Forgive the cheesy headline, will you?
He gave us The Usual Suspects, X-Men 1 and 2, and Valkyrie. He also left X-Men 3 to make Superman Returns (oops).
Let the past stay in the past, I say. This man has given us a glimpse into a glorious future.
That’s what X-Men: Days of Future Past is, really.
Apart from being an epic, and arguably the greatest ensemble superhero movie ever made, it does no more than offer a glimpse into what CAN happen in the third instalment – if that is even half as good as this, we are in for a show.
Set in a dystopian future (2023, by my calculations), a race of robots known as Sentinels have exterminated most mutants, and are oppressing human beings who carry the genes that lead to mutant offspring.
However, a small band of mutants, which include Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Storm and a host of others, meet up in a Chinese monastery. Their plan is to go back in time to prevent a cataclysmic event that led to the creation of the Sentinels in the first place. You’ll have to watch the film to find out what that cataclysmic event was.
How do they manage that? Kitty Pryde helps them with her power to project a person’s consciousness back in time.
PLOT TWIST: She can’t project a person’s consciousness back 50 years without killing them. So the only guy who can make the trip, goes – Wolverine.
In case you haven’t got the memo yet, let me make one thing clear: this is the best X-Men movie ever made. I thought it would be pretty hard to top First Class, but Days of Future Past takes the cake with the cherry on top.
The Stars of the Show
Now that Wolverine has gone back 50 years, his first major mission is to help a young Magneto break out of a super-security prison under the Pentagon. Along with a young (and quite lost) Professor X. They’re also accompanied by Hank McCoy, the Beast.
Quicksilver: Hello, but they’re not the stars. That honour goes to Peter Maximoff AKA Quicksilver, who has two major powers: superhuman speed and super wits (yeah, he’s a witty chap all right). Only let-downs: an awful costume, that silver mane and very little screen time.
Watch out for the pantry escape scene in the Pentagon. Accompanying him was…
Magneto: Sir Ian McKellen did a fine job, sure, but I’m talking about the younger guy – Michael Fassbender. He still believes what he does is for the greater good of mutants, and he’s not averse to knocking even mutants off if they come in his way. He’s been arrested and kept in a high-security super prison for a crime he allegedly committed – again, watch the movie to find out what it was (it will blow your mind). Cold, calm, cunning and calculated, he plans every move the way he plays a game of chess with Charles.
However, even with his ideological differences, he does have respect for…
Professor X: As I mentioned earlier, he seems to be quite lost. The school has shut down, most of his students are dead (because they were forcibly pulled for duty into the Vietnam War) and his separation from Magneto and Raven has made him a junkie. The ‘drug’ he’s addicted to is the same formula that made Hank McCoy the beast. What does it do to him? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out. The older Charles Xavier, as I said, is in a Chinese Monastery hoping to change events back in time.
One of the reasons responsible for his transformation into a junkie is his separation from…
Raven/Mystique: Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role from First Class and, well, she’s done a first-class job! After falling out with Professor X and Magneto, she takes up the cause of the Mutant brotherhood and proceeds to wipe out anyone against the mutants. She shows pain and determination in her quest to bring peace to the mutants.
Watch out for the scene where she speaks an ‘exotic’ language in her human form (ooh-la-la).
The Not-So-Starry People
Bolivar Trask: Dude, you are supposed to be this menacing evil genius guy, responsible for the Sentinel programme. I don’t know whether his height worked against him here or whether the writing worked against him, but he just wasn’t ‘the force’ I expected him to be. I was also expecting a few ‘my mind is my weapon’ dialogues, but they just weren’t forthcoming. Well, I guess with all the awesomeness surrounding him, Trask was… dwarfed, eh?
Sentinels: Umm, they were menacing all right. And the VFX that showed their adaptability to the mutant powers was cool too. But something about their appearance made me cringe a little – they looked like a stretched out version of T-1000 from Terminator 2. The ones from the future, that is. The ones in the past looked a little like the robot Atom from Real Steel.
John Ottman: Who’s he, you ask? Well, he’s the Editor AND Background Score Composer for the film. While the editing is absolutely fine and dandy (the cuts between past and future are well done), the background score is a bit of a let-down after Henry Jackman’s lilting music for X-Men: First Class.
The Final Verdict
Do the X-Men survive the apocalyptic future? Can Wolverine, Magneto and Professor X stop the Sentinels? Will Raven join forces with them again? These are questions you need to watch the film to be answer. And yes, wait till after the credits are done.
To put it simply: this is a magnificent movie. Thank you, Bryan ‘X-Men’ Singer.
My score: 9/10.