverine truly ponder the idea of immortality. Instead, viewers were treated to scenes of Famke Jensen in a night gown calling Wolverine to the grave. There is no emotional epiphany regarding Wolverine’s decision to stay alive.

The best part of the entire movie is the teaser of Days of Future past. This short sequence brings viewers back into the X-Men world and reconnects with fan favorites. The teaser’ could have only been better if they had brought in the kiddos (the First Class). I am truly excited for the next installment in the franchise.
The Wolverine looks good and packs a punch. While it lacks emotional depth, Jackman’s Wolverine is still commanding and provides a good time.