The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original 'X-Men' film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past 'X-Men: First Class ' in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future.
Superhero movies as we know them today owe a lot to Bryan Singer's original X-Men movie, released way back in 2000. By eliminating the camper elements of previous superhero films in favour of sci-fi seriousness, and by toning down the garish colours and silly outfits into something more grounded and functional, Singer inadvertently set a template that would be successfully followed by superhero filmmakers for years to come.
But recent movies in the X-Men series have faltered slightly. When Singer was replaced by Brett Ratner on X-Men 3, several creative decisions were made that would inflict long-term harm on the franchise (including killing off more than one well-loved character, and pushing others into places where they were difficult to use effectively again). And a mediocre pair of Wolverine-focused films didn't help things.
However, things started looking up in 2011 when Matthew Vaughn directed X-Men: First Class, a reboot of sorts with a brand new young cast, with a story that showed how Professor X - the leader of the superhero group - began to put his team together in the 1960s. And that film led to this one: Days of Future Past - or DOFP for short - an epic adventure that combines elements of all three of the previous six X-Men and Wolverine movies and mixes them into a glorious cocktail that both celebrates the past successes of the franchise and sets a new direction for subsequent X-Men movies to follow.
By setting part of its time-travelling story in a dystopian alternate future and part of it in a more realistic past (the 1970s to be exact), DOFP is able to combine the older, original cast - featuring such luminaries as Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman - with the younger crew, which includes hot current stars like Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence. The result is one of the most impressive ensembles ever to feature in any film - let alone a superhero film - and Singer ensures that his epic, emotional and high-stakes story does them justice.
Because this is a film that is highly dramatic throughout: from a grim prologue that shows just how dangerous this mutant-hating future can be (with mutants hunted down and executed by merciless, terrifying shape-shifting robots), through a storyline that deals with the emotional fallout of First Class (including a dejected and drug-addicted young professor X) all the way through to the gripping final face-off involving Fassbender's Magneto, Lawrence's Mystique and Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask (the guy who was responsible for inventing all those mutant-killing robots in the first place), you'll be on the edge of your seat.
And the special effects are a match for the performances. We're growing increasingly used to these superhero films being able to show us anything we can imagine, so the test of a good one is often in just how imaginative the director can be. And whether it's relatively subtle effects (like the spatially-disorienting portals that can be created by one young mutant to confuse his enemies) or big setpieces (like Magneto's climactic attack in which he picks up an entire stadium and drops it in the middle of Washington), the film dazzles.
Perhaps the most impressive moment, though, is the scene in which a young Magneto rescues a mutant called Quicksilver from imprisonment. Quicksilver's power is super-speed, and the sequence in which we see the world from his perspective - with everything moving in extreme slow motion, free for him to manipulate and navigate at will - is a mini-masterpiece that's at once beautiful, imaginative, clever, funny and original: the film in a nutshell, basically. My only complaint is that Quicksilver is in the movie for far too short a time, as I could watch an entire movie about that guy.
With an amazing cast, some fantastic action and drama, and a compelling storyline, this is the best X-Men movie since at least X-Men 2 (and possibly ever). It gets grim in places - there's death and destruction throughout, even for fairly well-established characters - but it's worth hanging in there until the end to see how Singer pulls things back from the brink, setting the stage for a bolder, brighter future for the franchise (and retroactively fixing a lot of problems from past movies into the bargain).
If you're an X-Men fan, this is a real treat - and if you're someone who has been turned off by the series' recent downturn in quality, then you'll be delighted to see that this is a genuine return to form.
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Please note this is a region B Blu-ray and will require a region B or region free Blu-ray player in order to play. The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future. Actors James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh JackmanChris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper Directors Bryan SingerJames Gunn Language English Classification 12 Run Time 131 minutes
Bryan Singer directs this blockbuster superhero sequel based on the characters from the Marvel comic strip. With a storyline that alternates between the past and present, the film acts as a direct sequel to three separate films, 'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006), 'X-Men: First Class' (2011) and 'The Wolverine' (2013). When the survivors of the battle in 'X-Men: The Last Stand', led by Magneto (Ian McKellen), Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Storm (Halle Berry), discover that total annihilation now awaits humans and mutants alike, they send the ageless Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to try and change the course of events. In the past, Wolverine must team up with the younger incarnations of the X-Men seen in 'X-Men: First Class', Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), to avert disaster. Will he succeed?