X-Men: Days of Future Past Film Review
The X-Men are back in full force in X-Men: Days of Future Past and they're better than ever. This film is the best in the series so far. It is The Avengers of the X-Men film series in that it completely changes the game for the series and does something that was deemed impossible a few years ago. It would've been impossible to adapt the Days of Future Past comic book a few years ago, but Bryan Singer's return to the franchise that led to X-Men: First Class made it possible by giving him and team the chance to bring together the cast of that movie with the original trilogy to deliver one of the most ambitious superhero films ever made. The future of the series is wide open thanks to Days of Future Past and it looks very promising.
The film opens in a dystopian future where the Sentinels of the future have nearly eradicated the mutants and the humans who help them, leaving humanities' worst in charge. The last remaining X-Men gather at a monastery in China and hatch a plan to send Professor Xavier's consciousness back 50 years into his younger body to prevent Mystique from killing Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels, which will trigger the dystopian future. Xavier cannot physically handle the trip so they send Wolverine instead since he can heal. Wolverine wakes up in 1973 and finds the young Xavier and Beast. They team up with the help of Quicksilver to break Magneto out of prison so they all can stop Mystique. They stop her on her first attempt but Trask escapes, giving Mystique another chance. Bolivar Trask pitches the Sentinel program to President Nixon after mutants are revealed to the public and he's given the greenlight. At the unveiling, Magneto and Mystique attack Trask and the President but Xavier, Beast, and Wolverine intervene. In the future, the X-Men defend the monastery from a massive Sentinel attack where nearly everyone is killed. Xavier is able to convince Mystique to spare Trask and the dark future is averted. Mystique and Magneto flee the scene while Wolverine wakes up in the future to find that the school is thriving and everyone is alive, including Jean Grey and Cyclops. Wolverine's actions created a new timeline where everyone is alive and well while the events of every other movie except for First Class take place in the timeline where Mystique kills Trask. In a post credits scene, Apocalypse is seen building the ancient pyramids with telekinesis while four horsemen look on.
The time travel storyline was used to wipe out the existing continuity of the X-Men series in order to give the filmmakers a clean slate to work with going forward. They no longer need to try and fit things into established continuity since the First Class storyline and characters are the sole storyline and characters going forward, with the potential for some of the original series cast members to return if need be. This was a brilliant move by Bryan SInger and his team. Now they can do whatever they want and deliver new stories. They're going for a hell of a start into unknown territory with the next film since they're going to feature Apocalypse and his four horsemen. As good as Days of Future Past is, Apocalypse could be even better depending on how far they go with the material.
Every single actor involved did a tremendous job and it was great to see the original cast members get the kind of send off they deserve. I'm sure we'll see some original cast members here and there going forward, but as far as a feature length film goes, Days of Future Past gave them the real ending they didn't get with The Last Stand in 2006. The many errors of that film are rectified with the revelation of everyone's survival in the altered future. The standouts were obviously Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, and Peter Dinklage since they did most of the heavy lifting in the film. However, in his brief appearance, Evan Peters stole the show as Quicksilver. The scene that everyone is talking about is one of the coolest scenes in any superhero movie. I am very happy that they're bringing him back for Apocalypse. The action was spectacular as well. The opening battle was great, the Pentagon action featuring Quicksilver's scene stealer was great, and the climax where the action shifts back and forth between the Sentinel reveal fight and the Sentinel assault in the future was arguably the best climactic action sequence of the series.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is not only the best X-Men to date, but it's absolutely one of the best superhero movies of all time. The future is bright for the X-Men and 2016 promises to be an VERY epic year with the release of X-Men Apocalypse, The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Captain America 3, and Batman vs. Superman. It won't be shocking at all if Apocalypse ends up being the standout of that potentially incredible group of superhero films.