While I did attend the global premiere in New York back on May 10th, this review will only be limited to my opinion of the film and not the experience (or “x-perience” as it was promoted) of that event. That write up will be coming shortly. However, due to the nature of how the film was viewed, my experience was not advanced but enhanced.
Typically with big blockbuster summer popcorn munching comic book superhero movies such as this, I’m in a midnight (or earlier) screening the day before the official release date. This is a time reserved for the nerdy geeky types, whether they are film aficionados or live in the comic books… or a little bit of both. I have to put that forward there because who you see a movie with, and the kind of setting you’re in, makes a difference. For example, if the theater cheers as soon as the film starts, you’re about to watch a film with a live audience. On May 10th, I was with the liveliest movie theater audience ever, and it was great!
So don’t expect me to give you a summary of this outing of our beloved Wolverine and friends romp as way too much happens. I mean that in a good way. If you haven’t figured it out by now with all the posters and trailers and interviews, this film involves time travel and one of the popular arcs from the comic book (and the classic 90’s cartoon, if that’s what you grew up on like me). Like most films based on the source material, it took it’s liberties to make for better story. Don’t ask me the differences, I generally accept a movie for what the filmmaker delivers and judge it on that. And my ruling? X-cellent.
The crowd cheers when the film begins. Oh, I was with my Lost Dial co-host Mike (who was not familiar whatsoever with the X-Men and was just along for the ride) and Kevin Marc (who I collaborate with from time to time and is probably a bigger X-Men fan than I am and was the sole reason Mike and I were there in the first place). I’m pretty sure the cheers and jeers coming from the crowd baffled Mike, but this is something I hoped–no–expected. I mean, if there are movie patrons in full costume, you best believe you’re in an interact crowd.
I said I wasn’t going to summarize the film but I will a little. This one starts in a distant future, I don’t think a time frame is given OR I forgot. It’s a dystopian and mutants definitely have the worst of it. Just a warning, you’re going to encounter deaths of some of your favorite characters, and then some that you’ll never get a chance to figure out if you like or not. But this happens throughout the movie and since I’m not naming names, it’s not really a spoiler. There will be blood. But what I think what I mean to say is that the deaths hurt to see, as a fanboy.
As it’s a time traveling film, there are some jumps from present to past, or past to future? Future past… But it’s never too confusing. Wolverine is the lucky time traveler as he must get two feuding sides, Professor X and Magneto, to work together to stop an assassination that will trigger the end of our mutated heroes much later in their future. Got it? Easier said than done as no one believes Wolverine and much worse, no one wants anyone to do with anyone else. This film has layers.
The film has some new mutants for as to meet, as I’ve mentioned before, some are in the future, and some are in the past. There are also some early incarnations of characters we meet later on. I’ll bet there are a few more in the inevitable deleted scenes. There are also cameos! But that’s all I’ll say on that. I will say that when said cameos happened, the theater applauded and cheered madly. Mike was confused.
What I love about the X-Men films is seeing the mutants use their powers. And the more mutants, the better. My least favorite so far in the franchise has been The Wolverine because of the utter lack of mutant activity and I’m not that crazy about Wolverine. I want Gambit to get his own film which I hear they are discussing. Anyway, aside from that film, the franchise tends to make good on my desire as I get more action with each film that comes out. And it’s not special effects glory for special effects sake, there’s some good story going on too. So with that said, you definitely get your bang for your buck.
One standout that should be discussed is Quicksilver. While only strongly hinted at where he came from (he’s Magneto’s son), he’s a super fast mutant who stole and ran away with the key scene he was in. The crowd erupted with laughter. Mike was not moved. I’ll also mention briefly we’ll see Quicksilver again next year albeit different actor and origin.
Oh and sentinels. The ones in the future are terrifying. I felt doom and dread whenever they appeared. They also reminded me of the new version of The Day The Earth Stood Still meets the metal robot monster Thor fought in his first movie. (No research for me today.)
Overall, like I said before. I thought this was very well done. Is it the best yet? Maybe. I mean it filled a lot of the qualities I liked: time travel, mutants, special effects, fight scenes, Jennifer Lawrence, awesome title sequence oh and I do approve of 3D for this film. It’s not needed but it does give it that much more fun when it matters during the big special effects scenes. Fun for the whole family except for maybe a single swear that’s actually a joke and callback to First Class.
And another crowd moment… after the movie ended, the theater applauded. Everyone stayed seated though as we waited for the first batch of credits to roll… but alas… no sting (post credits scene). The theaters booed. But no one got up. EVERYONE stayed seated until the very end and then… SCENE. Cheers and applause and then dead silence as we watched… I’m not going to tell you what we saw but it’s a definite lead for the next film. After the scene ended, the theater roared. I wouldn’t be surprised if these same people showed up in line for X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.