In the comic book world, when things get way out of control and continuity is all over the place, then either a secret wars or crisis in infinite is brought in to shake things up to sort of put things back on track. But how does that work in the filmverse when you have a series of flicks, say like the Burton/Schumacher Batman films or even say Robocop? Well they get reboots right? Well the folks behind the past/present X-men/Wolverine films are doing a little clean up of their own, bringing together Bryan Singer's first two X-men films along with Matthew Vaughn's First Class to bring their filmverse continuity back into some semblance of order. Mainly eliminating X3 and bringing the two world's into one great big happy whole. I'd say these guys have a success on their hands with X-Men: Days of Future's Past. Spoilers ahead, yo!
In order to get the full scope of this film you'd actually have to had watched the first three films, First Class and the last Wolverine film to catch much of the references. If you have that’s great. If not, the film isn't unwatchable, but it'll make much more sense as the story plays out. But back to Days of Future's Past, which takes place 50 years after First Class, but brings in Wolverine from the three X-Films and his own solo films. They, along with Magneto and a handful of X-Students try to stave off a new threat to both humans and mutants alike - a creation known as the Sentinels. The Sentinels are giant robots created by expert physicist Bolivar Trask, who put together these mechanical nightmares to hunt down and eliminate the “mutant threat”. What's worse is that he captured Mystique and in using her DNA, he enhances the Sentinels giving them the ability to adapt in any given situation. At the start of the film the X-Forces are overwhelmed and with no other alternative, it's agreed upon that they send Wolverine (initially Xavier) back to the past to try and stop events from taking place that would see about the Sentinel creation.
Wolverine’s first order of business when he arrives in the 70s would be to make contact with Xavier, who is able to walk thanks to a serum created by Hank McCoy aka Beast. The downside is that he loses his mental abilities. Afterwards, Wolvie must locate Magneto who is being held prisoner in a Pentagon prison for killing President Kennedy; that magic bullet wasn't so magical plus there is a bit more to that story than meets the eye. Finally they must find Mystique and stop her from killing Bolivar Trask. It’s his death that’s the catalyst that sets off the creation of the Sentinels. The end result is a parallel showdown between the X-men in the past and the future against the Sentinels. Beyond that the X-film universe will never be the same, putting right what once went wrong (namely ridding us of the X3 continuity).
If you haven’t watched the film yet and you plan on it, make sure you stay until the very end for a very brief sneak peek into the next X film – X-Men: Apocalypse. En Sabah Nur will replace the whispers of “Hail Hydra”... maybe.
The X-films only has one stain on it and that’s X3; the first two films were amazing and First Class was pretty sweet but X3… that hurt. Thankfully “Days of Future’s Past” wipes that slate clean and opens things up to a new beginning. The film itself is very loosely based on the comic it’s adapted from but overall it remains true in spirit, standing well on its own and gives us one action-packed, emotional ride that grabs hold of you until the climatic ending. The film does a great job weaving the past and present X-films, using Wolverine as the go between but also meshing the films that started with Singer into one epic masterpiece. The story is spot on that flows well from start to end, connecting every dot and handles well the relationship between Erik, Xavier, and Mystique balancing it out with the political and cultural issues of that time, and the fallout of one X-Character, whose path was destined to come, but he (yes he) makes a choice that sees the mutant race will thrive. Believe me when it happens you’ll know and it will be mind blowing! Visually, the film looks pretty damn good with the future dark and gritty, but the past has that faded look that’s most fitting for that period of time. The special effects are amazing, especially with the Sentinels who were big and ominous, but on the X-characters, they appeared more subtle and practical; that’s certainly not a complaint as the film felt more realistic, more natural. Acting props is solid all-around, but Jennifer Lawrence kills it as Mystique! I mean Hugh Jackman is the main man in this one, but Lawrence carries a lot of weight and she carries it so well. Surprise hit for me was Evan Peters as Quicksilver; his costume still sucks (that silver jacket and utility belt), but given the contents and his type of character, it works. I didn’t expect to enjoy Days of Future’s Past as much as I did but damn it, it’s certainly worth seeing.
I’m surprised there wasn’t mention of the Wolverine films, especially the second, which I thought segued right into this one, but it appears left out. I also thought Bishop and even Scarlet Witch would have bigger roles. Sadly they were just background characters, though Bishop did get to take part in some bad assery. The biggest misstep the film takes is giving telekinetic/time travel powers to Kitty Pryde as opposed to introducing Rachel Summers – which would have made MUCH more sense. I can forgive sending Wolverine back instead of Pryde but giving Pryde abilities that she has never exhibited… just seems stupid and unfair to other characters who can make use of such abilities, especially in their piqued form.
Yes X-Men Days of Future’s Past got a few things wrong, but does that make it any less enjoyable? HELLS NO! This is one film that any fan of the comics and of the film series should not miss. It mixes and emotional rollercoaster of a story with rock solid action to form up one thrill ride of a film. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Days of Future’s Past a 4.5. Now let’s all chant: En Sabah Nur!