X-Men Days of Future Past is a movie that could have gone both ways. It could have been a big convoluted mess or it either had the potential to be the best film in the X-Men franchise yet. Brian Singer takes back the helm of his franchise that he began in 2000 after Mathew Vaughn who directed X-Men First Class (which was great) left the project. Singer is a very capable director and he has directed great movies in the past. The Usual Suspects has one of the best twist endings and is in my top 20 movies of all time. The first X-Men movie revitalized the superhero genre which pretty much died after Batman and Robin. X-Men United is in my top ten best superhero movies of all time. But he also made Superman Returns, which was a disappointment, to say the least and a couple of so-so movies afterwards. The trailers for this film we’re awesome and got me pumped to see this movie. So going into Days of Future Past, I was extremely excited but a little cautious as well. After having seen the film, I am extremely happy to report that X-Men Days of Future Past is one of the best comic book movies we’ve ever had and certainly the best X-Men movie we’ve ever seen. It’s not just a great comic book movie; it’s a great film on its own right. This movie is simply wonderful.
The year is 2023. The vast majority of humanity and the mutants are exterminated by the Sentinels which are robots that take over earth in the bleak future (that looks a lot like the future in the Terminator franchise). The X-Men are being hunted down and Kitty Pride (played by Ellen Page) is forced to send Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back in time in the year 1973 in order to stop the war before it ever begins since he is the only one who can survive the trip. His mission: reunite both young Eric (portrayed by Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy so that they can stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) who is heading down a dark and dangerous path as she plans to execute Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage) who created the Sentinels with the help of her DNA.
When a movie is dealing with time travel it can be a little tricky. It can end up being a convoluted mess that leaves you wondering what the hell you just watched. But in this movie everything holds together pretty well. There are perhaps a few tiny plot holes here and there (Wolverine has his metal claws at the beginning of this movie after they we’re cut off by the Samurai at the end of The Wolverine but when he goes back into the past he has his bone claws again which doesn’t really makes much sense) but otherwise nothing major worth complaining about. The vast majority of the movie takes place in 1973, but the movie jumps back and forth between the two timelines and never once does it fill overblown or too hard to follow. And that’s a testament to Brian Singer’s incredible direction and the fantastic screenplay written by Simon Kinberg.
The cast is ridiculously talented. This is probably one of the largest casts filled with incredible actors that we’ve ever had. Not one character feels out of place our misused. The main star of this movie is Hugh Jackman who is still fantastic as Wolverine and his character was a bit different from the other X-Men movies since he was the mentor this time around to Charles Xavier played superbly by James McAvoy who is at his lowest low when we first meet him in this film. He’s lost hope and faith in himself and it’s up to Wolverine to make him hope again. And I loved that in this movie they decided to switch things around. They finally humanized Charles Xavier who was mostly just viewed as a mentor in the previous X-Men movies. Patrick Stewart is also great like always as the older and wiser version of Charles. His relationship between older Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto played extremely well by Sir Ian McKellan has always been the center and main conflict of the X-Men movies. Magneto is such a complex and layered character and what makes him a fascinating and frightening villain is that he believes he is doing the right thing by going to war against the humans. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is also great and has grown into her character since First Class. In First Class she was still dealing with her abilities and how society viewed her but didn’t have the strong physical presence that Rebecca Romijin had. However in Days of Future Past she’s a badass martial artist who knows how to kick some serious butt which makes her a strong female character. She’s an important element to the plot, and Jennifer Lawrence holds her own incredibly well because she’s Jennifer Lawrence and she’s one of the best actress working in Hollywood today.
Peter Dinklage was awesome as the villain in this movie. And what I love about his character is that nobody ever mentions his height. Brian Singer just got a great actor that could play the part perfectly. And what’s great about his character is that he’s not just black and white. He has real motivations and you understood where he was coming from.
But the biggest surprise is Evan Peters as Quicksilver. Evan Peters got a lot of hate on the internet when the first photos of Quicksilver were released. People thought that he looked ridiculous in his outfit and his goggles looked terrible. I already knew that he was talented since he’s amazing in American Horror Story and I kept an open mind and turns out that he is one of the best parts of this movie. He was funny and sarcastic and just plain awesome. Aaron Taylor-Jonson has competition (he will play the same character in Avengers 2).
The action was incredible. Never once did the movie feel like it was dragging or boring. And all the action set pieces fit perfectly with the story. Everything had a great build-up as well as a satisfying payoff. There are many action set pieces in this film and the fact that you care about every single character is what makes it so thrilling and exciting at the same time. You want these characters to succeed and survive to live another day. You feel that you are in the moment. The action is extremely well choreographed too. You could all see what was happening. There was no stupid shaky cam or bad camera angles. Everything was crystal clear and exceptionally well filmed and realized.
X-Men Days of Future Past is about hope. It’s about making Charles Xavier hope again and saving humanity and the mutants from complete annihilation. Guys, go see X-Men Days of Future Past. It’s filled with great character moments that you wouldn’t expect in a comic book movie and it’s emotionally satisfying. It’s a great blend of science-fiction and action. It’s simply a marvel of a movie (no pun intended), and my favorite film so far this year and I can’t wait to see it again.