If you’ve been following this blog for a little while, you’ll know that traditions are extremely important in my family, and we have a lot of them. While most of them are centered on food, we have a few non-meal celebrations as well. One is the Memorial Day weekend double feature.
This tradition began in 2004, when we went to see The Day After Tomorrow. Though we all liked the movie, we found it to be a bit depressing and were in need of a pick-me-up. Shrek 2 was playing at a nearby theater, so we rushed over and sat down just as the lights dimmed. It was ridiculously fun and completely out of character of us. Thus, a new tradition was born!
While I was really looking forward to both films, I must admit that they left me feeling rather whelmed. Godzilla, for instance, had not nearly enough Godzilla or Bryan Cranston for my tastes. Though I appreciated Gareth Edwards’ efforts to humanize the “King of the Monsters” and the focus on an environmental/ecological balance, I was expecting a typical Godzilla movie: wanton destruction and that signature roar. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the crux of the film to be Godzilla’s fight with two other primordial creatures. Or really, the U.S. military’s fight against two other primordial creatures. As The Atlantic’s Christopher Orr points out, it seems like Godzilla was more of an afterthought than a key part of the plot, which is odd considering that he’s the titular character.
X-Men: Days of Future Past, on the other hand, had plenty of X-Men from the very beginning of the film. There were some old characters and some new ones, but the movie really showcased everyone’s favorites: Patrick Stewart’s and James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier/Professor X, Ian McKellen’s and Michael Fassbender’s Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, Hugh Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine, and Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven/Mystique.
Going into the theater, I had a rough idea of the plotline, but wasn’t entirely sure how the writers were going to make the whole time travel thing work. I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but I will say that I thought they did it rather cleverly. Indeed, Days of Future Past somewhat rekindled my interest in the X-Men franchise and I’m now curious to see where they take it. (I’ve always been a bit of a purist, preferring the animated series to the live-action one).
However, I must admit that the storyline with Magneto is beginning to grate on me a bit. I get that the back-and-forth over whether or not he can be trusted is a crucial part of the movies, especially as he is one of the X-Men’s main villains. I guess I just thought something would change since they are trying to alter the course of mutant history.