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    July 11, 2014


    The return of director Bryan Singer into this seventh instalment (in overall, of course) is indeed a great opportunity for Fox, to give this decade old X-men franchise a much needed rejuvenation. Perhaps, it is timely to propel this with refreshing direction as the franchise is expected to yield more sequels. Singer started this mutant frenzy since the turn of this century, by carefully guiding and nurturing the first two X-men movies into greatness. Some may even say that the second instalment remained the one of best comic book movies ever. But after leaving the director’s chair to try on something different (but we know where it went from there), the franchise went through bumpy roads with strings of hits-and-misses instalments.

    THE STORY: In this new adventure, Singer takes on the Days of Future Past "Uncanny" comic arc which will sync the two established timelines of the X-men franchises. The movie opens in an apocalyptic world in not so distant future, where the mutants have suffered great losses as the result of the Sentinels programme. The Sentinels or the big sparkling killing machines were designed by Trask Industries in the 70s to take down the mutants, in a period of time when the human feared of their own demise in the face of genetic face-off they never understood. Years down the road, the Sentinels eventually behaving like Skynet, and eliminating humans who aid mutants as well. But the mutants have a plan to fight back. In order to stop the future from happening, the surviving mutants across the two sects (X-men and Brotherhood of Mutants) ultimately join forces, and send one of their own back to the past to correct the past timeline.

    SCREENPLAY: This could just be another X-men prequel or Wolverine’s adventure, but it eventually becomes something bigger than that. The credit goes to Simon Kinberg for his ability to translate those original comic materials from the Uncanny arc into a seamless and brilliant movie that knows how to impress. Kinberg also gave us a consistently entertaining, intelligently constructed and well-balanced scribble, that allows director Bryan Singer to wave his magic sticks. The multilayer composite story with greater emphasis on the political allegory that heavily drawn from a centre-stage against the backdrop of Vietnam war and the dawn of human's understanding about genetic research match. The kind of job Singer invested has helped to muster a scope for this movie that is epic in proportion, with an intriguing premise, great casts and visually stunning that pleases the eyes and ears.

    THINGS I LIKE AND I DON'T LIKE: Much like the 2012's reboot The First Class, the heavy emphasis on the past timeline is easily the best thing in the whole movie. There are several moments when the friendship and uneasy alliance between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr in their younger bodies (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) are revisited, but highlighted with more elaboration. Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) time-travelling mission is definitely better than any of his previous solo missions. Unfortunately, I am one of the few who does not fond with the idea of putting Wolverine, instead of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) for the time travelling story. I felt that the studio is relying too much on bigger characters that other characters like Mystique, Beast, Quick Silver, Storm and the rest were simply pushed aside. That ending comes without much more explanation to offer, as if the first trilogy becomes obsolete.

    NOT NECESSARY PERFECT: The flow of the story and the crispy characters entitles it to be one of the best movies of this summer, in the comic book canon and also the best in the franchise. While having everything in place and seems like the greatness is in the making, the movie lacks something for me to take home. At the end of the day, this fifth X-men movie is still relatively a grounded but great superhero movie. Which is why I still think the Captain America sequel as the best of the year, simply because this one plays out without taking necessary risks and plays too safe.

    Story: 4.0
    Casts: 4.5
    Cinematography: 5.0
    Effects: 5.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 17.1/20.0

    "X-Men: Days of Future Past" stars James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage and Nicholas Hoult; presented by 20th Century Fox; directed by Bryan Singer from the screenplay by Simon Kinberg. The movie was rated P13 and was released in Malaysia since May 22, 2014. The movie runs about 131 minutes.
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