Kyle J. Steenblik

X-Men: Days of Future Past delivers thrills, laughs, and Quicksilver.

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x-men-portraits-11X-Men: Days of Future past may very well be the best yet of the X-Men franchise.  It is, at the very least, the entry I have enjoyed the most.  It felt more complete, and well rounded than any of its predecessors.  Neither weighed down with origin stories nor over burdened with multiple new characters.  Or more simply put, it hits the right notes, at the right time and doesn’t sag but for the rare moment.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect, which I feel helps propel the often-dark storyline, is the pronounced levity, at times the film is downright hilarious, which are the precise tone needed for this type of film.  As expected, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine delivers a good majority of the humor.  However, Jackman finally has competition in James McAvoy’s Xavier and Evan Peters’ Quicksilver.  In fact, Evan Peters steals the show entirely.  I would not be surprised if the next stand-alone film pitched is a Quicksilver film.

The film begins in a trilling fashion.  Roughly ten years in the future mutants are hunted to near extinction thanks to Dr. Bolivar Trask’s (Peter Dinklage) advanced Sentinels.  The final lines of Mutant resistance are held by Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Bishop (Omar Sy), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Blink (Bingbing Fan), Sunspot (Adan Canto), and Warpath (Booboo Stewart).  They keep ahead of the Sentinels by sending Bishiop’s consciousness back in time just far enough to avoid the attack.  When Wolverine, Storm (Halle Berry), Professor X (Patrick Stewart), and Magneto (Ian McKellen) catch up to them the Professor and Magneto describe the events that led to the Sentinel’s creation.  That event was the murder of Trask by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) in 1973.  This revealed the mutants to be a threat to humanity, and provided the push needed to drive the development of these advanced weapons after Trask’s death.

x-men-portraits-10After deciding Wolverine is the only one physically able to survive having his consciousness sent fifty years into the past, the Professor and Magneto explain to Logan where he can find their past selves.  When Logan awakes in 1973, he immediately visits the home of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) where he meets a younger Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult).  Once inside he finds Charles staggering around, powerless, and mostly drunk.  Unable to cope with the loss of his X-Men he fell into a deep depression and started injecting excess amounts of Hank’s serum to suppress his mutant abilities.  After some brisk negotiation, he convinces them he is from the future and he needs their help, and Erik Lehnsherr’s (Michael Fassbender) to stop Mystique.  However, the first problem is retrieving Erik from his prison deep within the Pentagon.  To do this, Wolverine convinces Charles and Hank to enlist the help of a young mutant named Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver.

Once free of his prison, Erik, Charles, Hank, and Logan travel to Paris to stop Mystique.  Once confronted with the task of keeping her from killing Dr. Trask the four encounter problems that could very well jeopardize the future of the entire world.  The events that follow are dark and complex, pushing these characters into areas we have not yet seen them forced to cope with.  The results are poignant and stunning, bringing a depth of character these films sorely lacked.

Days of Future Past marks Bryan Singer’s return to the director’s chair of the X-Men franchise he launched in 2000.  He is successfully able to pick up the pacing that dropped off after X2, and incorporated the best elements of all the films in between.  There are unfortunate continuity issues, most of which are unavoidable, but none of it is too distracting from the film as a whole.  By the end of the film, Singer has corrected course and set the franchise back on the right track.  That track, leads directly to the Apocalypse.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the film the X-Men franchise needed to rejuvenate the series.  It was trilling, hilarious, and thoroughly well rounded.  9.5 out of 10

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