X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past is pretty ambitious. The latest installment of the X-Men franchise aims to merge the original X-Men trilogy with the excellent X-Men: First Class prequel. By taking advantage of the time traveling elements of the original Days of Future Past storyline, it’s also aims to erase the worst parts of the previous X-Men movies (namely X-Men: The Last Stand) while keeping the good parts (namely Hugh Jackman and the cast from First Class).
The good news is that Days of Future Past largely succeeds on both accounts. While it is not perfect, it is definitely one of the best X-Men movies and one of the better superhero movies released to date.
As a general rule, comic book movies have always excelled when they stick as close as possible to the source material and failed when they haven’t. Days of Future Past is no exception. It’s based on one of the most iconic X-Men stories, perfectly highlighting the themes of fear and prejudice that make the X-Men so unique.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is definitely the darkest X-Men movie so far. It’s partly set in a post-apocalyptic future where mutants have been hunted to the point of near extinction by an army of giant robotic Sentinels. In order to save themselves from destruction, the X-Men send Wolverine back to 1973 to prevent the events that will lead to the extinction of the mutant race – and to be groovy.
Days of Future Past features the largest ensemble cast to date. Due to the sheer scope of the film, the majority of the cast is relegated to smaller, supporting roles in order to focus on Wolverine and the younger versions of Xavier and Magneto. Each of these characters have a satisfying character arc, but it would have been nice to see a bit more of Ian Mckellen, Patrick Stewart and the rest of the future X-Men.
Evan Peter’s Quicksilver also deserves a special mention. While the internet freaked out because he looked like a dork in photos, he delivers some of the best moments in the film.
Days of Future Past does a good job of balancing character and action with some of the best action set pieces in any X-Men film. The action ranges from epic battles between the future X-Men and hordes of sentinels to a daring prison break in the Pentagon and an all-out assault on the White House.
I always feel ambivalent about the action scenes in an X-Men movie. The X-Men’s mutant powers have always resulted in action packed comics and this action has never been fully captured on screen. In my opinion, the X-Men deserve the scale of action seen in Man of Steel. Days of Future Past is a step in the right direction, mainly due to the sentinels who are powerful enough to pose a genuine threat to the X-Men. They will thrill any X-Men fan.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great comic book movie. It is definitely darker than X-Men: First Class, but I’m still undecided if it is actually a better film. What Days of Future Past does do is solidify the X-Men franchise – even if it does so through some slightly wonky “time travel fixes everything” mechanics. The filmmakers have already announced that they will continue to draw upon iconic X-Men stories for future films. Next up is X-Men: Apocalypse, based on the Age of Apocalypse run from the 1990’s. If they can continue mining the best of the source material, then the future is definitely looking bright for the X-Men franchise.
- Brings together the best bits of all the X-Men movies
- Based on one of the most iconic X-Men stories
- The darkest and most ambitious X-Men movies so far
- Solidifies the X-Men franchise
- Scary Sentinels
- Some wonky time travel mechanics
8.5 out of 10