Conflicting reviews of this movie left me with relatively low expectations, but in the end, I find myself agreeing with the positive reviews.
If they want to reboot movies and have them line up with previous ones, this is the way to do it. The idea of blending the two casts of X-Men into one movie via time travel is kind of interesting (but would probably make no sense if one actually tried to puzzle it out even with sci-fi logic) and it worked well for the most part.
The movie begins in the future where huge robots endowed with mutant-like adaptive abilities are hunting down mutants. A small group consisting of Kitty Pryde, Iceman, and three others whose names I had to look up (Blink, Bishop, Warpath) are just barely escaping them by using Kitty’s ability to send Bishop’s consciousness back in time to warn themselves of the coming attacks. Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine and Storm find them hiding in a deserted monastery in China and a plan is formulated to send Wolverine’s consciousness back to 1973 in order to prevent Mystique from killing a scientist named Bolivar Trask – an act which apparently sets off a chain of events that leads to the non-mutants learning from Mystique’s genes to create Sentinels that can adapt to any attack.
From posters and promos, one gets the idea that Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is supposed to be a major character in this story, but he seemed to be more like a sidekick at times. Most of the attention is on young Xavier (James McAvoy), young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) – which is good since the three of them are more interesting than Wolverine. Though I’m still not quite sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to spring Magneto from jail, considering his superiority complex and his incredibly superior powers… Would that Quicksilver kid (Evan Peters) not have sufficed? Or maybe they thought they needed him to talk Mystique out of murdering Trask (Peter Dinklage). Who knows?
The parts where Xavier and Magneto interacted were well done. It’s a pity that they were only allies for so short a time in the movie before Magneto broke away and took up the villainous mantle again. (And does he have a spare suit of armour and cloak stashed away somewhere? Where did he get his outfit from?) I think the movie would have benefitted from seeing them both really working together for a bit more – like Thor and Loki in Thor: The Dark World. That said, Magneto in villain mode performs more astonishing feats of power than when he’s being “good.”
Actually, I was far more interested in the future storyline – in the potential fight that Storm (Halle Berry) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) and the others would mount against the Sentinels there in their Chinese hiding place (which is like saying, “FYI, a good deal of Chinese money went into this production”). Sadly, that fight was over really quickly. It felt like a huge waste of characters and actors. Should not Storm, who has the ability to command the weather, have surrounded the area in blizzards and hail and rain and thunderstorms or something? She did call up some stormy winds but it didn’t seem like a lot, considering what she can supposedly do. (I did always like Storm best. haha) And Magneto… Hmm. Maybe there wasn’t enough metal in the area for him to command. Those Sentinels are made of polymer something-or-other-but-not-metal so he couldn’t control them I guess. Blink (Fan Bingbing) was interesting, with the ability to conjure up portals to different places in the vicinity. How does she keep track of who goes where though? That was pretty amazing haha
The portals and Sentinels, however, really really reminded me of Thor and Thor: The Dark World. The Sentinels incredibly similar to the Destroyer in Thor. Especially with the heads opening up to blast fire and flames at people. The portal trick was reminiscent of the ones that popped up in the final battle of Dark World, except that the portals here were more controlled and used to fight whereas in Dark World they were obstacles in a fight.
I did quite like the ending at the school, where old familiar faces popped up. (Yay, cameos from Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Cyclops (James Marsden)! In the original X-Men trilogy, I liked Storm and Cyclops best. And Jean Grey. Although Jean Grey’s character made me really unhappy with the whole Wolverine thing. >_> ) I would’ve liked to know what Magneto was doing though.