X-Men: Days of Future Past has a lot going for it. You got the casts of First Class and the first three films sharing the screen, a celebrated story arc for the film's inspiration, and Bryan Singer back as director. So can these factors result in an awesome movie? I am happy to say that the answer is yes. This is a movie that both met and succeeded my expectations.
The film serves as a dual sequel to First Class and The Last Stand. In the film, murderous machines known as Sentinels have wiped out the majority of mutants in the future. They have also killed anyone who is on the mutants' side. As the remaining members of the X-Men struggle to survive, Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine back in time to the 1970s to stop the event that leads to the creation of the Sentinels from ever happening. It is here where Logan meets up with the younger versions of Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, and Hank McCoy. Now it is up to Wolverine and the 70s mutants to change the past in order to save the future.
It is so nice to Bryan Singer direct an X-Men film again. This film marks the return of John Ottman's theme from X2, the Cerebro opening sequence, and the "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo being emphasized. The first few minutes of this film brought back good memories of Bryan Singer's first two films before Brett Ratner stepped in and ruined it with the third one. I always felt that Singer was able to show the themes of prejudice and intolerance in his X-Men films and those were some of the things that made the first two films so special. While I thought Matthew Vaughn did a great job with First Class, I think Singer was the right person to connect the first trilogy to the prequel. For goodness sakes, he was the guy who kicked off this franchise!
I simply loved the look and feel of the film. The way the future is depicted is so grim and depressing. Being an X-Men fan, there were times where I got emotional. It was depressing to see some of my favorite mutants go through some of the events depicted. The look of the future is bleak but stylish. I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers were inspired by Terminator and The Matrix for the futuristic look. I loved the way the film portrays the 70s. The culture, the clothing, the music of 1970s America was all here with mutants thrown into the mix. The film was shot digitally but there was a scene that emulated the look of a Super 8 camera. The way this particular scene looked made it feel like you were witnessing what was going on. It was a great touch. I love how this film brings its two time periods to life. Not to mention, the film's directing is superb. The action scenes are shot with much intensity and the cinematography is beautiful.
One thing I appreciate about this series is the acting. The film has rounded up a great ensemble cast. Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine for the sixth time (seventh if you count his brilliant cameo in First Class). Jackman simply kicks butt in this role and I can honestly see nobody else play this role. He's rough and tough but is able to carry the emotional weight of the character. Some people complain that the films are too centered on Wolverine. I agree they overdo Wolverine sometimes but in this film, and although he's the one sent back to the past, he's more of an observer to all the events. The film is more about young Charles Xavier and Magneto. Patrick Stewart also reprises his role as the wise Professor X and he did a very good job here. Ian McKellen was also pretty good this time around as older Magneto. Some returning cast members such as Halle Berry and Sean Ashmore do not have roles in the movie, but in the small time they had, they did an awesome job as Storm and Iceman. Ellen Page also did a good job. There are new additions to the team. There's Blink played by Chinese movie star, Fan Bingbing, Bishop played by French movie star Omar Sy, Warlord played by Boo Boo Stewart, and Sunspot played by Adan Canto. I'm not very familiar with these characters but I enjoyed their roles in the movie. They have very cool powers. I especially enjoyed Blink and Sunspot's powers. But the best new mutant who was introduced had to be Quicksilver who was portrayed by Evan Peters. His role may have been small but he was entertaining during every second of his screen time. He also gives us one of the best sequences in any comic book movie. This scene got a huge approval from the audience I saw the film with. By the time the scene was over, I wanted to see it again. I doubt the Quicksilver we're going to see the next Avengers movie is going to come close to this.
And now on to the characters who reprised their roles from First Class. James McAvoy returns as young Charles Xavier and he is perfect in the role. In the 70s portion of the film, Charles is at the lowest point of his life. James McAvoy is able to make you feel bad for him. He really comes off as a struggling man who is losing everything. Nicholas Hoult once again plays Hank McCoy aka Beast. He's great at playing a nerd but when he's Beast, he is one awesome creature. The Beast makeup is an improvement over the last film as well. His transformation was obviously CG but it still looked cool. Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely awesome as Mystique. She was beautiful, angsty, and tough. I'm glad that they gave her a big role in this movie. Peter Dinklage was good as the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask. Lastly, Michael Fassbender is incredible as Magneto. Sorry, Ian McKellen. Your take on Magneto is good and all, but for me, Fassbender IS Magneto. His suit is pretty close to the comics and his motivations come out more clearly than McKellen. He's not only one of the best villains in a comic book movie, he's one of the best villains in any movie. Fassbender simply killed it.
In my opinion, the X-Men mythology is one of the best stories ever conceived. It's exciting, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. This film was able to tell a story that was exciting, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. The plot is wonderfully crafted, the dialogue is smart, and the time travel aspect of this film made sense. Most films involving time travel have flaws in the way they use this plot device. With this film, the way they time traveled was easy to follow and there were basically few flaws. Well, I personally, didn't catch any flaws. The film's plot takes inspiration from the Days of Future Past story arc which I happen to own. I bought it in preparation for the film. While the film is a loose adaptation of the arc, the screenwriters were able to capture the essence of the arc in the film. The film has a lot of emotion. There was a scene where Charles and Erik argue over their beliefs and this was a great scene. It showed two very different sides and each of them made very good points. The scenes with the Sentinels were intense. I don't know about you guys but the Sentinels scare me. They are giant, lifeless robots that are programmed to commit genocide. If such a thing happened in our world, we'd all be screwed. I also liked their design. It's different from the comics but they still looked great.
With its amazing storyline, terrific cast, and spectacular special effects, X-Men: Days of Future Past is not only the finest installment in the franchise, it's one of the best films in the superhero genre. Throughout the film, I was reminded why I was a fan of the X-Men. They may be fictional characters with superpowers, but they are fleshed out characters that have flaws of their own. The mutants are some of the best characters in the Marvel Universe and you will root for them and cry for them. In my personal opinion, this is the best Marvel film. I had absolutely no gripes with it and it enthralled me from beginning to end. Bryan Singer, the cast, and the whole crew have created a film that is simply incredible. Don't forget to stay after the credits to see what's coming up in the series. This exceptional entry to the X-Men series is my favorite film of the year so far.
"Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn't mean they can't be saved."