Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Entertainment

June 5, 2014

'X-Men: DoFP' an entertaining contradiction in timelines

FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES — Time travel can be a complicated, sticky business.

An old “thought experiment” wonders what might happen if a time traveler journeyed back and killed her grandfather. Said time traveler would thus snuff herself from existence by preventing her own birth. But wait; if the time traveler was never born, how could she journey back to kill her grandfather?

For viewers who’ve seen the previous six “X-Men” films – and care about such matters – “X-Men: Days with Future Past” abounds with such potential trippy paradoxes and continuity problems.

In fairness, such narrative entanglements aren’t surprising when one considers that 16 story- and screenwriters, along with five directors, have been involved in creating these seven films, spanning nearly 15 years. Throw in 40-plus years of comic-book lore upon which the films are based, and it would be astounding if a few logical snags didn’t pop up from film to film.

For viewers willing to suspend disbelief, however, and thumb their noses at paradoxes and continuity snafus, “Future Past” offers a big payoff.

Bryan Singer returns to the director’s chair for “Future Past,” a role he held for the series’ first two films. Singer and Screenwriter Simon Kinberg, along with story writers Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg and Matthew Vaughn, craft an effective time-travel story, allowing audiences to witness the pairing of Singer’s original “X-Men” cast with the cast of 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” (which was directed by Vaughn).

“First Class,” of course, was an origin story, detailing the beginnings of beloved mutants – a.k.a. X-Men – Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy) and Magneto (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender) and their assorted bands of mutants, great and small, good and evil.

In “Future Past” – which serves as a sequel to both “First Class,” and the first three “X-Men” films – the future has become a dystopian place, populated by mutant-hunting sentinels that have nearly exterminated mutant-kind.

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