STARRING: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Bingbing Fan, Booboo Stewart, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, Evan Peters and Peter Dinklage
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
Days of Future Past takes us straight into the distant and dark future of 2023, where the X-Men world where most of the mutants have been wiped out by giant robots known as the Sentinels, while most of the humans also oppressed by them. With the very few mutants left we find that Xaiver, Magneto, Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Storm and Ice Man are still alive along with new on screen mutants in Blink, Warpath, Sunspot and Bishop and they hatch a plan to send Wolverine’s consciousness back to the past in order to stop an assassination that triggers the events of the Sentinels creation and prevent the war from ever happening.
If ever there was a comic film that you could call more ambitious than Marvel’s assembling of The Avengers it is X-Men: Days of Future Past. Not only are you bringing back the original band and also having them share playtime with the new band members, you also have to contain that within the time travel plot aspect without losing some of the general film audience that aren’t as heavily invested as die hard X-Men fans. The question becomes a case of does the film live up to the hype? For my view I can honestly say absolutely.
It’s been 14 years since Singer started the X-Men franchise (time certainly flies by) and has come back to take the reins of a world he knows so well and manages to make this complicated time travel plot and huge assemble of characters, old and younger versions of characters in particular, seem so effortless.
Kitty transports Wolverine back 50 years to 1973 and tries to get Charles and Erik together to help him stop the assassination to prevent the war, which is easier said than done. We find Charles Xavier in a dark gloomy rut after the events of X-Men: First Class and we also discover that Erik is held in a prison underneath the Pentagon. Here Wolverine turns to the help of a young Peter Maximoff aka Quicksilver to help him out and for anyone that was worried about Quicksilver mainly because of his appearance in the photos/magazine covers released in the past don’t worry, the character himself is great in this film. This also may be the most definitive version of Wolverine we’ve had on the big screen, a man no longer as angry (though will throw down hard when needs be) as he was in previous films, here he’s on mission mode to restore the faith in Charles Xavier who is at his lowest point and considering how Xavier helped Wolverine in the previous films, it’s nice to witness the role reversal in this film. Also this is quite possibly the funniest Wolverine has ever been with his deadpan wit exchanges with Xaiver, Erik and Hank. Considering how iconic the actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are in the roles of Professor X and Magneto, it’s astounding how great and subtle James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are in the same roles and you easily buy them as the characters. I didn’t think much of Lawrence’s part of Mystique in First Class but she’s handed a pretty integral role in the timeline of this film and has become the character as we see Raven/Mystique’s motives fleshed out more (phrasing) as the film goes on. One of the biggest yet minor issues in relation to that is that the villain, trigger focus point of these events, Peter Dinklage’s Trask, is underused and unclear as to his motivation for creating the Sentinels to take out the mutants to protect mankind in the first place, so that was disappointing.
For a film set in the comic world of mutants and a film with particular set action pieces, this is the most emotion I’ve seen riding in a comic book film before. McAvoy is great as the lost and essentially his heart is no longer in the cause he fought for in First Class Xavier, Fassbender plays Magneto with menacing cool, willing to do whatever it takes to protect the mutant race. Also revel in the set pieces such as the future opening of the remaining mutants with the Sentinels, the prison breakout and the finale at the White House (even with President Nixon).
Singer does well to balance out the characters in a just over two hour screen time and get their time in the spotlight to shine, none more so than Quicksilver in the past and Blink in the future. My childhood self wishes that there was more Bishop, but again minor. Now it’s a question of where will the next film go to? Will we time travel again or has the torch now definitely passed on?
X-Men: Days of Future Past has a great assembled cast, great storyline and overall it’s definitely the best X-Men film we’ve had since X-Men 2, now it’s just deciding which of the two I liked more. Also the end credits shape things nicely for the next X-Men film and get the die-hard fans going crazy. 9/10