May 23, 2014
X-Men: Days Of Future Past [REVIEW]

"Thanks to 'X-Men: Days of Future Past', the X-Men franchise has proven to be stronger than ever, and this movie is the most ambitious one in the franchise yet!"

The X-Men franchise has been a stable source of entertainment for fans, and a stable source of income for Marvel. Unfortunately, certain movies in the franchise have fallen short of glory (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and one is a boring dullard that does not deserve mentioning unless for reporting purposes (X-Men 3: The Last Stand). Even The Wolverine, though a good movie in general, did not capture the same spark of fascination the original two movies in the franchise did. In short, X-Men: Days of Future Past had a lot on its shoulders. I am happy to report this movie delivered with more than what was expected.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a hybrid sequel to two prior X-Men movies (X-Men 2 and X-Men: First Class). The fact it is following up to two of the best films in the franchise with honor and respectability is a weighty accomplishment. It is also remarkable that such a movie could pull off utilizing a massive cast of A-listed actors.

The summarized story starts out in the future. Mutants are now hunted down by Sentinels, robots impervious to all mutant powers. In order to prevent Mutantkind's extinction, Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen), along with a band of fugitive X-Men, send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to the 1970s to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a weapons developer named Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), the scientist who fathered the Sentinel program. In order to succeed at his mission, Wolverine must get help from two other mutants during that time: the younger Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

This movie is directed by Bryan Singer, and for anyone that doesn't know, he is a veteran when it comes to superhero movies. Utilizing Simon Kinberg's script, he ensures decent character development, suspense, and enough comedy to bring us the most satisfying X-Men film to date.

Parts that stand out are the 1970s set which includes excellent set pieces, "oldies" tunes, and mock television footage of the era. The fact the time is also set around the Vietnam War helps instigate the initial implantation of fear against the mutant race, especially when Trask is at the helm. The other stand out part of the movie is the huge cast. Usually a movie with such a large cast, especially one with plenty of A-list actors as explained earlier, seems to be a cluster of chaos in which actors will be stepping on other actors' toes. This is not the case since the dual time eras allowed better character management. A higher concentration on the 1970s era part of the timeline gave McAvoy and Fassbender the center stage. Their dynamic relationship easily highlighted as one of the best parts of the film.

The biggest surprise -- and disappointment -- was Jennifer Lawrence's performance. It seems she wasn't into her character. Maybe it is because she is known for more prominent roles these days, such as being "The Girl On Fire," but her blank personality was very present in this film.

Other things that stand out include certain action cameos, especially with Quicksilver, and well-done graphics which were good enough for the film but didn't overpower it to become cheesy, like in X-Men 3: The Last Stand. If there is one thing that must be suggested, it is that watching this in 3D will probably not matter. There are no "pop" moments that would make the audience jump if it were in 3D.

Overall, X-Men: Days of Future Past is worth seeing at theaters. For people who love movies, especially action with a great story, this one has it all. For those who have lost hope in the X-Men franchise, this movie will renew it.