Monday, 2 June 2014

Changing the past - X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

If there’s anything that Marvel fans want to do, it’s go back and erase Brett Ratner from the X-Men timeline. It would seem that Bryan Singer may just have found a way of doing that. X-Men: Days of Future Past welcomes back the director of X-Men, and X2: X-Men United, and understandably, we’re excited. And for good reason. X-Men: Days of Future Past secures itself safely as one of the best X-Men films yet.

In a dystopian future, where machines known as the Sentinels have hunted mutants to the brink of extinction, a few surviving X-Men band together in a last ditch effort to change the past and end the war before it begins. Being the only one able to survive the process required, Wolverine’s consciousness is sent back fifty years to the point when an assassination by Mystique triggered a chain of events, leading to the future that the X-Men know.

It’s a great story, and is told well, jumping between the two time zones throughout the film. There are two storylines in progress, but both are kept simple enough not to get confusing, and is a good way of combining the two casts. Any fans of the original films may feel a burst of nostalgia in seeing the return of Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page and Patrick Stewart, as well as being pleased by the appearance of some new characters, such as Peter Dinklage, who plays the film’s villain, Bolivar Trask.

All the stars deliver stellar performances, with Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique being equally as sinister and deadly as she is sympathetic. By far the most likeable character is Quicksilver, who’s moments in the film are easily the most entertaining, even if they aren’t the most action packed.

Don’t get me wrong, the action scenes are certainly intense and spectacular. The opening scene features a battle between some Sentinels and mutants, and this is undoubtedly one of my favourite action scenes of the entire franchise. For the first time we see various mutants (some familiar, some new faces) combining their powers in ways we haven’t seen, and the results are incredible to watch. Similarly, in the climax, where the X-Men must defend against a horde of Sentinels, we see longtime enemies such as Storm and Magneto join forces, leading to an action scene that is nothing short of epic.

As a whole package, the film works incredibly well, and serves as a great way to bring the two, much loved casts together, as well as bring back Bryan Singer to right the wrongs caused in his absence. There are a few holes here and there, things that need explaining, such as Ellen Page’s new ability to send people back in time (yes is was her, not Xavier!), but these can be overlooked in light of the many highs that the film hits.

From the spectacular opening, to the mesmerizing climax, Days of Future Past is a thrilling action adventure, that does justice to the series of the same name from the comics. It feels good to see a much loved storyline done well, especially after Ratners merciless butchering of the Jean Grey/Phoenix saga.

With a good director back at the helm, the X-Men franchise returns to our screens with a bang, and will definitely leave audiences eager for the release of X-Men: Apocalypse, even if it’s just for more Quicksilver.

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