With X3 being a total missed opportunity and First Class an ok to mediocre prequel/reboot effort, Days of Future Past is a vast improvement over the last two instalments, but then when Marvel reinstated director Bryan Singer – the man whom instigated quality and respect for the franchise in the first place, that was always going to be the case. It’s not a total celebration though of course.
Despite some excellent set pieces, good, solid acting and an entertaining yet crazy plot, an occasionally stumbling script (for the genre) and an ending that seems to be made literally just to confuse the audience, it doesn’t reach the overall quality and direction of X2 for example. Sentinels finally make an appearance in two different forms; one is brutal and excellently realised, the other more of an undercurrent with little screen time. Satisfactory for fans then I suppose?
Wolverine is – once again – the franchise face and dominates the film in many ways basically (despite the story actually about Raven). Luckily Jackman is as charismatic as ever, but for hardcore fans, there is still a plethora of Mutants showcased, but don’t expect much from some of the other original cast; Halle Berry’s Storm and Ian McKellan’s Magneto barely register with only a few lines and about ten minutes of screen time. Patrick Stewart’s Professor X only has a little more to do. The focus is not meant to be on them though (kudos for Singer to get everyone back in however – continuity goes a long way in things like this after all), and MacAvoy and Fassbender reprise their roles from First Class with aplomb and are fun to watch. Peter Dinklage is great too. Raven/Mystique owns the film for my money though. Jennifer Lawrence brings back the kind of moxy, sexuality and yes, brutality last seen in the character from Rebecca Romijn in X2.
Overall a solid blockbuster and a good return to form for the franchise for the fans. The impeding follow-up will no doubt/hopefully improve even more with Singer still at the helm, but as it stands, Days of Future Past is without question one of the three best of an almost bloated (including the Wolverine films) comic book movie saga. But I could just say it’s worth it just for Quicksilver’s jaw dropping, hilariously crafted Pentagon jail break scene too. Because it was.