I used to go to the cinema once a week. This was when ticket prices were under a fiver (yes I know this makes me quite old). For a very long time now cinema ticket prices haven’t even been anywhere near the tenner mark, let alone the fiver one. So my cinema outings dwindled to only the big releases. This definitely included X-Men: Days of Future Past and even though I was willing to fork out a small fortune in order to see the movie, when a friend told me about Coronet Place my heart sped up (in the good way, not in the heart attack inducing sort of way).
You see this is because on Tuesdays the ticket prices are £3.50. In a cinema in Notting Hill.
The cinema itself is old, beautiful and very intimate. The movie was incredibly, hard to forget and all kinds of brilliant. It takes place in the near future where Sentinals have been built to track and kill mutants. The world has been close to decimated, the mutant population almost extinct – the human population isn’t doing all that much better either. (We learn later that Sentinals are also tracking and killing humans who have the potential of having mutant children or grandchildren.) There are a few X-Men left, including Prof X (James McAvoy/Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Michael Fassbender/Ian McKellen), Storm (Halle Berry), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Shadowcat (Ellen Page), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Sunspot (Adan Canto). And there are a few new mutants introduced into the resistance mix including Blink (one of my new favourites) (Fan Bingbing), Warpath (Booboo Stewart) and Bishop (Omar Sy).
In order to save their future they identify the moment in time when it all went wrong – in 1973 Raven (who is quickly becoming Mystique) (Jennifer Lawrence) kills Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), the scientist who invented the Sentinals. Her hope is that by killing him she kills the threat to her race, instead she galvanizes previously apathetic humans into believing in Trask’s ideologies. They send Wolverine’s consciousness back to his 1973 body in the hope that he can prevent this all from happening and save them all. They send him back to 1973 when Charles is an addict with Hank (Nicholas Hoult) looking after him, Erik is in prison and Raven has gone slightly insane with grief and anger.
From then on we follow both timelines as they try to save the world. And I loved it! I went with a person who had already seen the movie, and she loved it! I freaked out at the right moments, was jumping in my seat almost all of the time and fell in love with this universe all over again. I am not going to give any spoilers about this movie, since it is something that definitely needs to be watched without any knowledge of what is going to happen so that the surprises are impactful, but I do want to talk about some of the key points in this movie.
I loved all of the newly introduced mutants but no one, and I mean no one can hold a candle to Quicksilver (Evan Peters). He was in the movie only for a couple of scenes but those scenes were glorious. He was so funny and so very fast. Loved him and I hope he is in future movies. Especially since Erik is his dad. (This is not a spoiler – it is known.) But more than the new mutants I loved seeing the old ones, from the first X-Men movie. At the end there is this wonderful, wonderful scene which rights many of The Last Stand’s wrongs.
Of course there were some other key scenes, Erik and Charles confronting each other on the plane, Charles and Prof X, Charles and Wolverine, Charles and everyone basically. He carried this movie and this movie was about him. All the acting in this movie was brilliant and James McAvoy was the glorious cherry on an already very talented cake (I know this metaphor is ridiculous but carpe diem and all that jazz).
If you haven’t seen the movie yet but plan to, definitely stay behind until the end of the credits for one extra scene which sets up the next movie very nice. And see if you can sport four figures in the background.
Movie poster from rottentomatoes.com