"So many battles waged over the years... and yet, none like this."
In a bleak and desolate future, mutants are being hunted down and killed by giant, power absorbing robots called Sentinels. In a last ditch effort to save their kind Professor X (Patrick Stewart), having teamed up with his former nemesis Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen), and a rag –tag group of remaining mutants (including Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Bishop (Omar Sy)) hatch a plan to send Logan aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time using the powers of Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat (Ellen Page). Once safely back in the 1970s, Logan will have to track down a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Eric Lensher (Michael Fassbender) to help him stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating the creator of the Sentinal robots, Bolivar Track (Peter Dinklage), before his death (and her DNA) help begin the epic and fatal war on mutantkind.
Praise be to Bryan Singer. The director/story scribe for the original two installments in the X-Men movie franchise has returned once again to helm what is easily the best X-Men film yet. After a couple of rocky years it looked like the X-Men franchise was truly done and dusted, with Brett Ratner’s horrendous X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine as the final nails in the once loved franchises coffin. However, Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake and Kick-Ass) came to the rescue in 2011, revamping the series with an excellently executed prequel film that helped inject new life, and a new cast, into what seemed to be a stale and dormant series. It’s from that film, X-Men: First Class, that Singer’s latest jumps off from, managing to infuse his original cast with the new one assembled by Vaughn and co. using Chris Claremont’s classic and beloved Days of Future Past storyline. It may seem a little daunting at first glance, but what appears to be an extremely convoluted plot is dealt with nicely within the first 15 minutes of the film and you simply sit back and enjoy the ride.
In addition to his returning cast, Singer brings with him his usual visual flair and unique take on action set pieces. Many remember how brilliantly he executed the Nightcrawler fight in the opening of X2 (easily the highlight of that film) and he’s back at it again here in DOFP with the inclusion of Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Without giving away any spoilers, the action piece involving Quicksilver and his incredible abilities is without a doubt one of the most impressive and fun action scenes in recent film history (shot at an incredible 3600 frames per second).
To paraphrase another super hero film, Days of Future Past isn’t the X-Men film it’s fans need, but the one it deserves. Combining the best elements from the previous 3 X-Men films (I’ve blocked The Last Stand from my mind completely) this is the perfect execution and interpretation of the characters and the franchise and has set an incredibly high benchmark for action films this year. Welcome back Bryan Singer, I can’t wait to see what you do next with the Age of Apocalypse storyline.
Random trivia: There are 7 Academy Award nominees in this film, can you spot them all?
8.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Chris Swan