X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – A Movie Review

In the last sequence of The Wolverine (2013), we learned that Professor X and Magneto got together against a greater evil, and Wolverine would be a key element to destroy the coming enemy. This is the main premise of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), when an imminent war against mutants decimates Earth's population, and the only ones who can prevent this tragedy from happening are the X-Men.

The movie opens at the height of the war with important cities around the world destroyed due to The Sentinels, evil machines which can mimic mutant powers, so they can chase, imprison, and finally kill the mutants, and everyone who carries a mutant gene. The problem is the huge advantage these killing robots have over the mutants that cannot be easily overcome. So, in order to save humans and mutants on the brink of extinction, the X-Men need to go back in time and don't let these events to happen. The only mutant strong enough to resist that kind of trip is Wolverine.

Days of Great Acting

The movie has a great cast repeating their roles as our beloved superheroes. Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables, The Wolverine) as Logan/Wolverine performs one of his best incarnations of the Wolverine. Despite his bad portrayal of Logan in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and his mediocre recovery in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), this one really makes justice to the character, learning not only of his own mistakes, but also of his good past performances like in X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) and The Wolverine (2013), making us to think in more good depictions of the character in the future. Jackman has really made this character his own trademark, and he will be always remembered as Wolverine like Christopher Reeve was for Superman.

Patrick Stewart (Dune, Star Trek Generations) and Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters, LotR Trilogy) repeat their roles as Professor X and Magneto respectively. They have a great but limited screen time, however, I love the fact these tremendous histrions jump in the wagon every time they are called, and they do it in the best possible fashion. Their younger counterparts James McAvoy (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Last King of Scotland) as Professor Xavier, and Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 12 Years a Slave) were tremendously good in this movie, nonetheless, they still need more experience when you compare them to Stewart and McKellen. Anyway, in my opinion they are even better now than in their previous sequel X-Men: First Class (2011), and they deserve all the good critiques they got for their interpretation of the characters.

A noteworthy performance comes from Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook) as Raven/Mystique. She didn't even raise the bar developing this complex character that in the past was ordinarily played by Rebecca Romijn, but she also shaped it to her image, adding more depth and human qualities to Mystique, and not only looking “evilly pretty”.

Peter Dinklage (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Game of Thrones) portrays Bolivar Trask, an unethical scientist with an agenda, using the “mutant menace” as an excuse to impose an authoritarian order. Dinklage as a great actor he is, depicts an interesting interpretation of a clever enemy, who doesn't pose any visible threat to anyone. He uses inflammatory speeches filled with bigotry and prejudices, as well as his superior scientific intellect to save humankind, according to his twisted way of thinking, of course.

Two other minor characters that are worth noting are Shadowcat portrayed by Ellen Page (Juno, Inception), and Quicksilver played by Evan Peters (Sleepover, Kick-Ass). Page with her outstanding skills helps to make this story more credible and enjoyable. Her appearance is short but important for the script, and she takes advantage of that situation to her favor. I certainly will enjoy more of her character in future sequels. Something similar happens with the cheeky Quicksilver that Peters represents on screen. Quicksilver is a light character that adds comedy and freshness to the dramatic narrative as a relief, and he is used in limited doses that makes the movie even more pleasant to watch.

upload.wikimedia.org_wikipedia_commons_2_2f_x-men_days_of_future_past_cast_by_gage_skidmore.jpg
X-Men: Days of Future Past's cast at Comic Con 2013 in San Diego. Picture by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 1)

Days of Future Sequels

When Bryan Singer rejected the direction of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) to direct the now infamous Superman Returns (2006), I thought that would make a great comeback of the Man of Steel to the big screens, because of his prominent job with the first two X-Men installments. Instead of that, he ruined with his decision two great superheroes franchises: The X-Men and Superman. Fortunately, and thanks to X-Men: Days of Future Past, he “erased” the controversial Last Stand and moved on graciously from that flop that was Superman Returns. This movie wouldn't have been the same, if he hadn't been involved in it. The movie stands out by itself thanks to the great cast and the brilliant script, but Singer makes the difference due to his experienced knowledge involving the X-Men Universe. The visual effects are the best in the industry that I have seen in a while, rivaling with those already seen in other great productions from competitors of 20th Century Fox like Disney's The Avengers (2012) or Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The music is pretty common in this kind of productions, but it is not really good. It is functional to get the desired effect in the audience at the right time without bothering you during the movie, which is more than fine. However, I would have appreciated a more talented composer to give more splendor to the already extraordinary film.

In Conclusion

This is a great movie that fans of X-Men will enjoy from beginning to end. The special effects are extraordinary, the story will make you crave for more, and the acting will immerse you in the script as no other X-Men movie before. I assure you that time will fly in your seat until it is over. If you liked The Wolverine, this is even a much better movie. If you are hesitant due to Singer's Superman or Jack the Giant Slayer flop, fear no more! You will want to watch this movie over and over again. Don't forget to stay until the end of the credits to watch the already habitual ending scene. Yes, you are welcome!

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References:
1)
Skidmore, Gage (July 19th 2013). The cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego, California. (Uploaded by Gage) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)], undefined. Picture Available On-line in http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/X-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_cast_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpg

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