Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain Bob Mondello says X-Men: Days of Future Past is awesomely urgent and utterly forgettable all at once, but it'll leave you bouncing with excitement — if you can keep the multiple mutants straight.
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Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain

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Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain

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Movie Reviews

Seeing The New 'X-Men'? Take Along A Teenager To Explain

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is the 7th movie in the Marvel Comics franchise that has made more than $2 billion at the box office.

A couple of movies ago, fans were saying X-Men's mutants were losing their mojo. But now, critic Bob Mondello says they've gotten it back.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: The film starts in darkness, a dire future, all of Manhattan of mutant prison camp, monstrous soldier robots hunting down the few mutants still on the loose, and Professor Xavier hatching a scheme to send Hugh Jackman's Wolverine back in time to the Nixon years to stop the mutant war before it starts.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST")

PATRICK STEWART: (as Professor Xavier) What's the last thing you remember?

MONDELLO: This is not an idle question - even for the audience - at least of us who've stopped reading comic books.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST")

STEWART: (as Professor Xavier) I had a glimpse into the past.

MONDELLO: Kids who can't memorize state capitals have no trouble keeping straight the names and powers of dozens of mutants, plus the twice as many actors who've played them in six pictures across 14 years. My memory is not that good. So when I went to see the movie, I took a 16-year-old...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST")

STEWART: (as Professor Xavier) You'll need me as well.

MONDELLO: And when I had problems, I'd whisper, who's that? And she'd whisper Quicksilver and I'd be OK.

Quicksilver is the coolest of this picture's new guys, in the film's most enjoyably prankish he's zipping around so fast that speeding bullets appear stationary.

Everything about him is crystal clear. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," though is as that title suggests, deliberately tricky - designed by director Bryan Singer to allow the audience to geek out as comic-book tropes get rejiggered and previous movies sidestepped through time-travel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST")

HUGH JACKMAN: (as Wolverine) You and I are going to be good friends.

(as Wolverine) You just don't know it yet.

MONDELLO: It is all but impossible to talk about the plot without spoilers, so I'll just say that everybody's acting up a storm - not to be confused with Halle Berry's character, Storm - that the special effects, while spectacular, have nothing on Mark Camacho's terrific Nixon impersonation, and that "Days of Future Past" left the 16-year-old I went with bouncing with adrenaline even as she snorted derisively at what she regarded as crazy plot missteps.

She has, let me just say, the makings of a fine critic.

I'm Bob Mondello.

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