X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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Wolverine is the key to it all! Whodathunkit? Director Bryan Singer seemed so reluctant to use him in the “X-Men” movies. Now that the sarcasm is out of my system, “Days of Future Past” is a very respectable adaptation of the iconic Marvel comics’ storyline, and a very good excuse to press the reset button on the entire “X-Men” series, led by Bryan Singer. The franchised rolled out by FOX has had this coming for quite some time with such a convoluted, inconsistent mess of a timeline. It’s reassuring that the third go around for Bryan Singer in the Marvel property is better than his previous two films.

“Days of Future Past” is set in a near future where Sentinel robots that once patrolled and captured mutants, now have destroyed humanity. Only a few mutants from Professor X’s student body remain, and now they’re trying to figure out a way to prevent the war from ever happening. It all begins with Mystique unfortunately, and someone has to go back in to the seventies to ensure she never goes through with her planned assassination. In an effort to halt Mystique’s plans and the inevitable building of the Sentinels, Wolverine teams with Xavier, Beast, and Magneto to infiltrate her covert operations, and garner some allies along the way. Singer’s direction is much more competent this time around, despite the inherent flaws, and is probably the film most true to the original source material than the prior Singer X-Men movies.

This time it’s about a team working to protect humanity and mutant kind, with Wolverine mostly standing back and not acting as a cheap deus ex machina. Peter Dinklage brings his usual gravitas to the villainous role of master inventor Bolivar Trask, who engineers and spear heads the creation of the Sentinels, using manipulation to ensure his future with the government. There are also appearances from major X-Men characters, all of whom are as important as Logan is, and it’s refreshing to see Singer finally getting it. It’s nice to see Ellen Page return as the heroic Kitty Pryde, while Shawn Ashmore reprises his role as Iceman. I also rather enjoy the return of Nicholas Hoult as Beast, along with Jennifer Lawrence who is rather mesmerizing as Mystique, once more. It’s entertaining to also see both cast sets return for their respective roles, in spite of Michael Fassbender fitting in to Magneto’s shoes better than Ian McKellen ever did.

Despite brutally silly moments involving his super speed, Evan Peters is very good as Quicksilver, the silver maned speedster who helps break Magneto free, allowing us perhaps a hint of future appearances in the series. Peters really injects a welcome levity turning his character in to a charming and fun anti-hero. Despite much of the improvements made by Singer in regards to featuring an actual team this go around, there’s also a looser sense of humor, which was missing from former installments. That said, the focus is still pitted on so few mutants, making “Days of Future Past” limited in scope and concept. There’s such a vast universe and three movies in Bryan Singer has yet to even scratch the surface. Hopefully now Singer can repeat this formula in the future and focus on someone other than Wolverine, Charles Xavier, and Magneto. “Days of Future Past” is a perfectly fine reboot for a series in dire need of one, as well as a very good and exciting X-Men film all around.</p>

Plus, I’m fine with a movie that deems “The Last Stand,” “The Wolverine,” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” as irrelevant to the entire movie series. Thanks for that, Mr. Singer.