X-Men: Days of Future Past

May 26, 2014 By Mike B
Movie Review

X-Men: Days of Future Past Film Review 

What Worked?

What mutants represent in the Marvel universe is the label of “the other” that we learn to fear; no other comic book story line touches upon this better than the X-Men. Bryan Singer is back in the director’s chair, after taking a lengthy break, and he’s taken on quite a story with X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Singer creates a cohesive film that makes for a fantastic sequel to X-Men: First Class, and roots back to all the other installments.

Singer left the X-Men world over a decade ago, but now he’s back, and he’s better than he’s ever been. All the characters are given time to shine, and the story-line is tight and captivating. Singer took some tips from James Cameron’s Terminator films to handle the time travel aspect, and he definitely benefited from doing so. The action sequences are intense, and creative, while packing an emotional punch. The sentinels are a nightmare for the X-Men, making for a heavyweight title match-up every time they go head-to-head. The CGI used in the film is well done too, complementing the film rather than being a distraction; it puts the audience in a state of awe rather than have them think “oh hey, that’s good CGI!” In addition to the strong story, characters, action, and acting, there are lots of extra goodies and nods to keep comic book geeks smirking throughout.

Then there’s the cast. The cast was amazing, with no weak links to be found. Michael Fassbender is a undeniable force as the younger Magneto. He is commanding in the role, projecting a fully developed villain that truly believes in his purpose of leading mutants to rise above and dominate. On the other hand James McAvoy continues to do a solid job portraying a younger, troubled Professor X that’s trying to find his way back to become the leader and inspiration of the X-Men. Magneto and Professor X are different sides of the same coin, and Fassbender and McAvoy channel that perfectly.

Of course, Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine, and he still delivers as one of the baddest characters in comic book history. This time around, he’s older, wiser, and a tad bit more mature than we’ve seen him in past installments. Also, Jennifer Lawrence plays a much larger role here as Mystique, and her charisma and emotional draw really fleshes out the character more than ever.

Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart reprising their respective roles as Magneto and Professor X was like getting a gift you already knew about, but are still excited to open up. They both embody the characters so well, and haven’t lost a step. They share one of the most touching scenes in the series, as Magneto poignantly states, “All those years wasted fighting each other, Charles,” as sentinels are closing in. It was a pleasure to see them in these roles again, and they definitely do not disappoint. There are plenty of other mutant appearances, including Bishop and Storm, but the scene-stealer out of them all is Evan Peters as Quicksilver. Just sit back and enjoy while he runs away with every scene that he’s in.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a marvelous film, and is arguably the best of the X-Men series. Despite being an entertaining comic-book action flick, it has several layers; for example, it goes into the dangers of technology with the sentinels, showing us that having men solve problems with each other is far more effective than a man-made solution. It also touches upon the unreachable goal of equality for all men. The only way we can maintain hope of achieving that unreachable goal is to keep fighting for it, and how we choose to fight for that equality is what will define us.

Potential Drawbacks:

It’s a time travel movie, and plot holes and continuity errors are unavoidable. Professor X got obliterated in X-Men 3: the Last Stand, so why is he in tact in this film? Who cares? X-Men 3: the Last Stand was horrible! There are more time-travel plot holes and such, but none that actually derail the entertainment value of the film.

Common complaint: too many characters, and too many references to the past five installments. Sure. It’s not exactly a stand alone movie, so viewers that haven’t watched the other films might be a little confused or might miss out on some references. Plenty of characters clog the screen at times, although the main characters are given enough time to shine.

Some might think that the film is all over the place. It’s a blockbuster film, but the plot is beyond the capacity of typical blockbuster caliber flicks. Therefore, it may be a little too much for some viewers to absorb at first.

Film Recommendations:

X-Men: First Class

X-Men 2: X-Men United



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