'X-Men Days of Future Past'. If ever there was a movie that was a pretty big deal for the family… that being me and my older brother and to a lesser extent, my son… this is the one. Comic book geeks from way back, more him than me, he proclaims this series of comics the most important in the history of comics and if they screw this film up, director Bryan Singer will be in even more trouble than he is at the moment because now he will have my brother to deal with. Fortunately for Mr. Singer and the creators of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past', my brother… nor I… am upset with them. He's not overjoyed with them… neither am I for that matter… probably just the weight of expectations coming to play… but I can say this was a movie that did its best the balance summertime action and story, and succeeds for the most part.
In the future, society as we know is in a bad way. The Mutants have been systematically wiped out by these brutally efficient bioorganic robots called The Sentinels, but worst still, even having a mutant gene or being labeled a mutant sympathizer marks you for elimination. There is a small band of mutants left who manage to stay one step ahead of the sentinels through this amazing new power Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has, though I'm not quite sure what these rebels plan might be. Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart) has one though. Use this amazing new power that Kitty Pryde has, send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and his amazing regenerative gifts back to 1973, stop the impending event that caused the birth of the Sentinels, and save the world. The problem, as told by a united Charles and Magneto (Sir Ian McKellan) is that 1973 Charles (James McAvoy) is quite the downer and probably won't listen, and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is in a place that will be difficult to reach. He probably won't listen either.
So off to 1973 Wolverine goes, and sure enough Charles is initially of very little help due to a number of bad things that have happened around him, but eventually he comes to his senses. And they even manage to free up Magneto, and everybody is kind of on the same page… that being stopping Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from doing something that will set these catastrophic events in motion. And by 'same page' we mean similar ends, just different ways of going about it. Wildly different.
Also, there's a clock on getting this done, because back in the present the Sentinels are coming and if Wolverine can't get this fixed thing before they arrive and rip these poor mutants to shreds, then all of this would be for naught. Will our heroes succeed? I'm sure they will… though I don't really see how, from what I saw, that they really did. More on that later.
First things first… it has been mentioned, and it is nonetheless true, that there is little to no continuity in these X-Men movies. This one in particular renders pretty much every other movie before it, except maybe the first one, inert. They've almost rebooted everything, or most things, using the same actors. I don't know if this is a problem, but it is slightly distracting if you would like these movies to follow some kind of logical arc from one to the next.
The movie itself, however, is very good. Realize that if a filmmaker is blessed to have Stewart, McKellan, Jackman, McAvoy, Fassbender and even young Ms. Lawrence in their movie, one can expect there to be an emphasis on having these fine actors… well… act. Despite the fact they are in a huge summer superhero action movie. As a result, this is a movie that probably places as much, if not more emphasis on these actors doing what they do best, as it does on its CGI team doing what they do best. It works too, because you will be more far more invested in these characters due to the actors playing these characters, and Michael Fassbender will give you at least one scene per movie to let you know that he is one of the finest actors working today, especially when it comes to displaying controlled rage. There are those amongst us who might've preferred a little more action and a little less talking, but if one were to ask me this film did have a nice mix of both.
This isn't to say that 'Days of Future Past' is all Shakespeare and no action because it does have plenty of that as well, and The Sentinels are almost nightmare inducing. The things they can do with computers nowadays, I tell you.
Here's the thing though, and this a bit of a SPOILER so stop reading if want to experience this movie in an organic way, but I don't think they actually did anything to stop the impending apocalypse. While Mystique stopped Eric from killing the president, this cat still lifted up a stadium, dropped it on the White House, turned a bunch of robots into murderous assassins, and did all of this on national television. Then they let him go. He's still out there. We won't even mention these mutants breaking into the Pentagon and setting Eric free in the first place. After witnessing all of that, wouldn't you still logically think that something needs to be done about these super humans? I would. While Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage) might be an awful person… his Sentinel plans would probably still be in the go-ahead stage… because what we eventually saw was way worse than the simple assassination of an asshole scientist, and this is Richard M. Nixon we're talking about. A president who didn't mind cracking a few eggs to achieve what he felt was a justified end. And actually examining all of that, 'Days of Future Past', story-wise, is actually kind of sloppy. In fact, if we were to be really picky, there's a laundry list of things in this movie that make little to no sense.
But we are not really picky. 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' is an entertaining movie with great actors playing great characters, but peppered with some truly illogical resolutions. And please remember to completely ignore the first six movies.