Have you ever wished you could go back in time and stop something terrible from happening? 20th Century Fox sure did. Xmen: Days of Future Past attempts to do the impossible by erasing the horrible event that was X-Men 3. Oh, also in the movie series’ world all the mutants will die in the future if Logan doesn’t go back in time and stop it, so there’s that fix-the-past plot as well. However, can even Wolverine and Professor Xavier be successful in both quests?
First of all, you have to overlook some plot holes caused by all the time-jumping, but honestly any fan of X-Men movies should be used to that by now (just how old is Magneto at this point, if he was a elementary-aged child during WWII)? That said, I was pleasantly surprised by X-Men: First Class, so I was glad to see more of that world, especially in a movie that connects them with the earlier ones. One of the best parts of this premise is that we get to enjoy the strong casting that both movies (mostly) enjoyed (sorry, Juggernaut). The main focus was on the past, with the futuristic scenes mainly serving as a way to heighten the tension and give us cool action sequences. That said, it was the good to see the original cast together again in a better movie (Halle Berry even avoids cracking horrible jokes).
For me, the only weak character this time around was Stryker. He seems to lose his impact with each new movie that uses his character. It’s not just that he has been portrayed by a different actor each time. My problem is how he may as well be a different character altogether since none of the actors look like each other, and they all play him in a different manner. Why, when these movies all supposedly take place in the same universe, do we have to have one important character that is never consistent? Why not just leave him out? On the flip side are Magneto’s and Professor X’s two separate-era representations. They both look passable as younger and older versions, and the younger actors actually appear to have seen the earlier movies.
A favorite new mutant for me was super-fast Quicksilver, who could have been a gimmicky addition, but instead is more of a highlight. His super-slow scene in the kitchen easily ranks up there in the most memorable moments for both visual effects and humor. I was a little disappointed that they only used him for one job, but from a writing standpoint he could have solved the final battle way too easily. Jennifer Lawrence continues to add layers to Mystique’s character (if not outer layers), and her interactions with Charles and Erik are great moments as well.
Altogether, the writing effectively combined a large amount of events while giving plenty of snappy one-liners (notably between Logan and young Magneto). The first few minutes were a bit exposition-heavy, but they needed to explain quite a bit to get the time-traveling story going. One sizable detail that gets left off at the end is just what they do with that giant stadium around the White House. I mean, you just don’t tow that away. However, all is forgiven by the ending sequence, where Logan wakes up in a new future that not only has no Sentinels, but is also free from the disappointing X-Men: The Final Stand events. Those last few minutes gave us all the closure we need for the original cast, which is good because I’m wagering this movie is also a sly way for the studios to reboot the franchise with younger blood in the same way as the new Star Trek movies did. The past movies still happened, but the next movies are no longer bound to follow them. It’s a brilliant strategy from the studios, really. All in all, Days of Future Past undoes past wrongs and establishes a bright new future, in more ways then one.