Cast: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, Omar Sy, Bingbing Fan
Direction: Bryan Singer
Duration: 2 hours 12 minutes
Story: Mutants from the present unite to alter an event that occurred back in time that has cataclysmic consequences for them in the present day.
Review: Singer wastes no time in putting you in the thick of the action from the beginning, with a fight scene between mutants and Sentinels (truly devious beasts with an array of powers that make them seemingly unstoppable). Magneto (McKellen) and Professor X (Stewart) have allied as they know that the mutants are in a sticky situation thanks to the Sentinels. Professor X patiently explains to Wolverine (Jackman) that the latter has to go back in time to 1973 and make contact with a young Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (McAvoy and Fassbender, respectively). Kitty Pryde (Page) uses her powers to send Wolverine back in time, Into the mix is the shape-shifting Mystique/Raven Lawrence) with unbelievable fighting skills. She’s out to take out Dr. Bolivar Trask (Dinklage), who has created the Sentinels to destroy the mutants. But Trask also wants to study Mystique’s blood for his devious plans. Among the standout scenes is one that involves Quicksilver (Peters, excellent) and a prison break that itself is worth the ticket price.
For a complex plot with so many characters, the movie is surprisingly easy to follow because of the cogent and clever distinctions made between front-line and secondary plots and characters. Storm (Berry), Bishop (Sy) and Blink (Fan) are mostly relegated to fight scenes. Wolverine holds the movie together while Mystique keeps the pace going. Fassbender’s Teutonic cool adds to his character and McAvoy is extremely compelling. Singer strikes a smooth balance between the roles these heavyweights play as well as the transitions between past and present. The gags and sensitive moments balance well but fun is always at the fore.
And though there’s no shortage of fantastic special effects, the film isn’t in the least bit overbearing. While it assumes viewer familiarity with all the characters, *Days of Future Past* does manage the improbable task of combining almost everything that we love about the X-Men series, in one place.