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X-Men: Days of Future Past

It’s fitting that X-Men: Days of Future Past focuses on traveling through time in order to right the wrongs of the past. Original X-Men and X2 director Bryan Singer returns to the helm to essentially do the same with the franchise itself. There have been past mistakes, and Singer hopes to set things straight and put the franchise back on the right path.

In the future, mutants are being hunted down and killed by advanced Sentinels that are nearly indestructible and can adapt to any mutant’s power giving them the upper hand in any fight. The few mutants that remain have managed to stay one step ahead of them by using Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) to send Bishop (Omar Sy) back into the past by a few days to warn the group when the Sentinels are going to attack next. After meeting up with the last remaining X-Men, they propose a last-ditch effort to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back 50 years into the past to the 1970’s to warn a younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) about the future that lies ahead so that they can stop the Sentinel program from ever beginning in the first place.

X-Men: Days of Future Past combines both the original X-Men film cast with the newer First Class recruits. It’s the best of both worlds. I was worried that the film would suffer from having “too many cooks in the kitchen” sort to speak, but it manages to successful showcase a whole number of fan favorite mutants while still delivering a compelling and interesting story arc, although Wolverine and the First Class roster consisting on the younger versions of Xavier and Eric (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) end up being the main focus of the film. The film is more of a sequel to First Class than it is to The Last Stand.

As jam packed with mutants as the film is, it leaves little room for development of characters that haven’t already been established in previous films. Quicksilver (Evan Peters), despite his goofy appearance, is actually one of the best mutants in the film, but his screen time is short lived due to how much ground the film has to cover. His incredible speed is used to break Magneto out of his plastic prison, but after that he pretty much disappears. You’d think it would be wise to have someone on the team who can outrun bullets, and yet he’s nowhere to be found. There’s simply so much going on that it’s impossible to deliver on everything. Singer manages to get away with doing most things well, rather than a few things perfectly and others horribly. That being said, Days of Future Past manages to handle the whole time travel theory excellently.

The stakes feel high. The future is overwhelmingly bleak as the Sentinels have pretty much wiped all mutants off the Earth along with any humans helping them, too. The opening scene demonstrates the magnificent power of them as they completely obliterate members of the X-Men one by one in the most brutal methods. Kitty Pryde’s time travel trick can undo a lot of the destruction, but there’s always the sense that they might not make it. Whereas the 1970’s is focused on the story, the future is nothing but sheer action.

X-Men: Days of Future Past ends up being a great addition to the franchise. There are simply so many fantastic fan service moments that it’s impossible not to be entertained. Yes, there are still many questions that have yet to be answered, like how Professor X is back in his own body again after the events of The Last Stand. Sure, it’d be nice to know why, but it doesn’t matter all that much in the long run. Days of Future Past provides an exciting new chapter for the X-Men, and only time will tell its impact on the future of the franchise.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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