'X-Men' pretty good, with predictable ending

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comMay 22, 2014 

X-Men: Days of Future Past starts in the future when machines created from a program started in the 1960s enslave humanity and kill millions. They are also on a mission to destroy the few mutants that are left.

Working with Kitty Pride, who is a master of manipulating past and present, Professor X and Magneto send Wolverine to the 1960s to stop Mystique from killing the scientist who created the original robots. It's his death that gets the Nixon administration to seriously advance the program that leads to destruction in the future.

Once he's in the past, Wolverine has to convince the professor and his magnetic and quite charismatic enemy to work together to stop her.

Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men films, takes over the directing duties. He brings X-Men: First Class director and writer Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and screenwriter Simon Kinberg's (X-Men: The Last Stand) vision to life, and -- like Gene Roddenberry successfully did with Star Trek: Generations -- melds the two franchises together.

Early on, the plot centers on Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. Later, it morphs into the continuing conflict between Professor X and Magneto over mutant power and their relationship with the single-minded Mystique.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who play Xavier and Magneto and -- like the rest of the film's cookie-cutter characters -- have little to do. Most of the dialogue starts silly and ends at hemorrhoid producing stare downs.

X-Men: Days of Future Past does have some highlights. Though she's eye-candy and is mostly a fulcrum for the plot, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique is stunning. Guys will find themselves anticipating her next appearance and won't care much why.

Another plus is Jackman, who is a natural comedian. He's involved in Magneto's nifty escape sequence involving Evan Peter's Quicksilver. It's hilarious, and the only serious highlight in an average superhero movie.

This is not to say that I didn't like X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's pretty good even though it moves at a molasses pace and ends, like all Marvel comic movies, with a predictable, effects-filled finale.

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Nicholas Hoult, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin

Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes and some violence. It's playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

-- Love him or hate him, Mr. Movie's blog is available for venting at www.tri-cityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.

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