I remember the time when I was all jacked up when I saw the previews of X-Men. I was blown away when I saw the movie on VHS as well. Such an ensemble cast and Wolverine seemed to pack quite the punch. X2 Xmen United was better than I’d expected and the less said about X-Men The Last Stand, the better. Bryan Singer undoubtedly a skilled director as evident from The Usual Suspects and not to mention handling an ensemble cast like X-Men was no easy feat. But a look back at his recent flicks (Superman Returns, Jack The Giant Slayer), you are bound to set your hopes a bit low for X-Men Days of Future Past. Despite his fairly brilliant initial track record, I myself was skeptic about X-Men Days of Future Past especially when Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men First Class had a set a bar at how well made an X-Men could be.
Off to a very rocky start, Days of Future Past introduces to a dystopian 2023 run by Sentinels and the few remaining mutants fighting for their lives. I mentioned ‘rocky’ coz you are thrown into the thick of the action and despite the brilliant sequence, if you are not familiar with the X-Men lore you’d be wondering who these mutants are. You’ll feel right at home when Charles Xavier, Eric Lensher Logan and Storm enters the scene. Logan is sent back to 1973 by Kitty Pride to prevent Trask Industries to ever build these Sentinels. Logan meets up with a younger Xavier, Hank, Eric and Raven and sets about to save the world once again. What ensures is a good two plus hours of entertainment.
Time Travel is used as a plot device and a lot could go wrong if there ain’t much thought put into it. Thanks to Bryan Singer the comic series of the same name, time travel n Days of Future Past works just fine. It fills in most of the conflicts caused in the franchise’s timeline but then again by the end of Days Of Future Past, the original X-Men trilogy supposedly never happens (If I am correct). There are some nifty sequences that’ll make you go Whoa. The Magneto Prison break sequence in particular, left me in awe, thanks to Quicksilver. This rendition of Quicksilver was so good and leaves me wondering if this version would come on top if it had to go head to head with the upcoming Joss Whedon version from The Avengers Age of Ultron. I guess you cant have too much of a good thing as Quicksilver is sent home just after the said sequence.
Unlike the spinoffs the X-Men series had always been about the Mutant-Human war and its the same here. There is a ton of other story arcs that had loads more potential but it sticks to the same formulaic arc. Another qualm were the mere glimpses of mutants like Bishop, Wink, Colossus and even Storm and used as just baits. While the mutants showed off some cool combat, these are pretty relevant characters from the X-Men series and to make them just cannon fodder, not cool! X-Men Days Of Future past delivers but I felt it doesn’t have that charm or the heart X-Men First Class had. And if ranked X-Men Days of Future Past might be a notch below X2 X-Men United and First Class. There is a ton of fan service here and it is also advised to watch the past X-Men movies to get the complete gist of Days of Future Past.
Bryan Singer once again proves that he’s good with an ensemble cast. Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Ellen Page all plays noteworthy roles in Days of Future Past. If this isnt star studded, I dont know what is. In almost all the previous X-Men movies Hugh Jackman usually steals the show, and he does most of the heavy lifting here as well but a bit of the limelight is also shared or rather snatched by James McAvoy playing the younger Xavier. McAvoy displays a remarkable performance and brings in layers of emotions to the man in the wheel chair. Michael Fassbender also shines throughout with his cold steel looks and grey shades. Jennifer Lawrence excels in being Mystique as well as sexy and becomes one of the most indispensable characters in the narrative. Boliver Trask wasn’t even a dwarf in the original X-Men lore and yet Peter Dinklage nails it, his acting prowess was all that was needed and not his height.
The visuals were fairly impressive, but I did notice some itsy bitsy flaws here and there. I loved the way the footages from 1973 had a kind of Eastman color shade to it. The Future Sentinels were impressively rendered and felt daunting indeed. The X-Men theme makes a comeback as well, Thanks to John Ottman. While it wouldnt even come close to Henry Jackman’s awe inspiring original score from X-Men First Class, Ottman’s score still brought forth a sense of nostalgia.
X-Men Days of Future Past is a great comeback for Bryan Singer and some of the faith in him has been restored. It doesn’t break any grounds and despite its gaping plotholes and flaws, X-Men Days of Future Past makes for a good entertaining flick. Go watch it!
PS: As its tradition, do wait for the credit roll to get over for some awesome Post Credit Sequence paving way to the next in series: X-Men Apocalypse.