I’m not the biggest fan of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class was the first movie that I thoroughly enjoyed mainly due to Matthew Vaughn’s direction and James Mangold’s Wolverine was quite a good standalone X flick. That being said, Days of The Future Past is the best X Men movie till date and a milestone for future comic book movies on how to use such a vast cast, this effectively.
X-Men is one of my favourite comic books hence kindly indulge me while I take you through a bit of back-story and my experiences going into this film before I begin to review it. Days of the Future past is an adaptation of a landmark double issue X Men comic penned by the legendary Chris Claremont, whose run on the X Men resulted in some of the most iconic story arcs like The Dark Phoenix Saga, God Loves Man Kills to name a few and had a huge role in making Wolverine a vital figure in the Marvel Universe. It may be considered blasphemy, but I wasn’t a very big fan of the 2 issue Days of Future Past, having first being introduced to the story via the extremely brilliant 1992 cartoon series. Bryan Singer’s first two X Men movies left me feeling hollow and just did not live up to its expectations in my opinion, X2 is still hailed as one of the all time greatest comic book movies of all time, though credit must be given where it is due, he did herald in the Golden Age of Comic book movies. The lesser said about the abomination that was X3: The Last Stand the better, Matthew Vaughn breathed in fresh life into this franchise with his knack for offbeat casting and superb screenwriting along with Jane Goldman, made First Class, a fantastic watch, even though they completely bastardized the source material and continuity which is a given as Fox Studios has to maintain their standards. When Matthew Vaughn left Days of Future Past and Bryan Singer was brought back in, I lost a fair amount of confidence in this movie, so I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Singer and especially Evan Peters, whom I ridiculed at every moment due to the worst costume and marketing of a character in recent memory (in motion, the suit looks awesome). Thank you for being such an awesome Quicksilver, Aaron Johnson has to step it up big time in Avengers: Age of Ultron as he’s portraying the same character. Now onto the review.
X2 still stands as having the most badass opening shots, this movie’s comes really close to beating that, tidbits that are usually left out and make us fans frustrated, are all realized, we finally get to see Iceman use his Ice-Slide, Bishop powering up his Energy cannon and most of all this obscure mutant called Blink whose power is to generate mini portals is a treat to watch also minimal scenes involving the most irritating characters like Halle Berry’s Storm and Anna ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ Paquin’s Rogue are most welcome . There’s a huge load of Easter Eggs throughout, watch out for the “Maximoff” residence sign when Quicksilver is recruited. The movie is very wordy and has a short burst of action sequences throughout, which will keep the viewer engaged, the first half of the film is so enjoyable the second half struggles to keep up with it. The best set piece comes fairly early in the movie and it involves Quicksilver breaking out Magneto from The Pentagon. The Slow-Mo effects are brilliant and accompanied by Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle makes for a hilariously superb sequence. Peter Dinklage’s Bolivar Trask is a slithering, opportunistic scientist who just wants to save the Human Race from becoming obsolete while compromising with his ethics, Hugh Jackman holds the weaker scenes together and finally Bone Claws(!) which serve as props for some hilarious scenes. Jennifer Lawrence is at her Oscar-winning best, as the disillusioned Mystique not belonging to either faction, James McAvoy’s junkie Xavier seemed a little off-putting this time, Michael Fassbender owns it throughout with his nihilistic approach, has a brilliant stadium sequence at the end.The Future Sentinel designs are very impressive which mimic the abilities of Rogue more than they do of Mystique, the prototypes look really fluid when in flight and will give you no reason to complain like you did when the Bryan Singer tweeted the first image, also what is the point of releasing movies in 3D especially if there is no depth at all, barring the opening animated sequence there is no use of this medium and all you get is really dark visuals during the Future scenes.
Continuity is a huge problem in this movie especially with time travel involved, very few movies, like Primer and Back To The Future comply and manage to pull off this amazing, absurd logic, this leaves a few, head scratching, questions left unanswered. Have they erased the entire X3 otherwise how else did Magneto regain his powers after the events of X3, at what point of time does Wolverine wake up, were the previous movies just retconned? I hope a few of those are answered in the post-credit sequence because the genius projectionist decided to cut the print abruptly after mid-way through the credits in the theaters in which I saw it.
Overall, this is very well paced, dramatic, cleverly executed movie. Its highly enjoyable plot will surely, only make it better with multiple viewings. So brace your necks and watch out for the whip-lash.