There’s no way around saying this – X-Men: Days of Future Past is going to be a very divisive film. The way it borrows liberally from, while not actually quite adapting, its namesake story and the way it tries to reconcile the X-Men films’ terrible continuity are sure to rankle more than a few fans. But beyond that, how does it it stand on its own and as a piece within a larger franchise?
Days of Future Past kicks off in the future (naturally), where (very Nimrod-y) Sentinels are patrolling the skies so they can capture or kill mutant threats, including a few members of the X2/X3 casts and some new guys. There’s been a clip from this fight floating around for a while now, so you might have an idea of what to expect here. For possibly the first time in the series, we see the X-Men working together and using their powers cooperatively. Kitty Pryde phases Bishop through walls as they run. Blink throws up portals for her team mates to use (and whoever storyboarded her action is clearly a fan of… let’s say certain video games that are relevant to her powers). When things get dire, Kitty uses her new-found send-people-back-in-time-psychically power to warn everyone so they were never there to begin with.
Professor X and Magneto find out about this power and decide to send someone back to stop this whole thing from happening in the first place. They figure it all has to do with someone Mystique killed in 1973, and if they can stop her then no more Sentinels. But since it’s only your mind that goes back it has to be someone who was around in 1973… Hmm… I wonder who goes. Oh, yea, Wolverine, obviously.
That’s all in the first few minutes. The bulk of the film takes place in the 70s, focusing on the younger versions of the familiar characters. This is decidedly for the best for numerous reasons, the least of which being the clothes are much better in the 70s than in the future. A better reason is that most of the “modern-era” actors are phoning in their glorified cameos, perhaps if they had more to do, they’d have done more with it. But on-screen it just seems like they’re tired of playing these roles.
Also Quicksilver’s in the 70s.
Much has been said about Days of Future Past and Avengers 2 both featuring the character and the legal pissing contest it took for both studios to be able to use him. But Whedon better have some kind of secret weapon to make Aaron Taylor-Jonhson into a more interesting screen presence than Evan Peters. His take on the character is fun and charming, and he gets an incredible super-speed scene that I hope the people behind The Flash pay attention to.
Bryan Singer has made some really awful movies since X2, over 10 years ago, but thankfully, Days of Future Past is not one of them. I truly love X2, but this film is head and shoulders above it. It’s not quite as good as First Class, but it’s close. This is not to say it’s a perfect film. There are some leaps of logic that don’t quite make sense, and sometimes it’s not consistent with the rules they’ve previously set up for themselves (most obviously, Trask’s plan for Mystique shouldn’t work). But at the end of the day, Singer has made what’s probably the most X-Men X-Men film possible. Time travel, love triangles (rhombuses?), giant killer robots, messy continuity, potentially messier attempts to fix that continuity (that might just make things worse) – yep, this sure as hell is an X-Men movie.
I give it 8 CLIPS FROM EVERY OTHER X-MOVIE out of 10.