X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – reviewed by George

With “X-Men: Apocalypse” on the horizon it seems like a good time to catch up by watching this film. And what could be better than superheroes time-traveling? In this entry, director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg have outdone themselves. In today’s world, “mutants and the humans who dared to help them are fighting an enemy they cannot defeat”, and the question is asked, “Is the future truly set?”

We see favorite characters die, then there they are alive meeting the arrival of Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Storm (Halle Berry), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and Magneto (Ian McKellan). Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) explain to Wolverine that as soon as they know an attack by the Sentinels (huge robotic killing machines) is eminent, Kitty sends Bishop (Omar Sy) back in time a few days to warn the others – not his body, just his consciousness into his slightly younger self. And this prevents the deaths of the team (like the deaths we just saw, which didn’t happen because the mutants weren’t there).

Now Kitty will send Wolverine back to 1973, farther than she has ever sent anyone, in order to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) at the Paris Peace Accords. Back then Trask was experimenting on mutants, and Mystique killed him for his cruelty. Ironically Trask’s company was able to invent the Sentinels – successful weapons against mutants and their defenders – because when she killed Trask, Mystique was captured, tortured, experimented on, and eventually killed, and the secrets in her DNA made the creation of the Sentinels possible. So Wolverine’s assignment is to stop the assassination of Trask, get Mystique away from capture, and stop the current war from happening – and that’s the plot.

In the present we have McKellan and Stewart as Magneto and Professor X, and as already established in “First Class”, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender play X and Magneto in the past. And most of the film takes place in the past. There are many great adrenaline-rousing action sequences, but my favorite is at about 48 minutes in. Magneto freezes time to a crawl and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) runs around at superspeed moving super-slow bullets so that they’ll miss their targets, and putting fists where they’ll hit the other guys attacking our four heroes (including X and Wolverine). When time starts up again I defy you not to laugh. Super sequence!

The cast is vast, and I wish I could list them all, but I gotta give a special shoutout to Mark Camacho, who plays President Nixon. Good job, man!

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