2 1/2 StarsI’ve never been able to quite understand the long-lasting appeal of Marvel’s X-Men. There are now seven movies in the series (though not in successive order) and I have long grown tired of the trials and battles between mutants and humans. X-2 is one of the best superhero films ever committed to film, but it is now 11 years and five sequels later and the originality, luster and my own emotional attachment to this world and characters have long faded. Series’ regular Hugh Jackman is once again beefed up and in charge of the show as the Wolverine. Jackman now stands among Moore, Connery, and Stallone as actors who have portrayed the same role in six different movies. He commands the screen as the muscular mutant with iron claws, but Jackman has never been the problem with these flicks. It is the same rudimentary plot devices over and over again, the novelty this time around is the time travel element. This gimmick allows Wolverine to visit an alternate universe that ties the series’ fractured timeline together.
In a futuristic Russian outpost the mutants are attacked by a group of robotic machines intent on exterminating the human population. Humanity is down to its last hope. So, the mutants decide to send Logan/Wolverine (Jackman) back to 1970’s New York to enlist Charles (James MacAvoy) and Eric (Michael Fassbender) in order to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a senator who intends to build the sentient beings that will one day enslave the population.
The change in narrative continuity that began in the prequel First Class is brought full-bore, here. The writers have found a way to unite the original cast with their rebooted counter-parts. Much like Star Trek (2009), the use of a time-travel gimmick allows for both generations of X-Men actors/actresses to occupy the same film. Director Bryan Singer, returning after a four film absence, brings reinvigorated style to what has grown old and perfunctory. In true comic book form, the story ends with the door hanging wide open for the inevitable continuation.
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender