Mild Spoilers for this movie I’m reviewing follow
There’s something telling about a movie that’s so earnest to kill off characters in the early moments of the film only to take the story back in time several days so that these people can escape death. This isn’t the time traveling epic that I thought it was going to be. But it does, however, follow a cohesive narrative that puts a lot of other superhero films to shame.
Future Past tells the age old X-Men story of mutants versus the Sentinels. The movie begins with a dystopian future team of X-Men consisting of originals the chilling Ice Man and intangible Kitty Pryde and newcomers power hungry Bishop and portal throwing Blink among others as they fight back a large group of mutant hunting robots. Kitty Pryde has a way of time traveling and the only solution the team arrives at is for Wolverine to travel back to 1973 in order to stop Mystique from killing the herald of the Sentinel program, Boliver Trask, played wonderfully by Peter Dinklage.
It gets a lot more complicated but I don’t want to ruin it for you. Logan’s mission gets more complicated once he finds a disparaged Professor X that has lost everything: his girl, his school and his powers. After a round of convincing, Logan, Hank McCoy and Xavier embark on a mission to break Erik Lehnsherr or Magneto, out of the pentagon. They enlist the aid of Quicksilver who is just a delight in the little time he is used in the film. Evan Peters’ depiction of the speedster is funny and charming while still managing to be powerful. It’s too bad that he’s only in the movie for maybe five or so minutes. He’s going to have an expanded role in the next movie but I can’t wait that long. The story then grows into a twisty, turny myriad of historical references and hot mutant on mutant action.
Future Past is full of appearances and nods that a comic fan should expect. The story is accessible enough for non-comic fans to enjoy. There is something for everybody. Story is at the forefront here as Future Past is the first comic book movie that embraces comic book style storytelling. Bryan Singer has learned from the last time he helmed a superhero movie that this is the way to tell a story. Heck, it even rewrites most of the oft hated Last Stand. So far, no superhero film has ever come as close to the frantic style of Future Past.
It does have its problems though. For one, several characters from the first film are killed off screen such as Angel, Azazel , Banshee and Emma Frost. All of them and more were killed during the aftermath of the missile launch on the island. That can be considered lazy writing or chalk it up to the already oversized cast. But if they could fit Anna Paquin in for a two second appearance, they could have at least showed us their deaths. Rose Byrne's character is also missing for some reason. Then there’s a ton of smaller, albeit nitpicky inconsistencies but who cares about that stuff. And I’m sick of seeing Wolverine as the main character for every freaking Xmen film but he’s the only protagonist that audiences will want.
This movie stands above Singer’s previous efforts in the first two X-Men movies in the franchise. Those were some of the first comic book movies in an era that only saw Superman and Batman films. Marvel wasn’t sure of how to exactly make a comic book movie. Now, in a post Nolan Batman and ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe, Singer and Marvel know how to one up past achievements. For real, Future Past stands above every other comic book movie that has come before it even if most of what it does is fan service. That being said, X-Men Days of Future Past manages to fulfill that campy desire for a comic book movie I’ve had for so long. Embracing the overabundance in cast and high stakes of story make this movie a must see. I can’t wait for the destruction porn that will be X-Men Apocalypse.
This was too long, Chad. Should I go see this movie?
I’m sorry. I just loved this movie so much. Yes. Go see it.