In “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” the mutant heroes face their doom in a dark future where man-made super fighters called sentinels rule over both humans and mutants. In a desperate attempt to survive, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) goes back in time to the ’70s to change the future. What follows is an electrifying and suspenseful look into the earlier lives of Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and other famous mutants.
Bryan Singer, who also directed the first two X-Men films, brings back comic-book storytelling with stellar special effects, although, there’s definitely a backstory that may require you to watch the film’s predecessor, “X-Men: First Class,” to understand what’s happening. After Magneto, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X go their separate ways in the previous film, former friends and current enemies must join forces to prevent a dystopian apocalypse where no one is safe from the killer sentinels. Unlike previous X-Men movies, where the plot can really drag out with gushy love affairs, “Days of Future Past” doesn’t bore with all the emotional details.
The real treat is in the way Singer and his crew use special effects and a variety of impressive camera shots, including partial scenes shot with an 8 millimeter camera which give the scenes a real ’70s feel. The cinematography brings together the most advanced computer-generated technology with a touch of old school film-making, which is perhaps one of the feature’s strongest elements. There are also some classic computer-animated scenes that don’t fail to impress. Perhaps one of the most terrifying characters in the film are the sentinels of the future, giant robots that can adapt to virtually any mutant power and tear through the X-Men one by one. Their computer-generated metallic bodies are seamlessly realistic. The X-Men find they’re no match for the sentinels, so time-traveling to the ’70s is the team’s only hope.
While the intense action is nothing surprising for an X-Men film, the story is a weave of twists that keeps the film fresh. As with other superhero movies, there’s a bit of political fiction injected into the film although Days of Future Past seems to keep it intelligent. As opposed some of the previous movies where the main characters were accompanied by sophomoric actors that were too good looking to act, this one maintains a solid core cast that doesn’t depend too much on their looks to put on a good show.
As a whole, this film is an exciting non-stop fan-flick of good old superhero fighting. It’s no question that superhero films are really a dime a dozen these days, with so many comic-book movie renditions coming out these days, it’s hard to find a good one that’s really mind-blowing. It’s definitely no masterpiece, but considering the drawbacks of some of the previous films, this film comes close. Yet, “Days of Future Past” presents an even keel of awesome action and lively storytelling that keeps the franchise fresh and entertaining.