If there is a series of superhero movies with a more inconsistent timeline than the X-Men films, I’d love to see it. After six films with five different directors, the series is in need of a little shaping up.
With “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, the director of the first two installments, Bryan Singer, steps back behind the camera and adapts one of the most acclaimed comics to ever be graced with the X-Men name.
“Days of Future Past” finds two generations of mutants teaming up via time travel to stop a cataclysmic war that will be the end of their species and possibly mankind. This gives us the opportunity to see Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) teaming up with the cast from Matthew Vaughn’s “First Class” film. Given the broad nature of the film, there are many cameos, but the notable characters from the past include Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and a young Charles (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).
After his mind is sent back to his 1970’s body, Wolverine must find the X-Men and bring them back together after the events of “First Class” and the Vietnam War sent them their separate ways. Their main mission involves Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), a man who fears mutants and has gone to great lengths to build robots called Sentinels that could one day wipe out the mutant population.
One of the best things about “First Class” was allowing us to see McAvoy and Fassbender play out the younger versions of Charles and Magneto, characters that had been so iconic. Fassbender was especially great in the role and here he delivers again. The best addition to the film is Peters as Quicksilver. Though he’s only in about 1/4 of the film, his scenes are the best stylistically and give the film a healthy amount of playfulness. It should be interesting to see how Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the role in Marvel’s Avenger series, but, in this universe Quicksilver is a scene-stealer.
“Days of Future Past” not only has a massive time travel story to work with, but the film also tries to right a few wrongs from Brett Ratner’s abysmal “X-Men: The Last Stand.” While I won’t spoil those details, they certainly improve the worth of this film.
Though I really enjoyed the film, there were a few things that kept me from absolutely loving it. One, Jennifer Lawrence is completely uninteresting as Mystique. It hurts to say, but J-Law really doesn’t seem right for the part and the character has lost almost all of its edge from the original trilogy. This is especially unfortunate as the character plays a large part in this story. Also, the finale of the film is a little anti-climactic. Instead of a big fight scene, it’s basically a telepathic conversation between Magneto, Mystique and Xavier.
Between Quicksilver pulling a jailbreak, a ton of cameos and the apocalyptic future depicted, there are a lot of cool things to like about “Days of Future Past.” As with all superhero movies these days, stick around after the credits for a preview of what’s next for the franchise.