WOLVERINE: Getting too old for this shit.
  • WOLVERINE: Getting too old for this shit.

It's entirely possible that I've seen too many superhero movies—maybe I need to take a rest from the genre, so the familiarity can fade away a little bit. Because I only thought X-Men: Days of Future Past was, you know, okay. Nobody's confusing DoFP for The Godfather or anything, but it's getting great reviews: The film stands right now at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics that I really like are calling the movie "pretty good." But I just didn't see anything in DoFP that would make me want to watch the movie a second time, which is one of my pleasurability tests for summer blockbusters. In fact, the more I think about DoFP, the less I enjoy it.

The nerdy flaws of DoFP have been thoroughly argued about in comment threads around the internet this weekend. Why did this character develop a completely new power? Why is that formerly deceased character somehow alive, with absolutely no explanation? I'm perfectly willing to suspend my disbelief, but I need some sort of load-bearing weight on which I can bridge the logical gap. These are problems that could be solved with a throwaway line or two, but nobody in DoFP even bothered to throw those lines into the movie. I just don't think filmmakers should trust blog commenters to fill in these blanks on their behalf; I think that's shitty filmmaking. But I have more problems than fanboy quibbles, here. I think Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, for example, is played out. Everything about the character, except for Jackman's ropy-veined physique, has become perfunctory. Much of the cast felt checked-out to me. (Jennifer Lawrence, for maybe the first time in her life, displays absolutely no charisma.) The listlessness floated all the way to the top: Bryan Singer's direction, though admirably clear for a blockbuster of this size, lacked the energy and quirk of his earlier X-Men films.

The thing that worries me about DoFP is that I see blockbuster history repeating itself. I forgave the 2009 Star Trek reboot for any number of its sins—a lame plot device, rushed character motivations, a preference for flashy pyrotechnics over storytelling technique—because it was entertaining, and because I hoped that it would set the scene for other, better Star Trek movies. My hope for the future of the Star Trek movie franchise was squashed by Star Trek Into Darkness, a fuckwittedly dumb movie that made the previous cinematic outing seem dumber in retrospect. I'm afraid this X-Men movie, which fans are declaring to be a palate cleanser in the style of 2009's Star Trek, might just be a sign of lazier films to come. It doesn't help that the next X-Men movie is going to center on a lame villain who has no motivation besides a misunderstanding of what "survival of the fittest" is supposed to mean. If there was any passion or intelligence behind DoFP, I'd be more hopeful about the future of X-Men films. But I just didn't see anything in DoFP besides a perfectly....okay summer movie.