SPOILER FREE! Skepticism was high with the latest X-Men movie, Days of Future Past. Though there’s been a soft reboot for the series, returning to the world that, when last seen was critically and commercially panned (X-Men: The Last Stand), filled many with trepidation — particularly since we now live in a post Avengers world, which provides the criteria by which all future team-up movies will be judged. DoFP is unabashedly a comic book movie, embracing its heritage while delivering not only the best film in the franchise, but one of the best in the genre.
Immediately with the opening scene, powers and characters were on display in a way that my younger self, watching the X-Men cartoon on Saturday mornings, would never have believed. This was a firm statement as to what type of movie this would be. Characters that many would be hard pressed to name — such as Bishop, Blink, and Warpath — were spotted and delivered a display of powers that fans have been clamoring for since the first film back in 2000. Colossus armors up, Iceman is solid ice, and Blink teleports like a pro. Instantly I was hooked.
A lot of smart writing was on display, with a few oddities that did little to hamper the experience. Jumping right into the action (11 years after X-Men: First Class) worked well with the fast-paced opening, setting the stage for the characters’ dire straights. The bullet points of what happened in the intervening years were shown, providing satisfactory explanations as to certain characters’ absences, for the most part. While I didn’t believe that characters X,Y, and Z were killed — mostly because there wouldn’t be enough room for them in the movie — how their deaths fueled Trask’s research made up for it.
I could write an entire post about every odd note with a corresponding positive that it was spun into, but that would be pointless. The movie was fantastic. Kitty can send people back in time. Why? Who cares! It worked. Beast wasn’t blue. That made it acceptable for his character to be present at other key moments. Considering the convoluted history of the X-Men on- and off-screen, the fact that this is so well put together is a feat all on its own.
As for the performances, you know what to expect. Many, such as Hugh Jackman or Michael Fassbender, have already established their interpretations of the characters. They were all fantastic. Peter Dinklage’s Boliver Trask was good, if only a little underdeveloped. He lacked a clear motivation. He wanted to develop Sentinels to hunt mutants, but no personal reason was given. He just did. On the other hand, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver was fantastic. This should be forever cemented as a prime example of how important context is. Fans cried foul when images of him were released. Given his character, and purpose, it made sense. Not only was he fantastic, he had one of the best scenes in the movie.
Ultimately, Bryan Singer and Fox delivered on their promise, fixing the X-Men property through a common element for the characters: time travel. The ending was sweet and made me wonder where they’ll go from here. Some recasting will be needed soon, and this would have been the opportunity to do it, but only time will tell. If you were lost by the end credits tag, this will help. As for the opening cast, I think this was a test bed for X-Force.
X-Men kicked off the superhero craze in 2000. Others have evolved and perfected it, leaving the mutants behind. Days of Future Past firmly brings them back into the forefront, not only making them relevant, but putting them near the top of the list. Hopefully, Fox can keep the franchise on course.
Quicksilver work for you? Any plot point not click? Comment below!
Blink was pretty sweet.