X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is not just the best of the X-Men films, it is one of the best Superhero films committed to celluloid. I was blown away and I’m not being unnecessarily hyperbolic. I promise.
Director Bryan Singer has such a grasp of the X-Men Universe and its characters that he and writers John Byrne, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman have managed to do the seemingly impossible. They have created a story that not only seamlessly combines the future and the past, but have managed to reference the other films and tie them back together. Doing so, they have breathed new life in a franchise that was collapsing on itself and have also laid a solid foundation for it to continue to grow and entertain.
The story begins in the near future where mutants have been hunted down to near extinction by the Sentinels. These goliath-sized robots were created to eradicate all mutants even before they are born.
Professor X (Patrick Stewart) along with Magneto (Ian McKellen) have assembled the last remnants of the X-Men in a last ditch effort to save themselves. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) can transport Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) current consciousness into his younger self circa 1972 to hopefully stop the events that will lead to this future.
Once in the past, he will have precious little time to reunite the younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) with the younger Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) in hopes of averting the creation of the Sentinels. It may sound out there, but it is handled so deftly that you can just go for the ride.
Everything about the movie just works. The entire cast (which is quite large) all bring their A-game and give the film a gravitas that you might not be expecting. There are grand themes and plotting that rely on character not just fancy special effects and that’s why this movie succeeds. It’s about the humanity and the people, not the spectacle.
I was truly on the edge of my seat for a few scenes as the tension was ratcheted up to 11. Completely engrossed with the characters, I was fearful that they might not succeed, as the odds were completely against them, even from the first few frames.
Without giving too much away, newcomer to the franchise Evan Peters, who plays Quicksilver almost runs off with the movie. He is the film’s biggest surprise. I had heard that his few scenes stand-out (in a good way) but was not prepared for how well executed they were. It would be a tragedy if they didn’t give him a bigger role in the next X-Men film as he more than earned it.
I know I’m gushing, but I was simply in awe of X-MEN: DOFP. I expected a good film and my expectations were high and the film still managed to exceed them. And that’s why I go to the movies and why I love them!