X-Men: Days of Future Past – 2014

“The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.”

I wasn’t actually going to do a review of this film because it’s been quite a while since it came out but I sat down the other day to watch it because I had been watch Star Trek on SyFy and wanted to see some more Patrick Stewart. I’d been putting it off for a while because the whole time travel thing just sounded a bit stupid and I thought it was going to be ridiculous. Well at least I thought I’d been putting it off. About half an hour into the film it dawns on me that I’d already seen it. I think that’s a reflection on just how bad this film is.

It has a star-studded line up from both the Patrick Stewart generation of X-Men and the new James McAvoy generation but even the amount of good actors couldn’t save this film. The whole sending Wolverine back in time was just stupid and a bad excuse to get all of these actors in the one film. There didn’t need to be a crossover film to have both generations of X-Men in. X-Men: First Class was too good of a film to throw away for the sake of this awful transitional film and I feel that X-Men: First Class has pretty much been made redundant as an introduction to the new generation now.

The action in the film isn’t too bad. It’s all done in a quite clever way but it sort of has to be clever to keep up with the time traveling malarkey. As I said before all the actors are good so it’s difficult to go wrong when you have that much quality on the screen. It’s also written well, it’s witty when it needs to be and emotional when it needs to be, it’s just the general idea of the time travel and the transition or crossover or whatever you want to call it that I didn’t like. When the whole film is based on a stupid premise it’s hard to get a really good film out of it and that’s probably why I managed to completely forget I had already seen it.

It’s a bit harsh saying that it was so bad that it’s forgettable because 2nd time around it didn’t seem that bad but that is what happened so obviously it wasn’t particularly good. X Men: First Class I have optionally watched twice after my first viewing just because it was a good film. After writing this I hope I don’t manage to forget that I’ve seen this film, because I really don’t want to watch it again.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015

“When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.”

I could go on forever about how bad Marvel films are I really could. Too much money, too many characters, too many special effects, not enough good writers. Having said all that, they achieve the goals that they set out for themselves. They pump a load of money into actors that everybody loves and throw in explosions in beautiful locations and make entertaining films. I can say I hate them but it’s hypocritical because I will still always watch them and give them the money that makes them so successful. They’re really hard not to like let’s face it. They’re stupid, the acting is often really bad considering the amount of famous names they have, and the storylines are stupid. The one thing I really didn’t like about this film specifically though is that it was pretty much identical to the first one. If in 12 months time somebody put me in a room and put one of them on, I wouldn’t know which one it was. There’s too many superheroes these days that I just cannot keep up with it all. My mind can’t work like the 11 year old’s these films are made for.

The second thing I didn’t like and didn’t get about the film was the whole “Vision” thing. I don’t know where he came from or how/why they possibly needed extra help with the amount of them there already is, it just confused me. He looked like a camp Superman. The thing that’s supposed to redeem this film is that it’s supposed to be witty and funny but I think I’m just getting too old for it now. Either that or the writing is getting even worse than it already was. There are a few redeeming qualities though, Scarlett Johansson being the obvious one. She might not be the best actress in the world but she is ridiculously attractive. I know that’s not all she’s there for but it’s a nice little bonus isn’t it. The other is just the incessant action. It is non-stop from start to finish and through gritted teeth I have to say it’s good to watch.

I’m one of those people that enjoy not liking these types of films so Superhero films are always among the most anticipated films of the year for me. Suicide Squad is going to be the next one released I think at the beginning of next year although a review of Ant-Man will be up soon as well. I will always highly recommend Marvel/Avengers films because they’re good fun for all ages and you can watch them alone, with a partner, with friends, or with family.

Run All Night – 2015

“Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.”

Liam Neeson action films are pretty much all the same these days but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing. All Jason Statham films have been the same for about 15 years but I still love them. There’s really nothing to complain about when it comes to this type of film. Liam Neeson is the main character and he’s a good actor. He’s cool fighting people, he’s cool shooting people, and he’s cool talking to people he really can’t do anything wrong. He’s not exactly going to be winning any Oscar’s in this type of film but that’s not what they’re for. They’re exciting, they’re fun, and everybody enjoys them.

The storyline is pretty basic but quite confusing to describe by writing it down so I’m not going to try. Basically though it’s Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) and his son Michael (Joel Kinnaman) on the run from a mob boss that Jimmy used to work for. It’s very easy to follow because there’s everything you would expect in an action film involving Liam Neeson and the mob. Corruption, shooting, fighting, car chases and some sort of ultimatum.

There’s also the small sentimental part of the film. Jimmy Conlon has been out of his son’s life for a long time because of an alcohol problem and has no relationship with his son’s wife or his grandchildren. So whilst trying to save his son’s life he’s also trying to patch up his relationship with him and make up for lost time. So throughout all the excitement there’s always that underlying sub-plot to add a little extra something to the film. It’s not really that noticeable if I’m being perfectly honest. If him and his son saw each other on a regular basis and there wasn’t a fragmented relationship, I don’t think the film would be any different. The alcohol problem thing is a nice little addition but it’s done in quite a lot of these films these days so nothing I haven’t seen before.

Overall it’s a good action film. I don’t think Neeson will ever top the first Taken film but this was probably better than the second one, on a similar level to the third one. Ed Harris should also get a mention because he makes a good bad guy and a good mob boss. He has a large part to play in this film both as a antagonist and as a former employer and friend of the protagonist. His presence definitely makes the film more watchable. Its 6.6 on IMDb is about right; generic action films like this tend not to do too much better than that. It’s a good film though, I would definitely recommend it.