Rating: 3 out of 5

We open in the future, a very bleak future for both human and super-humans. Humans are being enslaved or murdered by the thousands. The mutants and X-Men, led by Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier and his former friend, former partner, former enemy, then, apparently, friend again, Ian McKellon as Magneto, are also fighting for their lives. The world is turned upside down as an army of killer robots target for death all mutants and humans with the potential of spawning future mutants.

X-MenCredit: Cory Stophlet, 2014

Primary Actors: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine; James McAvoy as the young Professor X; Patrick Stewart as the older Professor X; Michael Fassbender as Magnito; Ian McKellen as the older Magneto; Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique; Halle Berry as Storm; Nicholas Hoult as the Beast; Ellen Page as Kitty Pride; Peter Dinklage as Dr. Trask; and Evan Peters as Quicksilver. 

It’s your typical social statement about fear mongering by a group of self-appointed saviors of the human race that have chosen a scorched Earth philosophy; that all mutants are dangerous and must be destroyed along with any humans with genetic markers that “might” result in a future super-human. It is legalized genocide by the millions.

Okay I will admit to not being a fan of time travel movies unless the time traveler remains in an observer mode; unless of course it’s Dr. Who (but that’s a different story).

Anytime a story line involves characters being transported to the past in order to change the future, it creates a whole lot of trouble. Not the kind of trouble that makes for a great action movie, the kind that makes the story a bit hard to swallow. There is a philosophical and logical argument against the notion that you can go back in time to change the future: IF it were possible to travel to the past and change anything, it could be argued that you really did not change anything because what you did was already meant to happen. You don’t really know if you were the cause of the changed state of being or the actual cause of a current condition. If someone farther in the future traveled to the past to stop you from changing the past, what would the future state be? The intended state, a better or worse state; do you keep going back over and over again until you get the desired outcome? Wow, what a loopy mess. Okay, enough of that conjecturing.

[Spoiler Alert] Well let’s just go with the premise of the story as is:  Wolverine gets to travel back in time – at least his mind-consciousness does – into his younger body and before his body has been infused with super-metals that give him those nice sharp knuckle knives we all admire. Instead, he’s stuck in the past with his very long spike like protrusions that look more like magic wands borrowed from the Harry Potter set.

Wolverine must find the young Professor Xavier, played by James McAvoy, and the young Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender. Then Wolverine must convince them that the future is going to hell and they need to fix it by stopping Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, from killing the very person that they all believe started the disaster. After eventually getting through to the two super-leaders, the effort to find and stop Mystique begins in earnest. However, even with the best laid plans, things can go off course and our somewhat psych Magneto has his own agenda. I’ll stop the story there because the best of the movie starts at this point.

Once Magneto commences his plan, you tend to forget any time travel arguments and, well things get pretty fun. Lots of action and cool special effects. Of course the good guys win. I mean that the X-Men win. And by resetting the past, many of the mutants that were previously killed off are alive again. In other words, the movie actually resets the stage and cast to a time before all the turmoil that resulted in the conflict between humans and mutants. Thus, we have a whole new starting point for future episodes of the X-Men that includes Jean Grey played by Famke Janssen, who as you probably remember was killed in a previous episode.

Final Word

The high-point is still the special effects and all the great super-powers displayed by our mutant heroes. As long as you can overlook the time travel debate – even if Wolverine only travels back with his mind – there are a lot of fun moments throughout the movie.