New mutants and old team up for the biggest X-Men film ever which, over the four-day Memorial Day weekend brought in an estimated $110 million at the box office. In the year 2023, mutants have been wiped out by the Sentinels, a robotic race whose ability to adapt has been instrumental in making mutants nearly extinct. Unfortunately, for the remaining humans, Earth has become an unlivable scorched planet. All is not lost, however, as Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) have a plan to send Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back into his younger self to 1973. The same year that Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) assassinated an anti-mutant scientist named Trask (Peter Dinklage), which then prompted an all out war. Can mutton chops convince the younger, groovy Charles (James McAvoy) and madder than ever Erik (Michael Fassbender) to team up for the good of mutants and humans alike?
The film stars nearly everyone whose ever attended Xavier's School for the Gifted including Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult and more. The Avengers-style all-star line-up delivers a series high with director Bryan Singer returning since his much beloved X2: United (2003).
What makes this entry such a stand out? The period. From lava lamps to 8-mm camera footage Marvel's underdogs are completely at home in '70s. Fans of The Uncanny X-Men comic have long wanted this tale to reach the big screen. Singer and his cast do not disappoint.
Here's how the all those bellbottoms—and quite few psychedelics, make this the best X-Men so far.
1. Quicksilver's Underneath the Pentagon Dance: Evan Peters is so fast he'd make DC's the Flash look like a turtle. In the film's best scene he takes out guards, plays tricks, and saves his new X-Men pals all to the tune of Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle." Godzilla's Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who worked with Peters in Kick-Ass) will play the same character in the Avengers sequel though for legal reasons he can't be called Quicksilver. Also, Quick is the son of Magneto, which is hinted at in this film, but has been changed for Marvel's Age of Ultron.
2. Mystique's Moment to Shine: A scene that reveals the former Raven to the world (apparently, bystanders had no iPhones, but plenty of 8-mm cameras) has her disguised and hiding in plain sight. There's no mistaking the politics, but visuals like these are what has been lacking since Singer's departure. Kudos to Lawrence for being as good at her many fight scenes as John Travolta was blazing up a disco inferno in Saturday Night Fever.
3. Charles Gets His Groove Back: It turns out the only way Charles can walk is to take drugs prescribed by Beast (Hoult). Problem is, he's become an addict and worse, the meds take away his telekinesis ability. Like a struggling vet, his PTSD has led him to chase many dragons. Wolverine might have to stage an intervention.
4. Conspiracies Galore: There's a lot of story packed into the just over two-hour running time. The real feat of the script by Simon Kinberg is how numerous plot developments stay juggled in the air like they're held up by Jean Grey. This isn't to say that the staples of '70s paranoia doesn't get goofy. Logan's brain freeze moments feel like a cheesy drug trips. But hey, just go with it.
5. The Best X-Man Barely Fights: Proving he's more lover—or at least smooth talker—Logan doesn't actually have a lot of action scenes compared to his previous outings. In 1973, he's more the sassy talker, which fits the period, although it can seem a bit odd for Wolverine as a character. This is probably our only real complaint. Well, that and that Halle Berry's Storm is barely in the film, stuck in the future part (along with Bishop and Blink) with maybe three lines of dialogue. Just give Storm her own movie already!