Director Bryan Singer has made X-Men: Days of Future Past into a smart, entertaining, action-packed, and emotional ride that focuses on the amazing talent of the new cast, while also bringing back some of the old cast we’ve come to know and love for over a decade’s worth of films. Seven X-Men movies later, and I’ve finally found my favorite of the bunch.
The movie starts out with an exciting scene where some of the remaining mutants are fighting the Sentinels, an army of mutant-killing robots who can change form and adapt to survive any mutant ability that is thrown at them. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), who now seems to have gained a new ability other than walking through walls, sends the mind of Bishop (Omar Sy) back in time a short ways to warn themselves of the incoming Sentinels. Apparently, this has become a routine of theirs, and time travel seems to be the only way the mutants can survive now. The present time is more of a dystopian future. Most of the mutants are dead, as well as the humans. It is a classic case of robots-gone-bat-shit-crazy syndrome and the result is the destruction of the world as we know it.
The mutants figure the only way they can save the world and themselves is to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973, the year when the man responsible for the creation of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), is assassinated by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). If they can stop her from doing so, then the humans won’t see mutants as a dangerous threat, and the Sentinel program will be scrapped.
This X-Men movie lived up to my expectations in so many ways. It doesn’t get bogged down by special effects and characters with no substance like so many superhero movies do. It has just the right amount of humor to balance out the serious aspects of the story, and it has actors who are top notch playing superhero characters who are fighting an everyday battle within themselves. The younger X-Men are premature. They don’t know who they are yet or what they’re capable of. Basically, a mutant from the future comes out of nowhere and tries to tell them who they’re going to be. You can see their struggle with the truth about their future selves, since all they really know is how they see themselves in the present. There is also an emotional moment when young Xavier (James McAvoy) and future Xavier (Patrick Stewart) connect and speak with each other through a link in Wolverine’s mind. Young Xavier has lost his way and lost faith in himself. His future self, acting almost like a wise father figure, convinces him of what he can and will be. It is a heartfelt moment between two amazing actors who are playing the same character.
I am a huge fan of X-Men: First Class, and this has surpassed that. My only complaint is that, because there are so many characters involved between the past and present timelines, some of the interesting characters didn’t get enough screen time. Quicksilver (Evan Peters), for example, stole the show in the couple of scenes that he had. I also wish that young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) had more screen time as well, mainly because Fassbender is such a great actor and pretty much knocks every part he plays right out of the park. I can’t say enough about the great cast in these movies–Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Ian McKellan being some of my favorites here. On the other hand, I was happy they didn’t bring back some of the horrible actors and characters, like Emma Frost (January Jones). I’m sorry, but looking past the pretty face, January Jones is probably the most horrible actress I’ve ever had to suffer through in a movie before. I hated her, and therefore, I hated Emma Frost.
Fans of the X-Men franchise should appreciate this movie and the way the franchise has redeemed itself from the mediocre X-Men: The Last Stand. Of course, there is a lot of confusion about the continuity between all the films, like the fact that Professor X dies in X-Men: The Last Stand and yet, he is alive in this one. Although the post credit scene in the third movie shows Professor X inhabiting the mind of a coma patient, it is never fully explained how Professor X has managed to be fully alive again and in his own body. Or, perhaps I missed something? Either way, it doesn’t matter. Instead of trying to make perfect sense of a superhero movie, you’re better off just enjoying what’s in front of you. X-Men: Days of Future Past is a well-made, entertaining, visually appealing addition to the X-Men franchise and superhero movies in general. Plus, the ending is rather satisfying. It is well worth the money to see in theaters. So go see it!