X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) - Bryan Singer's star-studded Summer Blockbuster that marks his emphatic return to the "X-Men" franchise

Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy steal away the thunder


By Murtaza Ali

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Film Franchise, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Directed by Bryan Singer
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) By Bryan Singer
Our Rating: 8.0
IMDb Ratings: 8.5
Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Cast: Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender
Country: USA | UK
LanguageEnglish
Runtime: 131 min
ColorColor

SummaryThe X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.


X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by American filmmaker Bryan Singer, is the seventh and the latest film in the X-Men movie franchise. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the X-Men are an eponymous group of mutant superheroes that got inducted into the Marvel Universe back in the early ‘60s with the launch of the comic book series, "The X-Men” aka “Uncanny X-Men”. Under the able tutelage and protection of Professor Charles Xavier—a powerful telepath and a fellow mutant—the X-Men learn to hone their special powers with the purpose of serving mankind and to prove that mutants can be heroes as oppose to freaks of nature, who are a major threat to humanity at large, as their detractors like to call them. Xavier calls them "X-Men" because their special abilities are a result of the "X-gene"—a gene that’s absent in normal humans. It is believed that the African-American civil rights movement of the ‘60s partially inspired the comic book series. X-Men: Days of Future Past stellar ensemble cast includes the likes of Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. X-Men: Days of Future Past features cameos from Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, and James Marsden.

X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by Bryan Singer, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets Professor X (Patrick Stewart)
X-Men: Days of Future Past: Charles Xavier  meets Professor X
X-Men: Days of Future Past is set in the not too distant future, circa early 2020s, when the mutant race is facing extinction at the hands of mutant-exterminating robots called Sentinels. Professor Charles Xavier, who has returned from the dead (given he was disintegrated by a Class 5 mutant called Jean in X-Men: The Last Stand… though a post-credits scene in the very movie did allude to a possible resurrection), has joined hands with his arch-nemesis, Magneto, in a bid to save the last of their race from obliteration. Xavier and Magneto decide to send Wolverine 50 years into the past, wherein he must reunite with the Xavier and Magneto of old and together they must prevent an event from occurring and thus alter the course of history, with the help of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page)—a young mutant gifted with the ability to project a person's consciousness back in time. But, Wolverine has his job cut out, for not only does it turn out to be a race against time but also a clash of egos as he tries his level best to bring the spiteful and disillusioned Xavier (remember, this takes a few years after the events of X-Men: First Class wherein Xavier was left crippled by his one-time friend Erik aka Magneto) and the ever so menacing Magneto on the same page by trying to convince them about the macabre future that awaited the mutant race. 

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine aka Logan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Directed by Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine aka Logan
Out of the six “X-Men” films that have come out prior to X-Men: Days of Future Past, the two films that impressed this critic the least are The Wolverine (2013) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), and in that order. This clearly is not an aberration. The best way to understand this is to realize that the X-Men franchise, unlike some of the other superhero franchises, has never been about one or two characters. As popular as he may be in the X-Men universe, Wolverine is just one of the many superstars in the horizon who in the absence of the bunch of others just doesn’t have the same appeal. There are a
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique aka Raven, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Directed by Bryan Singer
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique aka Raven
lot many superhero franchises out there but what makes X-Men stand out is its wide array of characters, for visual splendor is a given with all these Hollywood productions. The late American film critic, Roger Ebert, wrote in his review of Star Trek II, more than three decades back: “Star Trek stories have always been best when they centered around their characters.” Well, the same can be said of X-Men stories. The film franchise viewers are obviously excited to see the special effects but what they are really interested in is their beloved characters. This critic, for one, is thrilled by the very rivalry that drives the strange relationship that Professor Charles Xavier shares with Magneto. They may oppose each other on the basis of principles but there is a deep sense of mutual respect that lies underneath. They detest each other’s ways but deep down they know that each of them is doing the best he could for the survival of their kind.

Michael Fassbender as Magneto, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Directed by Bryan Singer
Michael Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Overall, X-Men: Days of Future Past serves as a heavy dose of entertainment that may not necessarily be devoid of substance. While it perfectly fits into the definition of a summer blockbuster that the audiences all around the globe crave for, it does indeed offer much more than conventional entertainment. If analyzed closely, it comes across a powerful treatise on discrimination, solitude, power, fear, camaraderie and compassion. Bryan Singer and team need to be commended for striking the right balance between the movie’s technical and emotional elements which ultimately enabled them to put up a fabulous show (the movie's sequences that are set in the '70s are absolutely spellbinding). While the acting is superb all around, the cinematography and editing are topnotch. The first-half of the movie offers occasional bursts humor (especially in the dialogue) that are well-spaced amidst the adrenaline-pumping action sequences and provide much respite as and when the plot’s intensity brews up. Singer clearly seems to have learnt from the mistakes committed by some of the other superhero franchises in recent times. X-Men: Days of Future Past, though, is far from being impeccable and has many noticeable flaws but none that may deliver any serious jolt to the film. The role of the youthful Magneto, debonair, arrogant and unforgiving, in X-Men: First Class (2011) seemed to have provided Fassbender with the right conduit to showcase his acting capabilities to the whole world and since then he has never looked back. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, he delivers yet another memorable performance. James McAvoy is another actor who has continued to impress this critic in recent times. His acting career got revived with X-Men: First Class and he has followed up the good work in films like Trance (2013), Filth (2013), and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2013). And, X-Men: Days of Future Past is no exception. Hugh Jackman is solid as ever—albeit a bit subduedin the role that has made him an international phenomenon. Jennifer Lawrence is slowly emerging as the definitive female action icon of our times. It's good to see her character get more screen time this time around. The support cast is well led by the veterans like Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. One of the greatest compliments that can be made about the film is that despite an ensemble cast that’s loaded with stars, it’s the plot and the characters that actually drive it. In the end, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a film that will thrill and excite the viewers of all ages and groups. 

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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7 comments:

  1. Lovely review. I also loved the film equally but i still don't understand how can Quicksilver, who is the son of Magneto, save the younger version of his own father in the past? I tried hard to understand this but it never made sense to me. What do you have to say about it?

    Here's my review http://movieroundup.in/x-men-days-future-past-entertaining-ambitious-ingenious/

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  2. Glad you liked it!!!... as to the question, trust me, I haven't got a clue... probably, I was so absorbed in the film that I never bothered to come to terms with these inconsistencies :-)

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  3. Great write up, Murtaza! Massively entertaining and intelligent film indeed. I have high hopes 3rd Wolverine film will more than make up for first two bummers, now that Singer is helming again!!

    My take: http://worldcinema-yashesh.blogspot.in/2014/05/x-men-days-of-future-past-2014.html

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  4. Sorry if I am misinterpreting, but I don't see any confusion here!Magneto perhaps fathered Quicksilver at a young age (his early 20s).

    Born in late 1920s - early 1930s Magneto is atleast 40-44 years old...and I don't see Quicksilver being any older than 22-24.

    My take also looks at X-Men timeline now: http://worldcinema-yashesh.blogspot.in/2014/05/x-men-days-of-future-past-2014.html

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  5. Thanks Yashesh... the film is indeed both entertaining and intelligent. And, yes, I too have high expectations from the forthcoming Wolverine film.

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  6. Excellent review. I liked your point about X-Men not being about one or two characters. I also hated the two origin stories.

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  7. I am really glad that you do... thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! :-)

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