Well, our wait is over. With epic action, a massive cast, an engaging plot, and the return of Bryan Singer, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the X-Men film that we have been waiting a decade for, and our patience has paid off.
In the future, mutants are on the brink of extinction. They, along with any human collaborators or even humans who might have mutant children, are mercilessly hunted down and destroyed by robotic monstrosities called Sentinels. These Sentinels are so powerful that even the full might of the X-Men can’t stop them: the only way they survive is by using Kitty Pryde’s (Ellen Page) powers to warn their earlier selves that they will shortly be slaughtered. Recognizing that they are on the losing side of the war, the X-Men (ie, the ones from the original trilogy) concoct a plan to send Wolverine back in time to 1973 to end the threat of the Sentinels before they can be built. But can Wolverine unite the younger X-Men (from First Class), or will his actions create a future that’s even worse?
Does that sound confusing? Well, once you get into the flow of the film it is extremely easy to follow. Although this film is a follow-up to all of the earlier X-Men films, it is first and foremost a sequel to First Class; the first 15 or-so minutes takes place in the future, and almost the entirety of the rest in 1973. The initial future section is heavy on exposition, but the movie does not fall into the trap of trying to explain every detail. Time-traveling is a plot device and nothing more; you either accept it and go along with the film, or you don’t. Similarly, while this film does explain several of the errors made in past films, it also ignores other errors entirely. Because that is not what’s important.
This movie, with its epic action and compelling characters, is perfectly accessible to anyone who’s never seen an X-Men film before. However, if you’re like me and have seen all the others, you will get so much more out of this film. It is positively loaded with references, shout-outs and subtle jokes to every other film in the franchise. These provide not only valuable detail to tie-in the other films, but some fantastic comic relief as well. If you haven’t seen First Class, then please watch this short scene from it; believe me, the joke about it is absolutely hysterical. It succeeds at the difficult task of rewarding its dedicated fans without alienating any new fans.
All in all, this movie can be seen as a triumphant return to all of the things about the first two movies that made them great. For that, I thank Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two films but was unable to do so for the others. But now he’s back, and the sheer quality of everything in this film shows once and for all who needs to direct this series.
I guess I was quietly hoping that this would be the single greatest superhero film ever, but it is not. There are a few flaws, such as the underutilized characters, a few details that contradict the earlier films, and not as much social commentary as there could be, and surely people who are pickier than I will criticize it for that. However, while not perfection, X-Men: Days of Future Past is really, really damn good. It is as least as good as X-Men and X2, and possibly even better. It has everything that makes the X-Men series great, and at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for as a fan. I hoped for awesomeness, and awesomeness is what I got.
Oh, and one more thing: there’s a little scene after the credits that you should probably stick around for.