X-Men: Days of Future Past is an impressive showcase for some of today’s finest actors
In a brave move continuity-wise, X-Men: Days of Future Past acts as a sequel to both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and several former students are fighting for life in a world suffering the horrific effects of a new war, where mutants have almost become extinct. In a scene frighteningly reminiscent of Magneto’s own Holocaust memories, we see the darkness that has taken over the world since The Last Stand.
Their only hope for survival is to send Wolverine back to 1973, to alter the course of history and save the world from itself. Here, he teams up with a broken Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), a furious Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), and a determined Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) to stop a vengeful Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from triggering the war. As if that wasn’t quite enough characters to take in, a number of familiar faces appear in both timelines along with new characters including military scientist and primary villain Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage), determined to wipe out mutants before they can wipe out humans.
In possibly the best - if most complex - film of the franchise so far, special effects mesh well with the actors themselves. The main cast plays brilliantly off each other, including a fascinating scene between the past and present Charles Xaviers, at the darkest points of his life. The chemistry between Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart crackles as intensely as ever, although more screen time is given over to their past selves.
Try not to focus on the continuity issues – between the reappearance of Professor X, the reappearance of powers, and the lack of any aging whatsoever, it’s a bumpy ride. Despite its confusion, the film brings together its two casts into one arc, combining the excellence of veteran actors and new talent alike. If you can let some of the ‘science’ and more outlandish plot points wash over you, the film is well worth the wait for the return of the original X-Men, and will please old and new fans alike – although it may be worth refreshing your memory beforehand.
The film is a daring take on a successful franchise, but one that seems to be paying off.