Loosely adapting The Days of Future Past X-Men comic from the same name, the X-Men Days of Future Past exists as a loose reboot to the franchise, to complete it's redemption with a new, fresh and epic blockbuster. This new X-Men film falls short on expectations. The action is great, the scenes are fun, but there's just a ton of stuff left out, and although it spans for 2 hours 20 minutes, I felt there's just SO MUCH this film left out. X-Men's return to the big screen isn't a bad film, there was just so much lost and unused potential. Before we begin getting into the story and the meat of it all, let's get into each of the characters, and discuss them individually:
The Wolverine: The main focus of the X-Men Days of Future Past film, The Wolverine is thrust back into the 1970s as the man sent to prevent the death of Dr. Bolivar Trask (at the hands of Mystique), played by Peter Dinklage. I'll have to say, Logan was extremely likeable in this film, even more so then he is in other films. There's more depth to the characters. He's no longer just the feral, clawed anger man, he's sort of a hero. Throughout the story, you see that he actually handles some matters really seriously, even going as far as devising a method of encouraging young Xavier back into commission. I really liked the writing of Wolverine here; this incarnation is spot on, just perfect. Here's a reminder that Hugh Jackman is up there with Robert Downey Jr.
Charles Xavier (Past): Past Xavier was just great! When we're first introduced to him in this film, we see a shattered Xavier. Of course, he's struggling to deal with the events of First Class. He's lost almost everything that meant something to him, and so he ends up with basically nothing. He's taken to drugs and alcohol to resolve his issues, and so when we're introduced to him here, he's broken. James McAvoy is a brilliant actor, period. However, I felt at times he was TOO MUCH of a jerk, such as when he recites the line Logan told them years ago when they encountered him in a bar. So, he's kind of a mixed bag, but for the most part, he was acted great.
Erik Lehnsherr (Past): Playing a major part in the story, Michael Fassbender brought dimensions to the character of Erik Lehnsherr. He's by no means a mad man - he's stoic, cruel and will go at almost any costs to reach his goals. Later on, it seems he goes off to a 'better to be feared then loved' plot sort of thing, in which he decides he isn't really interested in getting homosapions to respect or accept him, but to fear him. Fassbender was a great Magneto, and his interactions with Xavier were great, and I always love great character interactions!
Mystique: Ah... Mystique. So, in this film, Mystique is portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, offering a younger, fresh more modernised take on the character. Jennifer Lawrence is my favourite female actress right now (seriously, I loved her acting in Catching Fire), and so she serves a primary antagonist here. Jennifer plays the role right, working well with what she's given, but I couldn't help but feel the character wasn't explored enough, meaning I look forward to possibly seeing her in X-Men Apocalypse in 2016. She seemed to suppress any personality she might've had here, but she was accustomed to a charm and attractiveness which is shown in the film.
Quicksilver: Oh damn... I really enjoyed Quicksilver. In fact, he was one of the film's highlights. Here, Quicksilver is portrayed by Evan Peters, as a fast talking, quick witted, silver haired, leather jacketed mutant delinquent... and Evan plays that role out really well. His jokes were just genius, and I dare to say he stole some scenes on his own. His meeting with Magneto and the 'Whip Lash' joke was also great (you guys know what I'm talking about), and I also liked how the movie referenced at Magneto being his father... that I'm sure you know how. But seriously, his introduction scene was short, quick, funny and entertaining, which alluded into a great slo-mo scene... which was ruined by it's awful back ground music. But seriously... ANOTHER REASON TO GET EXCITED FOR APOCALYPSE!
Beast: Beast... eh, he didn't really impress me here. His performance wasn't stand out, it didn't bring anything new to the table, and I actually found Hank quite annoying. His short action scenes as Beast were nice, but as Hank? Just annoying. He has a look on his face that reminds me of Arrow's Felicity, but that may be me. They could've cast another person as Beast... I just didn't like this guy.
The other characters, they don't serve really major roles. Older Professor X, Older Xavier, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm & Ice Man were only there for a few short scenes, so not much to say here. Shadowcat & Ice Man were GREAT in their short scenes, so I hope to see them return.
The plot, premise and concept of X-Men Days of Future Past is pretty awesome... dare I say great. However, the execution is half baked. The story follows The Wolverine as he's sent back in time to the 1970s to recruit mutants Professor X, Beast & The Magneto by his side, to prevent the Mystique killing Bolivar Trask incident. And... it sounds interesting, but the execution just isn't right.
For one, the future element of the series is marketed as a major part of the movie, right? It's what's shown in posters, right? However, the future part of the movie is only about 5% of the 100%, which just isn't much. At that ends up with a chunk of dangling, useless characters. The future storyline mostly consists of Kitty Pryde as she attempts to keep Wolverine's mind intact with the 1970s timeline, while the other mutants are... just watching. Literally, they just watch! This ends up with a useless modern plot line that's just... there. Seriously, it was just a really shoved in aspect of the film. Certainly, it was only there to contact the two timelines, and serve as the element of the time travel plot.
The story moves fast paced... but sometimes maybe too fast for it's own good. The final battle is just terribly awful, but the other fights in this movie are well built up. As there isn't a clutter of them, and they're short lived, this allows for some story build up, not just a bunch of fights for the sake of being there.
However, the execution still impairs the movie greatly. A bunch of other mutants are shoved in - Storm, Warpath, Blink etc. and they just don't serve a role. They're in there for... well, the sake of being there. Storm is limited to short cameos, mostly providing short fight scenes, and about 2-3 lines, with the other mutants serving as similar function.
However, I really enjoyed watching the story unfold. The scenes are FUN for the most part. The Xavier introduction scene, the opening scene, the Pentagon scene - brilliant! All the scenes are enjoyable, and I didn't recall any of them going too long. Also, the scene with Xavier Young & Xavier Old is really moving, touching. I really liked it.
Effects, action and cinematography:
The effects in the movie blew me away. The opening fight scene was finely and brilliantly structured and composed. The scenes with them hopping and transporting through portals was genius, and a real pleasure to watch. Also, the short encounter scene with The Wolverine against the three armed men was just great. It was really short, but the choreography and cinematography was top-notch.
I reckon this movie was really visually crafted. The effects aren't as great as TASM2's effects (I don't think any CBM is), but it's still great in it's own right.
X-Men Days of Future Past is an original film, that much is clear. The cast is great, the action scenes are well formed, the emotion and scenes are both done well, although the execution is rather poor, and the future storyline is wasted and underplayed.