Godzilla may have left a path of merciless destruction, but even in the big green guy's wake, summer blockbuster season must roll on. This week on At the Movies, Peter Travers highlights the new X-Men movie, subtitled Days of Future Past — a fantastic, if not somewhat confusing, movie that goes back and forth in time and contains characters from the seven preceding movies in the franchise.
"This is actually a spectacularly good movie, I can't believe how good it is," Travers says, but warns: "If you're an X-Men newbie…you either need to be stoned, or you need to do a tremendous catch-up before this one."
For those of you who are caught up, Travers offers a simplified synopsis: Our favorite mutants are going up against the Sentinels, a horde of mutant-hunting robots created in the Seventies by evil scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask (played by the always great Peter Dinklage). In order to stop the Sentinel scourge, the elder Magneto and Professor X (Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart) send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to 1973, bringing the the younger versions of Magneto and Professor X into play (Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, reprising their roles from X-Men: First Class).
"I know that I've confused you, but it doesn't matter because when you watch this movie, it's directed really well by Bryan Singer, who directed the first two [X-Men] movies," Travers says. "He knows how to do this." Travers also praises Fassbender and McAvoy for bringing a much-needed lightness to the film, and highlights newcomer Evan Peters, who, as Quicksilver, plays a crucial role in a prison breakout from the Pentagon. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, Jennifer Lawrence steals the show as Raven/Mystique — even if her skin is blue 80% of the time.
"Do you have all this straight?" Travers asks. "Do you care? I'm saying you should care. And if you ever get to be in an X-Men movie, ask to be a character who's blue. Because boy does that pull focus, that's what the camera loves. I wish I could be blue!"