Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender
Release Date (US): 23rd May, 2014
Company: 20th Century Fox
“All those years wasted fighting each other, Charles… to have a precious few of them back…” – Magneto
X-Men: Days Of Future Past is the seventh instalment in Fox’s veteran superhero franchise. Set in both the past and the not-too-distant future, the movie re-unites Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, The Prestige) with his old colleagues from the original X-Men trilogy – in a war-torn, post apocalyptic future, where mutants are being hunted down by the deadly Sentinels. In a desperate attempt to change history, Logan is sent back in time to the 1970s, to prevent the events leading up to this future from ever happening.
The movie’s time-travel premise is understandably complex, but never feels overly complicated. Instead, it offers a unique opportunity to unite both casts from director Bryan Singer’s beloved X-Men and 2011’s truly excellent X-Men: First Class. In the end, watching Wolverine interact with the younger incarnations of his team-mates is hugely entertaining, while the action sequences of the future are particularly emotional.
Logistically speaking, this is easily the most ambitious X-Men film to date, and while there’s a little too many things going on for any substantial character development, the action, visuals and complexity of the story all live up to the occasion. Indeed, the amount this movie manages to achieve in such a short space of time is truly remarkable – never once never feeling rushed at any point either. It’s greatest achievement, however, is successfully re-capturing the tone and nostalgia of of the original trilogy.
“Charles, we need you to hope again.” – Professor X
In uniting the original stars with the rising talents of X-Men: First Class, Bryan Singer has put together arguably the greatest superhero movie cast ever assembled. Jackman is as solid as ever, happy to play a lesser role as part of a much bigger ensemble piece, yet still standing out. Michael Fassbender, the highlight of First Class, is great once again, showing excellent chemistry with his co-stars. However, it’s James McAvoy (Filth) who steals the show here, with his tortured performance as a younger Xavier, void of hope.
Elsewhere, Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) and Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy) again impress, while Evan Peters (Kick-Ass) proved all of his doubters wrong with his whirlwind turn as the wonderfully entertaining Quicksilver. The original cast must be commended, with franchise veterans Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Shawn Ashmore and Ellen Page all reminding us of how much we loved their characters in the first place. In the end, the film’s only crime is not devoting enough screen-time to the future plot line.
Direction & Tone
Right from the start, Singer brings the nostalgia, delivering a superhero movie with genuine heart. The action scenes are phenomenal – I’d go so far as to say the best from any CBM this year, while the movie always retains its emotional core. John Ottman (X2)’s score is a tad monotonous, but it does rise to the occasion when needed – particularly in the movie’s climatic final battle. This is Singer’s best X-Men, hands down.
- Despite being somewhat sidelined in this movie, Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones) is still rocking a Ron Burgundy-worthy moustache. That alone makes his appearance worthwhile.
- Boy did this movie prove a lotta people wrong. The things fans seemed most keen on complaining about (Quicksilver and The Sentinels) ended up being two of the best things about it. Go figure.
- One thing I also wanna mention is how all of the new characters were handled. They may not have much in terms of screen time – but Bishop, Warpath, Sunspot and (in particular) Blink helped make the action sequences a true spectacle.
- “I don’t wan’t your suffering! I don’t want your fuutchaa!!!” – McAvoy is so intense in this film. He really gets to you. Right in the feels.
- If this movie did any one thing in particular, it showed me how much I’m not yet ready to let go of my childhood. The X-Men movies were a fundamental reason why I loved superheroes – it’s wonderful to see them still kicking.
Bryan Singer returns to the franchise he started 14 years ago to direct this fantastically creative ‘inbetweequel’ – balancing the an ensemble of X-Men acting legends who help ensure that this movie ends up being one of the biggest hits of the year.
Result: “Very Good”