“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (Action/Science-Fiction: 2 hours, 11 minutes)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart
Director: Bryan Singer
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, nudity, some suggestive material and strong language)
Movie Review: Movies dealing with science-fictional temporal mechanics can often be overly messy. That is not the case here. Helmed by Bryan Singer (“Apt Pupil,” 1998), “Days of Future Past” is the best of the X-Men films.
The X-Men of the future send Wolverine (Jackman) to the past in a last attempt to stop Raven, also known as Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Trask Industries’ chief executive, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).
When Mystique attempts to kill Trask in the past, Trask captures Mystique to use her unique shape-shifting abilities to enhance his Sentinels, giant robots that will hunt down mutants by detecting their DNA. If Trask creates these mutant-killing machines, they will target all mutants and later humans who produce future mutants.
Wolverine is tasked with mentally time-traveling back to his past body during the 1970s to stop Trask’s creations from coming to fruition. Although the older versions of Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart) and Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr (McKellen) are once again friends, Wolverine will have to convince younger versions of Xavier (McAvoy) and Lehnsherr (Fassbender) to no longer be enemies to stop Trask from creating the Sentinels.
Director Singer and screenplay scripter Simon Kinberg create solid blockbuster entertainment. They present a creative means of manipulating time, the cast of six “X-Men” prequels and multiple story arcs to produce a solid movie that can now aptly rejuvenate the old cast that started with “X-Men” (2000, also directed by Singer) while continuing new movies with the new cast from “X-Men: First Class” (Director Matthew Vaughn, 2011). This allows the franchise the brilliant ability have films from two differing eras simultaneously.
Singer masterfully assembles two casts from multiple films. He does this by taking an effective screenplay and makes it a smart superhero-action film. The result is gratifying entertainment.
Modern films are often plagued with an overuse of computer-generated imagery and special effects. While “Days of Future Past” has that, it also creates some dramatic moments and superior story concepts that work brilliantly to convey a unique story that makes use of several key characters nicely.
The use of the cast is easy when that cast is filled with top-rate actors. Stewart, McKellen, Fassbender, McAvoy, Jackman and “Game of Thrones’” Dinklage are all swell talents. They and a few others make this effortless entertainment. More important, the cast appears to enjoy their roles. Of course, what is not to love about playing someone who can control others’ minds or automatically heal in seconds or move an entire stadium with a thought?
Even if one is not a fan, this film still entertains. For fans of the X-Men comics, the previous movies and the animated series, the film uses its superheroes for prime storytelling.
That story continues, even after the end credits. Stay for one more teaser scene, hinting at the plot for the next film.
Grade: B+ (Good entertainment for days.)