X-Men Days of Future Past – a true fans review

5/22/14

 

Growing up as a huge X-Men fan across various forms of media (comic books, cartoons, movies et all), the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past was a day I never quite let myself believe would come.  Even when production started rolling, the plans sounded too good to be true… Bryan Singer returning to the director’s chair more than a decade after directing X2: X-Men United?  Cast members from the previous six films reprising their roles?  A movie that would tie together the entire franchise?  I had to be dreaming.  But I was forgetting that sometimes dreams do come true and after seeing X-Men: Days of Future Past, I realized this was the X-Men movie I’d been dreaming of since childhood.download (23)

 

The story of Days of Future Past starts in the bleak, not-too-distant future where the mutant hunting robots known as sentinels have decimated society as we know it.  The X-Men have been reduced to a small team comprised of familiar faces Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) alongside newcomers Bishop (Omar Sy), Blink (Fan Bingbing), Warpath (Booboo Stewart) and Sunspot (Adan Canto).  When they are discovered by a group of sentinels, Kitty uses her phasing abilities to send Bishop’s consciousness back in time a few days to warn their past selves that they will be found and to move to their next location before that happens.  This has allowed them to survive to this point, though capture by the sentinels has proved to be inevitable in every scenario.

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Soon after being discovered in Moscow, the team is met at a secluded Chinese monastery by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Storm (Halle Berry).  There, a plan is hatched to send one of them back in time to stop the event that Professor X believes triggered the war that has ravaged the planet – the assassination of Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), creator of the sentinels, by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).  While Professor X initially wants to be the one to go back, it is Wolverine who makes the trip, as his regenerative abilities allow his mind to travel farther back than the few days or weeks that Kitty is able to send others.

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Wolverine awakes in the 1970’s and seeks out the younger Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), who is living in the derelict x-mansion with Beast (Nicholas Hoult).  After initially finding success, Xavier closed his school when most of the students were drafted into the war.  During that time, Beast had devised a serum that allowed him to maintain his human appearance most of the time and also gave Xavier back the use of his legs, though the serum also suppressed his mental abilities.  Wolverine convinces them to stop the assassination, though they will also need the help of a younger Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to be successful.  They recruit Quicksilver (Evan Peters) to help break Magneto out of his prison in the Pentagon.  From there, the story takes off as Wolverine races to change the past while the X-Men of the future fight a losing battle after being discovered by the sentinels.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past far exceeds every expectation I had going into the theater.  The effects are incredible, the acting is superb and the story is woven together in a intricate way, much like a series of graphic novels.  From the updating of John Ottman’s iconic X2 score to the flashbacks of the previous six films, each character’s turn in the spotlight to the cameos of characters long thought to be forgotten, the movie was made with a reverence for the source material that can be hard to come by in Hollywood.  While other comic-based movies are exploding in popularity, X-Men: Days of Future Past stakes a claim for Marvel’s mutants, proving that over fifty years since their first publication and fourteen years since their first big screen adventure, the X-Men can still hold their own in an increasingly crowded genre.  And though the film is not without its share of continuity errors, the resetting of the timeline by the end of Days of Future Past provides a perfect launch pad for a new era of X-Men movies that could continue for many years to come. 

Andrew Noles

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