The newest installment of the Marvel Comics franchise is a smart, likable film that travels back in time.
Director Bryan Singer has steered the “X-Men” franchise back into the right direction. Singer hadn’t helmed a mutant film since “X2” in 2003. Since then, there have been many other “X-Men” incarnations, some good, some outright disastrous. The main team consisting of Professor X, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey had been disbanded after the first three films. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is the fourth such film in the lineage of X-Men against the Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Magneto.
Like the title suggests, this film is all about going back to the past to influence the future. In the future, mutants are being wiped out by souped-up Sentinels — robots designed to kill and adapt to encounter any enemy they encounter. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen), usually enemies, are allies in the future, but they devise a scheme to send someone’s consciousness to the past to prevent the Sentinels from being created. Only Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) can survive the mind transformation; his mission is to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating someone in 1973. That murder will launch the creation of the Sentinel program.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage
Running time: 131 minutes
Budget: $225 million
X-Men from the past and present get in on the action. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) adds his expertise as a speedy and comical mutant who proves his worth. Peters needed more screentime. Young Professor X (James McAvoy) and Young Magneto (Michael Fassbender), the same leads from “X-Men: First Class,” must put their differences aside in the past to stop Mystique. Wolverine, however, doesn’t kick enough butt; he takes plenty of good beatings though.
Peter Dinklage plays Dr. Bolivar Trask, the mastermind behind the Sentinel program. Trask doesn’t hate mutants. His involvement is more admiration. He wants to study these beings and eventually, develop technology to better understand them, and ultimately, counter them.
Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Daniel Cudmore and Lucas Till reprise their previous X-Men roles (Storm, Kitty Pryde, Young Beast, Iceman, Colossus and Havoc). Anna Paquin returns as Rogue, but her role is less than minimal — one scene and barely a line.
The fight scenes in “Days of Future Past” aren’t as heavy handed as previous films. Most of the action is battling Future Sentinels and those bad mamma-jammas are relentless and damn near unbeatable.
Like any Marvel Comics movie, you have to stay after the credits for a quick foreshadow as to what will happen in the sequel. It’s going to be an apocalyptic event.