In the future, the mutants and the humans that help them are slaughtered by powerful robots named Sentinels. Professor Xavier, Wolverine, Magneto, Storm, Kitty Pryde and her friends meet at a monastery in China and Xavier explains that the invincible Sentinels were created using the DNA of Mystique that was captured in 1973 when she tried to assassinate their creator Dr. Bolivar Trask. Xavier tells that their only chance is return to 1973 using Pryde’s ability to join Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr to convince Mystique to give up of her intention. . However, only Wolverine can withstand the damages of the time travel. Will he succeed in stopping Mystique and the Sentinel Program and save the mutants and their human friends from annihilation?
This is a good and very enjoyable movie which, to me, was a bit surprising since I generally find that time travel is akin to sticking your foot in some messy and smelly stuff. It almost always screws up the movie in some way or another. This one was not without its faults but it did survive becoming too screwed up by it.
The opening scenes are indeed somewhat impressive throwing the viewer directly into an apocalyptic future where mutants as well as human are rounded up by sentinels. I could not help but think about Terminator during these scenes. Maybe not very original from a general point of view but the dark and gloomy opening was not the opening scenes I would have expected from an X-Men movie.
Then we, unfortunately, dive straight into some time travel when they send Wolverine back to 1973. This is of course a opportunity to make yet another twist of the mutant scare, mutants hunt, a good mutant is a dead mutant etc. story that we have seen in so many movies now. The main adversary changes but the general story idea stays the same and the arguments for hunting down the mutants are as silly as ever. Quite frankly, I find that angle a wee bit overdone and boring by now.
Luckily the story is fairly well implemented. The scene were Wolverine wakes up and disposes of the three thugs are rather funny. Pretty standard stuff but pretty funny nevertheless. The part where they retrieve Magneto is quite nice and the scene down in the Pentagon where the guards and everything else is “frozen” while Maximoff calmly walks around and rearranges things is outright hilarious.
I quite disliked the cheap twist where Magneto just decided to go amok and screw things up just when they were about to retrieve Mystique though. They could have spent some time coming up with a better way to twist the story at that time. The idiotic stuff with Wolverine getting a fit at the same time was just adding to my annoyance with that scene. This part is the main reason I will not give this movie a top score.
Apart from this scene the movie is a very well done superhero movie with lots of nice special effects. Sure it is also rather predictable but most people, including myself, do watch these movies mostly for the effects after all. As long as the plot is not downright stupid it get to pass.
Time travel. Okay, I have to harp a bit about time travel. I do not like it in movies because there are too many things that just does not add up. In this movie it is not too bad and most of the time the actual time travel aspect is kept out of the action. Wolverine goes back in time, does his stuff with a lot of action, and saves the day. Sure the dialog often comes back to the “I’m from the future” aspect but not much more. One thing annoys the hell out me though. Wolverine affects a lot of events while he is back there but not a single things seems to change in the future until one single event passes at the end of the movie. Then everything changes and it is happy ending. That is the kind of nonsense that time travel in movies ends up with.
Bottom line is that this is a very enjoyable movie. Without the rubbish plot twist in the middle it would have gotten 9 or 10 stars.