“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is another chapter in X-Men franchise. Right off the bat what is so great about this movie is that it ties all of the movies together and finally corrals them in, so future films can have a fresh start. But let’s talk about “Days of Future Past” specifically.
In the beginning, we find our heroes in a dystopian future. The earth is ruled by mutant-hunting robots, called “sentinels.” The sentinels have not only slaughtered and imprisoned mutants, but they have done the same to human sympathizers. There are only a handful of free mutants attempting merely to survive. One group is lead by Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and she is joined by Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Blink (Bingbing Fan), Bishop (Omar Sy), Sunspot (Adan Canto) and Warpath (BooBoo Stewart). Anytime this group is attacked and defeated by sentinels, Kitty Pryde is able to send Bishop’s consciousness back in time to warn the group where the next sentinel attack will take place.
So Pryde and gang are met up with a few members of the original movie X-Men including Storm (Halle Berry), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen). They decide to use Kitty’s power to send Wolverine back in time to change time and undue the war. A war that started when Mystique (Jennifer Page) murders the creator of the sentinels, Boliver Trask (Peter Dinkledge) and starts the mutant war.
Wolverine arrives in the early 70’s, just 10 years after the events of “X-Men: First Class.” Magneto’s gang is murdered and dissected by Trask; Magneto is in prison and Mystique is left own her own to murder Trask. Wolverine’s task is simple get Professor X to use Cerebro to find Mystique, get Magneto to talk her out of her plans and save the world. As with any good story things are never easy. Professor X has lost hope in himself. Magneto switches from hero to sociopath in a blink and Wolverine is constantly having to convince everyone that he’s from the future.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” succeeds where “X-Men: The Last Stand” failed. Both movies have a lot of mutants, which you could tell by the summary above, and we didn’t even talk about the amazing Quicksilver (Evan Peters), who steals the show in just one scene when they have to break Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of prison. Having a large number of mutants in “The Last Stand” became overwhelming, and making it difficult to follow characters and their powers. With such a large cast, “Days of Future Past” played it smart and grouped our mutant factions into small groups, this made it easy to identify the character and their powers. Simplicity is helpful in any fight sequences.
The fighting in the future was easy to follow and fun to watch because director Bryan Singer, did not overcomplicate the action. Simple, Sunspot can turn into fire and shoot it from his arms. He then lights up Bishop and we see that he is able to absorb and use energy cast his way. Blink creates teleportation fields, or doorways from one location to another and Colossus turns into steel and is strong. You get the idea.
Hugh Jackman, as Wolverine, is the focal point of the movie. He’s the through-line to follow. When he arrives at the former Xavier School, he’s confronted by Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and young Professor X (James McAvoy). It’s Wolverine’s job to inspire Charles Xavier to be the man he’s destined to be. It’s Hugh Jackman‘s job to stop playing action hero and really act, which he manages to pull off. At times, I fear I’m going to grow tired of seeing Jackman playing Wolverine again, but then he wins me over when he hits the screen.
There is that line where James McAvoy walks quite well, where he can easily slip into a melodramatic “I’m-Not-Good-Enough-Boo-Hoo-Me.” Some how playing off Jackman and the solid script of Simon Kinberg makes the entire story work. Even Fassbender‘s Magneto and Lawrence’s Mystique and moments where their character’s integrity is put to the test, and it is these moments that make the movie great.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is by no means a perfect movie. There are a handful of plot holes, such as where did Wolverine get his adamantium claws, then they were taken away in the last Wolverine movie. The other holes are so small, they’re not worth mentioning.
Just a warning, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a movie for X-Men film and comic book fans. I can’t imagine someone who is not familiar with the franchise getting, let alone liking, the movie at all. There are a few homages to the comic book as well. Although, Stan Lee does not make a cameo, there are cameos by longtime X-Men writer, Chris Claremont and Wolverine-creator Len Wein. There is also an image of one of Wolverine’s most gruesome encounters with Magneto, and if you’re a fan of the comic book, you know what I mean.
Finally (this might be a little spoilery), but as a fan of the X-Men comics and movies, it was exciting to see everyone comeback from the original X-Men movies, and I mean everyone. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, Bryan Singer manages in “Days of Future Past” to corral all of the X-Men and Wolverine movies in a way that the franchise can move forward. Move forward they will, starting with the next X-Men movie, “Age of Apocolypse“, a new Wolverine movie and whatever spinoffs Fox Studios wants to attempt. Marvel Studios and Disney is not going to be getting the X-Men back anytime soon.