“X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Director: Bryan Singer
Screenwriter: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage
Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language
Studio: 20th Century Fox
After Credits Scene? Yes
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” follows Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as he is asked to go back in time by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan) to prevent the creation of the Sentinels in the 1970’s. He needs the help of the younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensher (Michael Fassbender) in order to change the state of the future.
Just from the plot summary alone, it’s easy to assume that this film is convoluted, too complicated, and overstuffed with way too many characters and events going on. In other words, it sounds like another “Amazing Spider-Man 2.” However, director Bryan Singer somehow manages to defy those worries and create an absolutely spectacular movie that is just a pure joy to watch from beginning to end.
I myself am not the biggest fan of the X-Men franchise. I have only found two of the movies to be great up to this point with “X2: X-Men United” and “X-Men First Class.” The thing that separates this film from the rest of the franchise is the fact that I have finally become more emotionally invested in these characters. Simon Kinberg’s screenplay really puts characters and story into the forefront, making sure the audience is attached to the characters. It’s something that I found to be incredibly surprising considering how simplistic the franchise has been prior to this film.
The performances across the board are absolutely fantastic. Hugh Jackman, once again, plays a fantastic Wolverine, whom has a lot more emotional weight this time around. Sure, it’s fun seeing the character go into full berzerker rage and kick some ass, but I loved the fact that this time, he was rooted in his emotions and showcases the best acting that Jackman has given in the franchise thus far.
Of course, it was really exciting seeing both the young and old versions of Professor X and Magneto and see these pairs of actors shine. On the old side, I loved seeing Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan back in their roles, finally looking like they were having fun with the characters again. Their performances felt so forced in “X-Men: The Last Stand” so it was completely refreshing to see them back in full form like they were in the first two films. As for the younger crew, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender once again have terrific chemistry together and have some of the film’s most emotional segments, particularly one on an airplane. Fassbender fits in perfectly to his role as Magneto, but I felt that he was upstaged by the heartbreaking performance from McAvoy. There were several parts in the film where I was almost tearing up because of the level of emotion McAvoy was bringing to the character and I found that not only satisfying, but quite remarkable.
The story itself, while complex, is thoroughly engaging and never drags once. There’s not a single moment where I felt like the movie was starting to lose it’s direction or became dull. Singer’s direction and Kinberg’s screenplay really help keep the audience fully invested throughout the entire runtime, which is over 2 hours. I had felt that past X-Men films had lost their footing at some point of the film, but I surprisingly didn’t get that feeling at all during this film and I commend Singer and Kinberg for that.
Now you don’t have a summer blockbuster without your share of action set pieces and grand showcases of special effects. Thankfully, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” offers up the best action of the franchise to date by far. It was consistently exciting and sometimes surprising. There’s an absolutely incredible sequence with the character Quicksilver (Evan Peters) that might just rival the opening sequence of “X2” as the best scene in any X-Men film ever. It was hilarious and inventive in a Joss Whedon-esque style. Speaking of which, he and Aaron Taylor-Johnson got some serious competition next summer with their rendition of the character in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Quite possibly the best element of this film is the way that it reinvents the franchise. Without spoiling anything, the movie’s conclusion made me so happy to see that we can have an infinite amount of possibilities with this set of characters that wasn’t possible before. It got me so excited to the point that I was literally jumping up and down in my seat with excitement. I felt like a twelve year old who just got the coolest Christmas gift ever.
Overall, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” does to the X-Men franchise what “The Avengers” did for Marvel Studios. It takes everything that the franchise has been up to this point and flips it on it’s head, adding an entirely new flavor to it. Fans of the previous X-Men films, the first two and “First Class” in particular, should have no problem enjoying this movie. For me, it’s the blockbuster to beat this summer and I am beyond pumped to see where this franchise goes next.
Overall, I give “X-Men: Days of Future Past” an A.
What did you guys think of “X-Men: Days of Future Past?” Do you agree? Disagree? Go down to the comment section and leave your thoughts.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is now playing in theaters in 2D and 3D.
Thank you guys so much for reading and, as always, “Follow the Screen, Scene X Scene!”