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May 27, 2014

Travel through time with action and intrigue

by Jacob Popper, Op/Ed Editor
Some people enjoy movies with tons of action—they want explosions and combat galore, with bodies flying and virtually no time to rest. Others tend to prefer movies with more intrigue—they want characters who develop their interests throughout the story, and events that always leave them guessing. "X-Men Days of Future Past" promises to satisfy both kinds of moviegoers.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

(released May 23, 2014)
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must go back in time to change the course of history and end the ongoing war between the mutants and the sentinels. Courtesy of ScreenRant
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Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence star in the newest X-Men movie

Brian Singer directs the film which begins in a desolate future. Humans have released evil robots called Sentinels that track and kill mutants and human parents of mutant children. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) suggests that the only way to "win" the war is to ensure that it never happens. He sends Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to 1973 to stop the murder of the scientist, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), an event which convinces the humans to stop the mutants. The murder also allows for the capture of Trask’s killer, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), whose DNA allows the Sentinels to adopt mutant forms, making them all but invincible. To change the course of history, Wolverine has to convince a younger Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and a younger Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to band together and prevent the murder.

The special effects make the action sequences really come to life on screen. Many fights occur throughout the course of the movie, and the special effects allow for mutant powers such as turning people into fire and ice—and for Sentinels to rip bodies both alive and dead in half. The detail of the Sentinels and other computerized characters makes them believable for viewers. The way they change forms and move around is edited seamlessly to make the motions seem fluid. For example, the initial fight between the X-Men and the Sentinels features the Sentinels using their power to change forms from fire to ice in order to adapt and defeat their challengers.

However, this film isn't senseless action all the time. Most maneuvers that result in fighting are calculated, rendering the plot much more intriguing. The plot is more or less straightforward, but contains certain characters, such as Mystique, whose interests aren’t made up until the very end. This keeps viewers' interest till the end.

The acting in the film is superb. The real-life characters' expressions and actions complement those from the computer generated characters in order to make the emotions and intentions of characters clear. This is particularly true of Hugh Jackman, who has to play both old and young Wolverine, desperately trying to convince the others of the mutant race's desolate future. Additionally, the actors are able to insert some comic relief into the film—like when Wolverine first gets to 1973 and realizes he's been sleeping with a woman he was supposed to protect.

"X-Men Days of Future Past" will certainly do well in the box office with its recognizable Marvel Characters and all-star cast. It is truly deserving of all the hype.

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