* * * 1/2
If you are a fan of the Marvel Comics superheroes and the long line of movies about them, movie reviews are irrelevant. If you are like us and want to know what the attraction is, check this out.
The Sentinels (the bad guys) are winning the war against the humans. The mutants are getting older, so why not have Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) go back in time to 1973, meet up with his mentor Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and a bunch of his mutant contemporaries, and change history. They must battle scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), who has convinced world leaders that the Sentinel robots are needed to save the human race from the mutants, change history, and restore the humans’ acceptance of them.
Newcomers to the series (and those of us who can’t remember who is who from one year to the next) will be lost in the past events and multitude of characters.
Wolverine still has those deadly claws coming out of his wrists. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) can still change her form. Quicksilver is the most fascinating mutant, stopping the action and sneaking up on people with his “faster than a speeding bullet” actions. In one fantastic scene, he literally is faster. Brian, our copy editor, tells us that this is Quicksilver’s first appearance in an X-Man movie and will be in next year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” played by a different actor.
There are a few laughs, like Wolverine waking up back in 1973 to a lava lamp and Roberta Flack singing “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
References to the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon (played by a real lookalike) give us a historical perspective, with many of the X-Men fans not even born then.
The 3D effects are quite good and there’s enough action in the two and a quarter-hour movie to satisfy fans of the genre.
Of course, the movie ends with the expectation of more X-Men. It will be interesting to see where they will take us.
Rated PG-13, with lots of action and violence, a bit of discreet nudity and a little profanity.