X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Review

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In what has by far been one of the best X-Men movies yet, Days of Future Past does not disappoint at any level. Not only is it a perfect sequel to X-Men: First Class, it is in itself a perfect time travel movie. There are times that time travel is used to create alternate timelines, to keep franchises fresh, to introduce new characters and right previous wrongs, but we will get to that in a bit.

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens on a post-apocalyptic future, where cities are but ruins laid waste by mutant-hunting robots named Sentinels. The last remaining X-Men made up of Bishop, Colossus, Blink, Ice Man, Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) and others, are holed up in a bunker under attack from Sentinels. In the decades that had preceded this dystopia, Kitty Pride has gained the ability to send a mutant’s conscience back into the past to possess their older self. Knowing that the only way to end this war, former enemies Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan) use Kitty to send back Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) the only one who can physically survive the trip. Once back in 1973, a decade after the events of First Class, Wolverine must convince younger Magneto and Charles Xavier that they must work together to end this war before it even starts.

After recruiting Quicksilver (Evan Peters) to aide in the prison break of past Magneto (Michael Fassbender), we’re off and running (heh). Magneto and Wolverine, teamed up with past Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) must stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing the creator of the Sentinels Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), an event so shocking to humans, they use Mystique’s abilities in evolving the sentinels to adapt to any enemy they face.

I’ll admit I had my worries with Fox’s Quicksilver when official images of him hit the net. Peters (from American Horror Story fame) with silver hair, goofy goggles, a Pink Floyd t-shirt and skater shoes didn’t sell me. But after 5 seconds of Peters being on screen I was sold for the rest of his unfortunately short time on screen. (Understandably, Quicksilver’s powers would quickly nullify any kind of climactic ending to this film) In a scene that to explain it does no justice, we watch in slow motion Quicksilver stopping a group of armed guards by pushing bullet trajectories, rearranging items in the room and guards themselves only to see the defeating outcome in normal time.

I will say that from an outsider’s perspective, there might be one issue with this film and that is the question of “who are these random future mutants I’ve never seen before?” If you’ve read any X-Men comics you would know who Bishop, Blink and Warpath are. But the action with them is by far the best I’ve seen any ANY X-Men film. It’s so well-choreographed and executed; it finally plays into how well each mutant can complement each other’s abilities. Now, I personally fault previous films for not setting these characters up for us so that they don’t have to be explained in Days of Future Past without bogging the story down. Which by the way is on point and at no time did I feel like DOFP dragged. For a film that has time travel, multiple characters and an intricate plot it was fantastically paced.

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Director Bryan Singer along with First Class director Matthew Vaughn worked extremely well together on DOFP. In a well mixed cocktail of Vaughn’s First Class sense of style and swagger of the 60’s and 70’s and Singer’s injection of social consciousness from the first two X-Men films into this movie, using fear of mutants as an effective metaphor for minority discrimination in our own world. It adds an extra level of human emotion that we don’t always get in movies with superheroes, extra-terrestrials and mutants.

But, what really makes Days of Future Past work is the time travel. Many, many films that use time travel as a plot device suffer from gapping plot holes that leave us guessing long after we leave the theater. However, Days Of Future Past makes it all work into this nice little package that isn’t overly complicated. And not only does it make perfect sense, it completely retcons Brett Ratner’s X-Men 3 film. Yeah. That piece of shit. Let us not forget how Bryan Singer built this amazing franchise in a time where there were no great comic book movies and then Ratner swings in and craps over everything, with the death of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Charles Xavier. It didn’t just wipe that slate clean, it built anew. Bryan Singer and First Class director Matthew Vaughn made the perfect mashup of new cast and old, and made it fresh again. This is a time of fantastic comic book movies that we had only dreamed of as a child and Singer is righting Fox’s wrongs to bring us one more installment in X-Men: Apocalypse.

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