In the future, huge intelligent robots called Sentinels have all but wiped out the mutants, and enslaved any human who supported them. A handful remain and are forced into a risky plan to send Wolverine back to the 1970s, where the Sentinel programme first began. There, he must try and stop a young Mystique from inadvertently setting into place the events that will lead to mutant extermination. Wolverine will need to convince a young Charles Xavier, bitter from losing everything, whilst also breaking out from a top security prison the metal controlling Magneto. Can these friends-turned-enemies put aside their difference to save their future, or is history always set to repeat itself to a deadly conclusion?

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Director: Bryan Singer

 

is X-Men - Days of Future Past appropriate for kids

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 131 mins

Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender

Genre: Comic Book, Science Fiction

REVIEW

With director Bryan Singer returning to the helm (the man responsible for the first two – and, arguably, best – instalments in the X-Men series) there has been a lot of excitement about ‘Days of Future Past’. Featuring a time travel element, ‘Days of Future Past’ also seeks to tie together recent X-Men movies – X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine – back into the original trilogy (whilst quietly ignoring the events of the origins movie about Wolverine’s early days).

If all that sounds a little complicated then certainly it is true the key audience aimed at here are existing fans of the X-Men series to date. However, what Singer brings back to the table is a balanced approach to an ensemble cast. Whether it be Mystique’s (Lawrence) gymnastic fights, Magneto’s (Fassbender) cold and calculating approach to survival, Xavier’s (McAvoy) broken man having to piece his life back together, or Wolverine’s (Jackman) ever popular cocky scowl, ‘Days of Future Past’ has equal parts action, character and plot. This may seem like a no-brainer, but previous instalments have all too often strayed into parading some mutant powers about the screen whilst neglecting the human element that would make us care.

With Wolverine sent back through time to prevent a future where the mutants (and most of the humans) have been virtually wiped out by deadly robot Sentinels, ‘Days of Future Past’ is imbued with impressively high stakes that lend a satisfying gravitas to the plot. The time travel mechanic causes more than a few continuity headaches but despite a the logic wobbles, it’s been a while since an X-Men movie has had a new story to tell (aside from re-hashing various origin stories) and tells it with such assuring, confident aplomb. Fans will love it, and non-fans, while perhaps scratching their heads from time to time, should also love ‘Days of Future Past’ for all its popcorn guzzling blockbuster pedigree.

IS ‘X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is very violent, we have highlighted the strongest scenes so if a child is alright with these scenes, they should be ok with the rest of the movie. However, we do recommend caution as there is almost constant violence so the cumulative effect could distress some kids.

The opening scene is set in the near future where mutants and those who have tried to help them are rounded up and oppressed. They are marched in lines and are forced to wear collars which presumably stop them from rebelling. There is a close-up shot of a man who has lost an eye and he has purple scars on his face. Bodies roll out of a truck and there are piles of bodies on the ground. The lighting in these scenes is dark so no graphic detail is seen.

The mutants of the future are terrorised by Sentinels – huge robot-like weapons that kill every mutant they come across. They are seemingly impossible to destroy and as they are merciless, when they kill, the deaths can be very violent. The Sentinels shoot a fiery beam of light from their faces and kill several people with them; perhaps the most violent of this (which occurs during the climax of the movie) is when one character is held above a Sentinel’s head and is slowly lowered, face first, into the beam. This is shown in close up and the character is seen to cry out in pain. Another character, who has been established in some of the other X-Men movies, is killed by being decapitated, their head is shown in close up (although due to this character’s powers, the head is not made of flesh and blood). The Sentinel steps on the head and it smashes into pieces.

The Sentinels can also turn their arms into blades – these blades kill several characters, including one major character. Three Sentinels surround one character and each of them stabs them; they surround another character and use their beams on him, causing fire to overwhelm his body to the point where he explodes; another mutant is ripped in half by two Sentinels (although as this character can transform his body into a different material, there is no blood or gore).

There are several mentions in the dialogue of mutants being tortured and experimented on. Some of this relates to established characters, some of which have been killed. At one point, one character walks into a room and sees an appendage of a character displayed in a cabinet. It was previously mentioned that this character died after being experimented on.

One character takes a drug which has the benefit of improving their health but at the cost of suppressing their mutant powers. They are shown to put a tourniquet around their arm and inject a substance into their arm. The dialogue of another character explains that he must continue to take this substance in order to stay healthy. While there are no symptoms of drug taking and addiction is never mentioned, what is shown looks very much like someone taking a narcotic. One scene shows this character struggling to decide whether not to take the substance, they put the needle into a vein in their hand, the camera shows it in place for a couple of seconds but the needle is removed without the injection taking place.

One character is shot in the leg; the bullet is shown to enter in slow motion and small amount of blood is seen. This character tries to get away but another character, who can control metal, pulls this character towards him by virtue of the bullet, causing the victim to cry out in pain.

There are various impalements and stabbings throughout. When Wolverine faces some mobsters they shoot him and he retaliates by using his bone claws to kill them. One mobster is stabbed in the neck although there is no blood.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Whilst ‘Days of Future Past’ can bind itself silly in continuity problems which are either ignored or weakly explained, such headaches don’t stop this from being a hugely entertaining return to form for the X-Men series. However, much like ‘The Wolverine’ it appears that the level of violence has increased and therefore a decision as to whether or not ‘Days of Future Past’ will depend on how much the presence of violence influences the decision. We would therefore summarise by saying that ‘Days of Future Past’ should be suitable for children aged 10 and over.

  • Violence: 5/5 (one character is shot in the neck, the bullet is shown to enter and leave with a small amount of blood (this character is not killed). Many instances of stabbing, limbs being torn, and characters set on fire)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (one character is shown to be suffering from a serious depression due previous events. This lasts up until around half-way through the film)
  • Fear Factor: 0/5
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (Wolverine wakes up in the past and finds himself in bed with a woman. The implication is that they slept together the previous night. The women is wearing a thin night top            
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (some strong cursing and several instances of moderate bad language)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (one character describes wanting to obtain a mutant so that experiments can be run. He lists wanting her ‘brain tissue, spinal fluid and bone marrow’)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of survivalism, cause and effect, prejudice and depression.

Words by Laura Record and Mike Record

X-Men: Days of Future Past [DVD] [2014]


New From: £2.94 GBP In Stock

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