I just have to dork out for a moment and talk about the latest X-Men movie travesty. This deals mainly with the new Days of Future Past movie, but you’ll probably have to have at least seen all the X-Men movies to really get where I’m coming from.
Nerd-topia to follow, oh and there are no spoilers here… I think.
I was a huge fan of the comics in the 90’s and can usually put aside everything and just let a movie be a movie. I tried hard to like X1, X2 and X3, or the “current time” movies, but its a big struggle. I honestly like the first Wolverine solo. I liked it better than the other crap that came before it anyway, Of course liking it is not saying much more than it was OK. And even in that one what they did with Deadpool and Gambit was atrocious. Liev Schreiber was amazing as usual though.
I also enjoyed X-Men First Class as it was pretty decent in its earlier timeline with the possibilities of restarting the series… but Days of Future Past combined the two generations into something that made me re-hate the current timeline movies all over again and you know what I hated the most? Its not the stories themselves, its the actors. Generally speaking, they suck and are completely wrong for the characters. Leaving out the comic fanboy history, the “current timeline” actors just do not display anything close to what I think the movie characters should display. The overall theme is of persecuted people who are trying to find their roles in the world. A tag line from the comics is that they protect a world that fears and hates them. The movies try to play to some of that but the actors just don’t seem have the chops for it. I’m sure they do the best they can with the writing and directing, but you never get the non-manufactured feel of uncertainty, angst, and fear mixed with heroism that is what the comic book characters were all about. Even trying to stick in good actors here and there as ringers like Halle Berry somehow made it worse. This is very much not the case for the movies set in the “past” timelines like First Class.
I’ve lost track of who directed which movies but I’m pretty sure the same team did the ones I don’t like and another team did the ones I do like.
One other note, I didn’t like the second Wolverine solo flick and that probably has to do with the part where it runs along the “current” timeline story.
So with that all being said, I did enjoy all the parts of Days of Future Past that happened in the past which was thankfully the majority of the film. The actors are just better, no question about it. Putting away my past comic knowledge, I enjoyed the storyline, but every time the movie went to the “current timeline” scenes, it made me dislike the whole thing. The current stuff just takes that much away from it all.
Push your nerd glasses even a little higher on your nose for the next bit:
There was also a lot of ramp up to this movie with introducing some new (old) fan favorite characters like Bishop, Blink, Warpath, Sunspot… and I should have known better but it was all a ruse. The new characters aren’t introduced or involved in the story in any sort of a way that makes you interested in them or care about their outcome. They really aren’t introduced or used at all, they are just there. A total blue ball tease with all the pre-movie press of the new guys.
Mini spoiler that I’m not going to put in a tag:
When the movie ends in the “current time” line with the current characters/actors, it leaves off on the wrong foot. It does connect everything, including the solo movies, but all that does is make you not like the ones you are supposed to like because they are now better connected to the shitty movies. Its just wrong.
All in all, another failed X-Men flick, but not as failed as some of the others. The next movie will feature Apocalypse as the main villain and I’m praying whoever directs it (Bryan Singer again I think) wont try for the Age of Apocalypse story from the comics. There is the slightest chance that if they go with the older storyline characters/actors, it wont suck. Or, with First Class being set in the 60s, Days in the 70s, and now Apocalypse in the 80’s, they could hopefully re-introduce new actors for the major players like Cyclops as a younger/newer recruit to the team, but if its the same director/team that has crapped out all the other ones I didn’t like, I can already guess which “like” or “dislike” pile the next movie will fall into.
Marvel screwed up royally by not retaining rights to the franchise which is why it sucks and comic movies I never read like Iron Man, Avengers and Captain America are SO much better.