From the studio that brought you the Alvin and the Chipmunks trilogy comes a movie that is a sequel to the X-Men trilogy and to X-Men: First Class, but is also kind of a reboot for the X-Men film franchise. Don’t worry if this confuses you because the goal here is to erase the two horrible Wolverine movies from existence. X-Men: Days of Future Past is based on one of the best comic book storylines in the franchise and this film reaches the heights of its source material and then some. This is a movie you need to sink your claws into.
In the year 2023, mutants are in a war and on the brink of extinction due to sentient robots called Sentinels that can adapt to any mutant’s abilities, and are programmed to kill them due to being a threat to the human race and the Matrix. Professor X (Patrick Starwart), Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen) Wolverine (Huge and Jacked) and the rest of the mutant rascals find Juno (Ellen Page) and her group of mutants because she has the power to send someone’s consciousness back in time to their younger bodies. They convince her to send Wolverine’s consciousness back to his younger self in 1973, so he can convince the younger versions of themselves to prevent an event which will lead to the creation of the Sentinels and the war.
In 1973, it’s been ten years since the events of X-Men: First Class. Mystique (Jennifer “I am the Law” rence) is now working on her own to find captured mutants and Peeta. Lawrence embodies her character’s independence and confidence in every scene she’s in while still handling her emotional moments. A young Professor X (James McAvoy) is struggling with his inner turmoil, but he is going crazy and getting desperate without being able to post passive-aggressive Facebook statuses about his feelings; you can only hope that his powers will still give the mutants a leg up on their threats. Young Magneto (Michael Buttflexer) is as extreme as he has always been, and ready to do what it takes to save his mutant race. Peter Dinklage also does well in his small, but crucial role in the fate of the mutant race. Each actor has their chance to shine, and they live up to their moments with ease. You’ll feel invested in all of their situations due to how natural and real the actors have made the characters feel.
From the Sentinel-ravaged, dark future to the high-stakes set-pieces involving planes, trains, automobiles, Paris, Vietnam, Washington, and stadiums in 1973, the visual effects and choreography are marvelous from beginning to end; they are used to contribute to the story or finally bring to life the X-Men and powers seen in this movie like never before. Action scenes are well-distributed throughout the movie to let you breathe and enthrall you after a build-up of dramatic tension. There’s a particular sequence with Quicksilver (Evan Peters) in the Pentagon that’ll mesmerize you, make you laugh, and fill you with joy as you think, “DID HE JUST DO THAT?!?”
X-Men: Days of Future Past is the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight. The compelling storylines humanize these mutants and we can even catch a glimpse of ourselves in their struggles. The beautiful Mystique has an inner conflict about being accepted as a hot, naked blue woman and getting revenge for her fallen mutants. Professor X struggles with growing a figurative, strong spine even if it means sacrificing something dear to him. As you are watching this film, you will be so drawn in by the actors’ performances that you will think Magneto is literally pulling you through the screen.The film has powerful action sequences that will make you grip your popcorn and soda so hard that they’ll scatter over your fellow moviegoer like ash and lava on Pompeii, but they won’t care because they can’t keep their eyes off the screen; it could be their favorite character’s last moments. Even some secondary characters have their chance to steal the X-Men’s and Storm’s thunder in a few scenes. There may be some cheesy lines and corny references here and there, but it’s only enough to add some humor to a movie with an overall dark tone due to what hangs in the balance.
The only true flaw that someone might bring up is that there isn’t a “true villain” in this film. However, this movie is about how we are our own villain. We often place burdens on our shoulders and obstacles in our paths because of our internal conflicts. Whether it’s the fear of failure, the unknown, being abandoned, or oppression; lack of self-acceptance or something else, our inner conflicts eventually weaken us to the point that we may even become hopeless and stop fighting. It is only when we give ourselves a chance to face our own demons instead of running away from them that we may overcome any challenge and reshape our present. As an older Professor X says to a younger Professor X in the trailer, “We need you to hope again.”
This movie is wonderful, entertaining and fearless, and, most importantly, it’s an inspiration.
It’s a future classic.
This movie gets my highest recommendation of Get to the Theater.