“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is X-cellent
The X-Men sequel that die-hard fans have been waiting for finally arrives and just in time to kick start the summer.
Graphic by: Ryan Arnold
Director Bryan Singer (“X-Men” and “X2: X-Men United”) returns to the director’s chair to help keep the momentum going that 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” restored.
The X-Men film series is one of the longest-running superhero series ever, starting in 2000.
The franchise has had its highs (“X-Men,” “X2,” “First Class” and “The Wolverine”) and lows (“X-Men: Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) as a series, but “Days of Future Past” finally corrects those mistakes made in past films.
This film acts as a sequel to both 2006’s “Last Stand” and 2011’s “First Class,” and as a follow-up to 2013’s “The Wolverine.”
The film also boasts its solid cast (Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Evan Peters, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart) of both new and old X-Men actors.
McKellen and Stewart reprise their roles as the incredible Magneto and Professor Xavier. Jackman also re-engages his claws as Wolverine, making this his seventh X-Men film to date.
The story is inspired by the 1981 “Uncanny X-Men” storyline “Days of Future Past,” by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, which focuses on two time periods.
The film begins in the year 2023, a dystopian future run by Sentinels (mutant-hunting robots). The Sentinels are not only exterminating the mutants but the humans, who may harbor mutant genes, as well.
Professor X (Stewart) comes up with a plan to send Wolverine (Jackman) back in time to the year 1973 where a catastrophic event took place that shaped history the way it is now.
Wolverine has to unite the younger rivals of Magneto (Fassbender) and Professor X (McAvoy) to help him stop Mystique (Lawrence) who wants to assassinate an important person, Bolivar Trask (Dinklage), the creator of the Sentinels.
Dinklage (most known as Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones”) has fun with his role. He’s a good guy and bad guy at the same time. Trask shows much ambition with his Sentinels but he’s also blinded by his creation.
The chemistry between Fassbender and McAvoy continues to grow as it did in “First Class.” Their best friend rivalry escalates throughout the film, and in the end McKellen and Stewart finally realize that their fighting was pointless.
McAvoy and Stewart also have a face-to-face moment in the film that gives you shivers down your spine of the past looking into the future.
But the real star in this film is Evan Peters, who plays Quicksilver. He talks fast, moves fast and plays fast in the film.
Peters is a blast to watch on the big screen and I’m excited to see more of his character unfold in future films. Also, the prison breakout scene with him is a real doozy to watch.
The film leads into a “Terminator” like feel. Scriptwriter Simon Kinberg (“Sherlock Holmes” and “First Class”) delivers a thrilling summer blockbuster. It’s action packed, smartly written, solidly acted and gives honor to the X-Men franchise.
“Days of Future Past” helps correct mistakes made in past films, while also connecting the rest of the X-Men universe.
Singer knows how to deliver a big blockbuster film without dumbing it down. He has a passion for the X-Men films and gives them a lot of heart and tribute.
Standout performances in the film are by a fierce Jackman, a pessimistic McAvoy, a revengeful Fassbender, a magnetic Lawrence, an ambitious Dinklage, a quick Peters, a courageous Hoult, a brave McKellen and a thoughtful Stewart.
“Days of Future Past” gets almost everything right and has fun doing so. It has set a new standard for superhero films to follow.
“Days of Future Past” is this summer’s big winner and for that it receives four and a half stars out of five. It’s a grade “A” film.
Please Mr. Singer keep making X-Men films forever. Also, make sure to stay after credits for a sneak peak at 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
* * * * ½