X-Men: Days of Future Past
This explosion of superhero movies over the last decade and a half has been an interesting trend, to say the least. Its resulted in the creation of entire franchise universes, the most prominent of which is the Avengers-verse, but The X-men are right up their as well. Sure they’ve always stuck to a main thoroughfare of films, but the separate wolverine movies and the first class prequels have made this franchise seem very branched and far reaching.
And now with Days of Future Past we get to see what the culmination of such a franchise can be, and as it turns out its just as special as a movie fan could hope for. The filmmakers really capitalize on all of the films and characters that came before and use all of the knowledge and emotions that come with them to their full potential. This movie’s success is entirely dependent upon everything that came before it, and I mean that in a good way. This is the true culmination of what a superhero franchise can do.
The storyline is one in which characters from both eras can be included, in which Wolverine must stop an assassination by Mystique which would otherwise lead to the mutant’s downfall. Its a great premise and one which works well because we already know these characters so well. In First Class James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender stole the show with their performances. Here we get more of their interplay, but the stakes are simply higher. We also get to see what happens to Mystique and how much Wolverine has changed throughout these films.
Days of Future Past really takes advantage of all the little tidbits and cameos that are available to them because they have such a wide base of fan knowledge to work with. They now how to give us winks of certain characters we know and also use well little glimpses into mutants we haven’t seen yet (including a great but part by a certain grey haired jogger). We also have the benefit of all the backstories to add to our connection to these characters, especially Xavier. This is really his film, and Macovy truly takes that to heart.
And of course, as a superhero spectacle its simply awesome. The fights with the future sentinels are frantic, but they truly feel like what a fight involving veteran super-powered mutants would look like. There’s also some neat stuff with Magneto near the end as well as a cool prison break scene.
This movie is not without its pratfalls however. There is one scene of exposition which really stands out at the beginning. normally exposition doesn’t bother me much, but its really overdone in that scene, though it does set up the plot nicely enough. There’s also some clunky writing here and there, but your love of the characters usually carries you past that. And then there’s Nixon… These are minor quibbles which I cared less about when the movie was over and I was feeling awesome.
*SPOILERS I am also rather unsure about the ending. I don’t know how I feel about resetting the whole franchise as though none of it ever happened. I suppose there’s the argument that it still exists in Wolverine’s memory, but… I don’t know. I know Star Trek did this as well, but it feels different here for some reason. Oh well, it is what it is. *SPOILER END
Days of Future Past couldn’t be as successful without the franchise behind it, but this is a positive thing. The cast and crew set out to make a film which purposely sat upon the shoulder’s of its own history and used it to their full advantage. And I’ll even go so far as to say they they have managed to make the best X-Men film to date.