Back in 2000, Bryan Singer pioneered a new age of superhero movie with ‘X-Men’. Before ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Spider-Man’, and ‘Iron Man’, it was the children of the atom that set the bar for films based on comic book characters. But after ‘X2’, the filmmaker unfortunately vacated the director’s chair to pursue other projects. Now nearly fifteen years after he first introduced the world to Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Magneto, and Wolverine on the big screen, he returns to the franchise with ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’.
Acting as a sequel to both ‘X-Men: First Class’ and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, the latest film in Fox’s Marvel mutant movie series spans decades as the younger versions of the X-Men in the 70s join forces with their 2023 counterparts to save the world from a grim, terrifying dystopian future dominated by mutant and human killing machines called Sentinels. This is accomplished when Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine’s consciousness back into his younger self to track down and recruit Charles Xavier and Magneto to stop Mystique from murdering Bolivar Trask, which is the event that triggers their bleak future.
Now, I have to start by saying that my expectations were extremely low for this movie. Every X-Men film after ‘X2’ besides ‘First Class’ was mediocre at best (but mostly worse than that) and with all the characters being featured in the promotional campaign for this movie, I was afraid that it would repeat the mistakes of ‘Spider-Man 3’ by trying to cram as many characters in as possible without devoting adequate time to flushing them out. However, once the credits rolled and I awaited the post-credits scene, I found very little to complain about. Overall, I enjoyed the film based on Chris Claremont’s iconic storyline very much. Hell, I was even grinning like an idiot by the end because basically all the incredibly disappointing things about the past films were fixed and I was super stoked about that. (Well, except for Deadpool in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. Singer’s good, but not that good, I guess.)
When I tried to critically dissect the film further, I had no immediate quarrels with it. There were no complaints to be had about pacing, length, cinematography, or anything. I was a fan of it all and I had to be extremely nitpicky to find anything less than satisfactory in the whole movie. For me, the most disappointing thing was Quicksilver’s look. Despite a memorable scene that was certainly a highlight of the movie, I couldn’t help but find Evan Peters’ wardrobe to be utterly ridiculous, even for the time period. I liked his performance, but he just looked dumb. Also, I was trying to justify Kitty’s new power in this film, which isn’t part of the source material, but I couldn’t even dwell on that too long since something awesome was happening onscreen to distract me from the changes from the comic.
The biggest criticism I have of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is that it didn’t really take any chances. Things pretty much went as one would expect them to go, but that didn’t deter from the enjoyment at all. A superhero movie doesn’t need to be as dark as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy or as complex as ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ to be good. Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn, and Jane Goldman assembled an excellent script that any X-Men fan should enjoy regardless of if they’ve been reading the comics for years, found the 90s animated series on Netflix, or just casually followed the films. In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that this movie is the X-Men movie universe equivalent to ‘The Avengers’. Not only did it rejuvenate the series, but it was also a refreshing addition to the superhero movie genre. I can’t wait to see what these people have in store for the next chapter of this story.
Besides the few small gripes I mentioned above, I have little to no complaints about ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past as a movie critic or a comic book fan. Matthew Vaughn is the best thing to happen to the X-Men franchise since Bryan Singer, so to have them work together on this movie was the ideal situation. They put together such an awesome film that could very well be the one of the best offerings from it’s genre this summer blockbuster season. It definitely tops ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ on my list and even if it doesn’t surpass ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, this movie is still a really fun ride that everyone should check out.