I’ll be honest with you. I have absolutely zero inspiration to write anything about X-Men: Days of Future Past. Wondering how on earth this could be and totally depressed at the thought of being dried up and washed out as a movie reviewer (come on, who can’t write a few paragraphs about one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer, a franchise I love, for goodness sake?), I found myself driving the other day and saw a billboard for A Million Ways to Die in the West and it hit me. No matter how stupid and immature (and probably really bad) that movie is going to be, I was, in that moment, so unbelievably juiced to see it. Why? Because it will be a movie that won’t be the same thing I’ve seen a hundred times in the past five years. I got so excited at the thought of a comedy spoofing all the tropes of Western movies with a modern, pop culture spin—-it felt fresh, new, and EGADS….original.
And that’s when I knew what was bugging me about X-Men: Days of Future Past. This superhero thing? I think I’m over it. I don’t know when or how it happened, but I think I’m officially there. It was fun for a while, but it seems the thrill is gone. There have been too many movies, too many heroes, too much CGI, too many stories to follow, characters to keep track of, mythologies to remember, dark histories to care about. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m finally ready for the next big thing (Star Wars opens when?).
Seriously, this is as surprising to me as it is to anyone. I just wrote a semi-decent review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which I actually enjoyed. But, looking back on it, what I really loved about that movie was the relationship between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. And maybe that’s just it. Maybe I just really love the relationship between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
But for me to check out like this during X-Men, the one superhero franchise that I’ve actually bought into and loved for so many years? The one with the best actors and the coolest superheroes? I mean, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen and Jennifer Lawrence are superheroes! How cool is that?! I absolutely adored X-Men: First Class, have seen it over a dozen times, and was so looking forward to this next installment, which was supposed to add even more dimensions to the beloved X-Men universe, allowing, through time travel, for all our various X-Men heroes to be in the same movie together. But, for me, it turned out to be a jumbled, convoluted, unfocused kitchen sink rather than an opportunity to showcase its talented resources.
While it was great to see everyone on screen together, there was just too much to look at, too much to try to keep straight, too much to remember (Wait, what’s their history; Who’s that? Tell me their timeline again?), just too much everything to enjoy much of anything. And that’s where these movies have just lost me. Everything’s just got to be so big and important and deep and symbolic and overloaded and action-packed and WOW! It seems strange to say this, but there is no innocence left in these movies. There is no light, there is no originality, there is only the expectation of spectacle and character and maybe a hint of story. And, for me, it’s all gotten too heavy, too bloated and too scattered for me to care anymore.
I know summer movies are supposed to be big and loud and escapist, but when did they stop being fun?