X-Men Days of Future PastTitle: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Runtime: 131 minutes
Director: Bryan Singer

To say I wasn’t excited about X-Men: Days of Future Past would be a lie. It landed at my fifth spot in the Cinefessions 2014 Summer Movie Preview. The reason it wasn’t ranked any higher was just because I didn’t enjoy X-Men: First Class. To prepare for this viewing I decided to revisit the entire X-Men series in reverse chronological order, thus ending with First Class. To be honest, First Class still does nothing for me, but it’s required viewing for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Up until this release, X-Men 2: United offered one of the best superhero movie openings ever. Well, Future Past delivers the same high energy, and just might have out done that film. After the big fight we jump back in time a bit and have the future explained to us. The government has released Sentinels, which are giant robots that hunt mutants. To stay on top of them, they mutants send Bishop a few days into the past so they can move their hideout. The last of the X-men arrive, and they decide that Wolverine will be sent into the past because of his fast healing ability. His job is to convince not only Professor X, but Magneto as well, that he is from the future, and everything they care about is at stake. The plot is solid, fast-paced, and offers some great, witty moments with lots of throwbacks to the earlier films, which are a nice touch.

We have a large returning cast from the older X-Men films, including First Class. Everyone brings his or her “A” game, and thankfully Storm isn’t as lame as she was in Last Stand. You can see the passion that was put into the film, and I’m sure it all has to do with Bryan Singer returning to the director’s seat. The pace is spot on; not once did I feel bored, which is my main problem with First Class. There is just the right amount of action, and it’s blended in with the character development nicely. What I really like, though, is how they are able to finally shape X and Magneto into the characters they become. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) is one of the few new characters this time around, playing Trask, the man behind the Sentinels. I was a little worried about him, but he’s good in the role. The best highlight for me was seeing Jennifer Lawrence as Raven. She really gets a lot to work with this time around, and her action sequences were fantastic and sexy.

I was able to view the film in 3D, and while it won’t blow you away, there is an awesome scene around the midway point that is enhanced even further in 3D. The special effects are great, and while I didn’t care for the design choice of the Sentinels, they grew on me after a while. The only big set pieces are in the future portions of the film. Everything else is nice and tight, giving different reasons for the tension building in both timelines.

My biggest concern with X-Men: Days of Future Past was that it was going to be confusing. It explains early on the logic behind the “time travel”, and it sticks with the rules very well. There are a few old characters that show up in the past, which adds a nice little punch to it, and had me guessing on how to connect it all.

A few people in the theatre were up in arms when a post credit scene didn’t appear in the middle, ala the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Just sit and watch until the credits are over because this is how a post-credits scene should be, and it seriously got my blood pumping for what we’re getting next, even more so than the MCU ones.

X-Men: Days of Future Past’s two hour and ten minute runtime flies by. I was glued to my seat, eating up everything that was being thrown at me. The little nods sprinkled throughout for the fans were fantastic. I’m so happy that Bryan Singer has returned to the series, and once the credits began to roll, the one thought that entered my mind was, “that was the X-Men 3 we deserved”!

four_stars

Chris Ranson
Film Critic at Cinefessions

Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.