Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the world, its time for another film review and today I’m gonna be talking about the next big film of the summer in the form of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now the X-Men film series has had a bit of a rocky road but for the most part it has been good and in recent years it has been getting a bit of a resurgence and now we have Days of Future Past, a film that intends to bridge the gap between the X-Men films new and old. So has it succeed? Well read on and find out!
So the story goes something like this:
In the future the world is pretty much in pieces, the machines known as Sentinels have taken over the Earth and enslaved mutants and humans alike, there is no happiness or hope, only pain, suffering and death. Many have lost their lives fighting for justice and now Professor X, Magneto and group of other mutants are the only survivors and the only way for them to save themselves is to change the past. So Wolverine is sent back in time to the 1970’s to get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to band together and stop the Sentinel programme from coming into existence.
The story in this film is very good, smart and entertaining throughout, sure there’s the occasional plot hole and some head-scratching elements that’ll leave you with some unanswered questions, but overall this film has its heart in the right place. The themes of changing fate, rewriting history, bonds of friendship and having hope in the face of adversity are on display in a wonderful and powerful way and I loved how things in the past were relevant to the future and vice versa. This film also doesn’t hope back on the level of loss and devastation caused by the Sentinels in the future, there is a lot of drama and emotion and you buy that this is not a world anyone wants to live in and I love how the stories of the past are just as interesting with characters being so different and having all of the politics involved with mutants and the dawn of the Sentinels through Trask Industries. But the best thing about this film is that it feels right, this film pretty much rectified a lot of the mistakes of this franchise and gives you something that feels good, fresh, fun and by the end of the film you feel like you’re in a happy place with yourself, well I know I did.
As for the cast they are all on top form with some giving us some of their best performances to date. So let’s start with the young cast first. James McAvoy is still great as Charles Xavier, like in First Class you’re still seeing sides of him that you never knew existed and it only makes his character more layered and easier to relate to. In this film Xavier in the 70’s is a mess and for good reason, but it is seeing him deal with his pain and then journey back the place where he needs to be which is so rewarding. Michael Fassbender is still killing it as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, if you thought this guy was cool in the last film then wait til you see this one. This Magneto definitely has more of the McKellen side of the character in him in the way in which he acts, speaks and uses his powers and just like Xavier he’s in a very different place than his older self and seeing the emotions with him and choices he makes only makes him more badass. Jennifer Lawrence returns as Raven/Mystique and she too have never been better. This is more in line with the character we knew from the old films, but still with the emotional conflict and beauty we got from her in First Class. I liked how agile, cool and acrobatic she was, but more so than that, I liked how much of a central role she had in the film, it made me smile so much. I also really liked Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast, he was funny and whenever he was in blue mode he was awesome, but I also liked how he’s still there for Xavier and is really smart.
Now let’s talk about the veterans. Firstly there’s Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine and do I really have to say how good he is in this film? Come on its Hugh Jackman, he’s automatically awesome. Again this film gives us fans what we love with all the smug, cool and humourous elements of the character, but rather than making the only character that matters, others are given screen time to develop, grow and have action moments in the spotlight, sure this guy is at the center of things a lot, but not as much as he has been before. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are still fantastic as old Professor X and Magneto, both of them have a screen presence and gravitas about their acting that is impossible to not enjoy, but beyond that you believe in their connection and there are some really emotional moments between them. Ellen Page gives her best performance as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat as she is much smarter and serious in terms of her personality and use of her powers, she has a central role to this film and the way she is handled was carefully done. Seeing Shawn Ashmore as Iceman again brought joy to my heart as this was the Iceman I’ve wanted to see for so many years, he was cool and had some lovely moments. I was also glad to see my man Daniel Cudmore back as Peter Rasputin/Colossus, he was a joy to watch and it was nice to see him get some screen time even if he didn’t say much, and Halle Berry returns as Storm and while she doesn’t really do much beyond what we’ve seen in previous films, she is still has her moments to shine.
Now let’s talk about the new people. Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask is very good, he is a man who is anticipating the future and wishes to keep the world save and in his mind he is the good guy for doing what he’s doing and creating the Sentinel programme. He’s smart, determined and kind of smug when it comes to his research and technology and Dinklage is just awesome. Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver was actually one of the best parts of the film, while the costume still looks a bit off, his performance and use of his character was very effective. Omar Sy as Bishop was really cool, I don’t really know anything about this character from the comics but he had a cool and badass screen presence and liked a lot of his action scenes. And finally Fan Bingbing stars as Clarice Ferguson/Blink and Booboo Stewart stars as James Proudstar/Warpath were lovely additions to this film universe, while there was a lot going on with other cast members I was happy that the got a decent amount of screen time too.
When it comes to the presentation it is very, very good. Visually the film is impressive, firstly you can also tell that this is a Bryan Singer film, the look, style of camera work and the use of visual effects is just like the stuff he did with the first two X-Men films, and I can tell you this guy knows his stuff. The action sequences are beautifully shot and framed, there are sequences both in the past and future that are worth talking about and they all look lovely. As for the soundtrack John Ottman returns to score the film and I can say it is nice to have him back, he gives this film the trademark film theme back which was a welcome return for me, however his soundtrack was just alright and doesn’t reach the epic and emotional heights of Henry Jackman’s work on First Class.
In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great comic book film, it takes the source material, adapts into a film format that bridges to worlds of X-Men films while also setting up for future X-Men films. While not everything works and some people cold have used more screen time, it is hard for me to criticise a film that gave me everything I could have wanted and then some. I left the cinema thinking to myself “I feel good about that film and I can’t wait for the sequel.” I highly recommend this film as it is X-Men in probably its finest hour. P.S. All I can say is thank god Bryan Singer didn’t mess this up, Mr. Singer you are alright again. 🙂
So what do you lot think of the X-Men: Days of Future Past? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Also if you’re a fan of the series did it meet your expectations or were left disappointed. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀