X-Men: Days of Future Past Delivers the Goods
X-Men Days of Future Past is the latest outing of the extremely popular Marvel Comics Franchise. This film is directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men 2, The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns). Screenplay is by Simon Kenberg ( X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes). Music is by John Ottman (X-Men 2, The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns). It stars Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Sir Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Sir Ian McKellen (Magneto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) and a small army of other oscar nominated actors to round out the cast.
DOFP is loosely based on the classic Chris Claremont story that appeared in the X-Men line of comics in 1981. Bryan Singer does an admirable job of taking the basic concept of the original and using it to complete reboot the franchise and brings back characters that had been previously killed off. It references important plot points that were used for earlier films but occur in the future for our heroes and lays the groundwork for the next chapter.
The story centers around the efforts of the X-Men of the future (Charles Xavier, Magneto, Storm, Blink, Havok, Bishop, Iceman, Colossus and others ) to be able to give Kitty Pryde enough time to send Wolverine’s mind back in the past to his younger self so that he can enlist the help of the X-men of that era (Charles Xavier, Magneto, Beast and Quicksilver) to prevent the assassination of Dr. Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage) by Mystique. This assassination will spur the US Government to complete the Sentinel program. The Sentinels are robots that are able to identify and capture mutants. Eventually the Sentinels evolve to the point that they identify anyone that possesses the mutant gene regardless of whether the gene is active or not and either kill the mutants or incarcerate them in prison camps. This results in a dystopian future (is there any other kind?) where both homo sapien and homo superior are in danger of extinction. Got it? I know it sounds confusing but trust me when I tell you that the writers have done an excellent job of making the plot easy to follow.
Bryan Singer does an excellent job of moving the troops to where they need to be in this massive effort. This cast is so large that I am amazed they were able to get so many Oscar nominated actors in roles that literally only lasted a few seconds in some cases.
The sequence that showcases Quicksilver helping Magneto to escape from his prison is very entertaining and clever. The final battle of the film is a CGI tour de force and the manner in which Magneto neutralizes Wolverine is a great homage to a similar scene in the comics. (Let’s just say that rebar is not Wolverine’s favorite thing.)
The film has a great ending that virtually leaves it open to use any of the X-Men that we have been missing over the last few films.
There is a tag ending at the very end of the credits that teases the next film in the series. (Hint: if you don’t know who Apocalypse is, then start reading!)
This is a wonderful film and is lots of fun. The Script is very well done and the lead actors are as convincing as you would expect them to be.
John Ottman’s film score is a disappointment in an otherwise stellar film. It is not memorable or effective. Comic purists may get hung up over the hedging on Kitty Pryde’s powers (she has no time travel ability in the comics). They may also be annoyed that Quicksilver is sent home after breaking Magneto out of prison when he could clearly be very useful.
Other than those small quibbles, I must say that X-Men: Days of Future Past is well worth your time.
I give this film an A.