Fox's X-Men series has had a rocky history with fans and critics alike. Films like X-Men, X2, and X-Men: First Class have struck accord with fans critics alike, while others like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine have turned many fans and critics away from the series. Personally, I've always been a fan of the franchise, especially Singer's and Vaughn's take on the series. After hearing that Singer would be returning to the franchise to fix what had devastated fans in the past, I was more than ecstatic, but at the same time cautious. There was much to cover in a short amount of time, but the possibilities of what could be accomplished had me exhilarated. Up until the release of the film, felt as if this was going to either be an amazing film that would win many fans over, or it would be riddled with issues that would put the final nail in the coffin for the X-Men films. And after watching the film, without a doubt, it is most definitely the former.
The story of the film is impeccable. Not only did it pay respect to the original story, but is successfully meshed together different genres to create an extravagant film.Days of Future Past had much to cover, but brilliantly was was able to condense it into a simplistic yet intelligent film. Almost anybody, whether a long time fan of the series or a new comer, can watch the film and understand almost everything that is occurring. While it may upset some, there is good reason as to why Wolverine is sent back in time instead of Kitty Pride. Actually, it makes the film all the more interesting, as this time it makes Logan the teacher and Xavier the student instead the other way around, which is something we've grown accustomed to in these films. Logan is not the central character in this, despite a presence throughout the entire film. This is absolutely an Xavier and Erik film (past and future); a continuation of First Class. The relationship between Xavier and Erik was damn near perfect and took each step that it needed to take. Issues between the two were addressed and you could see their relationship further shape into the mold that we saw in the original trilogy (and for that matter the comics as well). The mutants of the future were carefully picked and worked very well together. At the beginning of the film (that takes place in the future), I felt as if I was witnessing a comic book literally jumping off the page and onto the screen. The mutants teamwork in taking on the future sentinels was a clear cut highlight of the film, as it provided excellent action and emotional depth at the same time. Singer and Kinberg do a superb job at further advancing the arcs of characters already introduced as well as making any and all new mutants a delight to watch. Arguably, the goal of this film was to fix continuity, and it most certainly does. It's hard to not dive into spoilers when talking about continuity, but most fans should agree what was necessary has been done and the future of this franchise should no longer have to fret over continuity. One should leave to theater with a huge grin on their face after seeing a few surprise cameos at the end of the picture.
The screenplay in the film is riveting as well. One of my favorite parts of these films is the relationship between Xavier and Erik, and Days of Futures Past is perfectly able to capitalize on the roller coaster that is their relationship. At two separate parts in the film will you want to break down in tears; once in the past during a squabble on the plane, and once more in the future (I won't say more to avoid spoilers). Both instances capture the essence of their relationship on two opposite ends of the spectrum, and having incredible actors like Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and James McAvoy makes those scenes all the more special. Wolverine seems to be back to his "old self" in this as well. What I mean by that is in Singer's first two films, Logan had a wit to him that ceased to exist in The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Wolverine brought some of it back, but not like this. Mystique was another character that was written well. Not only did Lawrence's performance improve, but her personality seemed to be so much more like the Mystique we know from the original Singer films. Almost every character is written to expertise, and the exposition in this film is handled quite well (which comes as a surprise considering how much they need to cover). Day of Future Past, as well as most of the other X-Men films, while it may not capture the flashiness or the style of their comic counterpart, they capture the meaning and underlying tones of the X-Men and what they stand for. This film is just another piece of evidence to that statement.
The performances in this film were spectacular. Hugh Jackman consistently gets better and better as Wolverine, and both Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen give heartbreaking performances as arguably two of the greatest foil characters in comic book history. You could see the pain and sorrow in each of their eyes, and Erik's "All those years of fighting..." line perfectly delieverd and describes the brutality of what they have faced throughout their lives. Peter Dinklage's Bolivar Trask isn't your average villain. He actually has sound reasoning and logic behind his actions, which makes similarities to the Joker in The Dark Knight. I was also glad that they didn't make his size an issue in this, and in not doing so it shows that they were looking for the actor that best fit the role (which he most certainty does) and were not ruling anyone out. To best honest, I wasn't a fan of Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique that we saw in First Class, she so much more different than what we were used to and didn't have the same edge that we saw before in previous incarnations. In this, she was cool, subtle, and slick, just how Mystique was in the original trilogy. I really bought into Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. So much so, that I felt like I wasn't watching Jennifer Lawrence on screen, I was watching Mystique on screen. Something obviously has to be said about Evan Peters's Peter Maximoff as well. He undoubtedly stole the show. He was the perfect smart ass, and each of his scenes were executed with great person. He was funny, fast, and "a pain in the ass", just how he should be, and just as much that is attributed to Singer and Kinberg for bringing the character to life should be given to Evan Peters. All in all, the film is full of great performances, proving once again Bryan Singer truly knows how to pull spectacular performances out of his ensemble casts.
Earlier this year, I stated that The Winter Soldier featured some of the best action I've ever seen in a comic book movie, and possibly was the best. Well, Days of Future Past proved me wrong once again. Warpath, Bishop, Blink, Sunspot, and Bobby's powers all look amazing on screen. The contrast and color pallet looked very cool in the futuristic setting. I got chills when I saw bobby performing his famous ice slide in the future as well as when I witnessed Blink show off her powers. Maximoff looked great as well, and one can see clearly a lot of detail and effort was put into making sure he looked perfect on screen. His own, show stealing scene in the kitchen was visually (and humorously) amazing. The set pieces in the film were great as well, and there was a strong sense of nostalgia that overcame me when I saw the famous doors to cerebro open once again. The sentinels looked just as great as they were menacing. Storm's powers finally look the way they are suppose to (and Halle Berry ain't bad this time around as Storm). The baseball stadium scene was superb as well. And the best part of all of this is the fact that there is a wonderful lack of shaky cam!
For a film that had much to cover and was layered from beginning to end, there are very few flaws within the film. Personally,I would have preferred to see more Quick Silver, but it's understandable as to why he wasn't featured in the rest of the film. Not every continental error was addressed or fixed (like Xavier's death in The Last Stand). The film was so wonderful, I wouldn't have minded waiting another half hour to see the footage that was clearly cut (for example, Rouge's subplot).
Days of Future Past is an all encompassing film. Exquisite writing, brilliant performances, excellent homage and respect to the source material as well as the films predecessors, and a brilliant plot make for one of the best films you'll see all year. It is ever so hard to think of a flaw with this film. The film marks a new era for comic book film, and easily ranks among not only the best comic book movies this year, but best films this year. Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg have truly outdone themselves . Days of Futures Past will rank high among others favorite comic book films, and I can confidently say this is my personal favorite comic book movie of all time.
5 DiCaprio .GIFs Out Of 5