4.5 out of 5 stars (nearly a classic)
X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the best films of the long-running X-Men franchise. It combines everything I love about the franchise: Interesting characters, good humor, and engaging action sequences, once again under the direction of Bryan Singer, the man who arguably started the public’s fascination with comic book films. If you have not seen or have a general dislike of the X-Men films, then this will only confuse you. If you love the films, this one will entertain you.
Logan (Hugh Jackman once again proving he’s the only man for the role) has joined forces with Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and his once-foe Magneto (Ian McKellen) along with a rag-tag band of mutants who are fighting against the Sentinels, giant mutant-hunting robots created by Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage displaying that his small stature does not hinder his ability to intimidate).
The situation has escalated to the point that the mutant’s only option is to send someone back to 1973 and stop the Sentinels from being created in the first place. A mutant with the ability to project people’s brains back in time does so to Logan so that he can get a younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) to assist him with this. Once there, he discovers that it was Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence once again displaying her amazing acting talents) who unintentionally caused the present problems. Unfortunately, Charles is in a mental funk at this point, and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is still up to his old tricks. Time is of the essence, however, so Logan must accomplish his mission or risk the annihilation of the mutant population.
I cannot begin to describe how much this movie surprised me. The trailers made it look as if it would be one of two things: absolutely amazing, or just okay. Thankfully, it was absolutely amazing. The plot moves quickly, the characters are as engaging as ever, and all of the humor hits the mark. The story was written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (Vaughn directed X-Men: First Class, which breathed new life into the series), and the two of them have that rare ability to balance humor and seriousness without there being tonal whiplash.
Dinklage is the perfect man to play Trask, being so intimidating that you forget his dwarfish size. He is one of the best villains I’ve seen in this series, the second being William Stryker in X2. The viewer can hate and understand his goals at the same time, another rarity in an action film. The real standout performance is Jennifer Lawrence, who commands the attention of the audience whenever she’s onscreen. Provided she doesn’t pull any Lindsay Lohans on us, Lawrence should have a long and prosperous career. McAvoy also succeeds at playing a broken man while not making his character depressing. My only complaint is that some of the actors don’t get a lot to do. Halle Berry shows up as Storm in the climax, but that’s about it. Hopefully, she will get more to do in the next film.
All in all, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a fantastic movie, mixing the five star rating by a grain of salt. It’s funny, action-packed, and absolutely amazing.
Rated PG-13 for Sequences of Intense Sci-Fi Violence and Action, Some Suggestive Material, Nudity (one humorous scene) and Language (not all that much)