Four stars out of five stars
Summary : This successful film series reaches new heights as Bryan Singer returns to the directing helm.
“I need your help. We need your help.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past, the seventh installment in the X-Men film series, manages to incorporate an amazing number of supernatural characters into an involving plot that eventually climaxes into equally amazing events occurring in two different timelines. The two hour and 11 minute sci-fi/superhero action film reprises the roles of most main characters while squeezing in a few mutants not seen in the film series yet.
Screenwriter/story writer/producer Simon Kinberg and story writers Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn create a highly focused main plotline peppered with appealing character storylines. Bryan Singer returns to direct/co-produce after directing the first two films in this successful series.
The filmmakers have so many great cards to play here that they cannot possibly present every connection, person (e.g. Senator Kelly), and reference. For example, take note of a main character’s relationship with one of the new characters (Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters–pay close attention to his dialogue as he’s watching television for a clue). The next Avengers film will feature this same character, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla).
The movie provides nice touches throughout, including the lettering in the 20th Century Fox opening credits. Wolverine‘s lack of metal (see last summer’s The Wolverine) is noted by Magneto, and even used for humor in an exterior security scene, but is surprisingly not a huge factor in the story.
Wolverine, well played for the seventh time by Hugh Jackman, provides the conduit (thanks to Kitty) between the future (2023) and past (1973) worlds, while leading an important mission involving Raven (a.k.a. Mystique, well played by Jennifer Lawrence) targeting a military scientist/industrial tycoon named Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), who is closely flanked a young William Stryker (Josh Helman).
X-Men: Days of Future Past packs in several amazing superheroes amid high stakes, time travel elements, and exterminating Sentinal robots. Special effects elevate the dreadful, life extinguishing abilities of the Sentinel robots while their design and incredible “finishing” power resembles The Destroyer in Thor.
The remaining survivors unite, so naturally the now closely allied mutants remain. They send Wolverine to 1973, where his body and mind are affected in different ways, but Kitty uses her powers in the future to try and keep him stable.
The time-travel elements provide the highest interest as the highly talented cast and crew summarize important events, and Wolverine reconnects with key characters a la The Terminator (Singer actually consulted with James Cameron for this film). The character storylines enhance Wolverine’s main goal: stop Mystique from rewriting history into the worst possible situation.
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen again play the most prominent mutants, Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto (a.k.a. Eric Lehnsherr), respectively, and were featured in a foreshadowing ending credit sequence in last summer’s The Wolverine. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender also return as their younger counterparts providing great moments, including a sequence where Magneto repairs himself while listening to some key information on the television.
Hank (a.k.a. Beast), played by Nicholas Hoult, provides the main support for Xavier while Halle Berry returns as Storm in a limited role due to her unexpected pregnancy during filming. Anna Panquin’s role as Rogue is very diminished while her boyfriend-in-the-past Bobby Drake (a.k.a. Iceman), played by Shawn Ashmore, has a relationship in the future with Kitty Pryde (a.k.a. Shadowcat), well played by Ellen Page, who had a greatly expanded role in X-Men: The Last Stand.
X-Men veterans will likely recognize appearances by Bishop, Colossus, Warpath, Sunspot and Blink plus Havok, Ink and Toad who are featured together in a scene featured during the ending credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Mark Camacho does a great job portraying President Richard Nixon.
The core characters create genuine excitement while filmmakers do not discount any character storyline/history by refreshing audiences’ minds with scenes from all the previous films. John Ottman also returns in double duty mode as music composer and editor.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is based on the Marvel comic book storyline “Days of Future Past” released in 1981 in Uncanny X-Men #141/142 (hang on to those issues). The X-Men film series has created an entertaining interchangeability (especially at the end of this film) where characters can come and go.
Be sure to stay after the ending credits for an additional scene involving another Marvel film that will release on May 27, 2016. Recommended and rated PG- 13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language. Also showing in 3D theaters.
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