In a not too distant, post apocalyptic future, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent to the past in one last desperate attempt to end the war against the sentinels that have almost rid the earth of all mutants.
So, Days of Future Past, like any other comic book nut I had my reservations once the news came out. X-Men was fun but lacked action, X2 had more action in it’s opening sequence than the whole of the first movie combined and a great story. X3? Well, there’s not enough time in the world to moan about that one. First Class was a welcome return and now, Days of Future Past, the most complex and if not the best X-Men to date.
The film begins with an intense mutants versus Sentinels sequence set in the future that puts X2’s opening sequence to shame (in a good way). Kudos goes to the character Blink that can open portals, teleporting mutants around the battlefield and behind the enemy, its great stuff and must be seen to be believed.
Straight after this set piece, the film slows down and takes a more sombre and dramatic tone after Kitty (Ellen Page) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) devise a plan to send Wolverine back to the past to save everyone. To do this he must unite Xavier and Magneto’s younger selves, (McAvoy and Fassbender chewing up the scenery). Special mentions must go to McAvoy playing the seriously troubled and frightened young Xavier who is on the verge of a complete mental breakdown being looked after by Beast/Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult)
Throughout the previous films Xavier has always been the mentor so it was quite interesting seeing him struggle with loss and his powers. McAvoy injects the right amount of anger and sadness in his performance.
Another special mention is Peter Dinklage as Bolivas Trask, the creator of the Sentinels and Raven/Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence spending less time blue) target. Unlike Colonel Striker in the previous films, he doesn’t necessarily hate mutants, he admires them and simply doesn’t understand them. He captures this perfectly in a monologue he gives to a younger Striker. Thinking about it I can go on with honourable mentions because every character gets a moment to shine in this film. Jackman is better than ever as Wolverine, I always had my reservations about his portrayal of the character but here he nails it.
All in all, I personally thought that the film would be rushing through scene after scene to get us to the action. That is certainly not the case, the pacing is brilliant giving the characters enough time to explore and argue about their motivations. The finale even matches the quite brilliant sequence in X3 when Magneto levitates the Golden Gate Bridge. Ok I’ll stop before I lose it and fill the review with spoilers.
It’s a welcome return on Singer’s part as well as the rest of the old cast. The film is bigger and better than all previous X-Men films blending together the right amount of heart, action and of course humour. All I can say is watch it and bring on Age of Apocalypse.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Michael Fassbender,James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage
Director: Bryan Singer
UK Release Date: 23rd May 2014