The X-Men franchise keeps coming back to life with Wolverine-esque powers of regeneration: just when you think it’s down and out, that it couldn’t possibly go on any longer, it gets back up again. And Bryan Singer’s latest effort with X-Men: Days of Future Past, his first as director since X2, seems like it’s had everything thrown at it. It has a good concept behind the story, a stellar cast which sees the actors/characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, and directorial chops which really show their muscle in a few standout scenes.
The story can best be summed up as X-Men meets Terminator meets The Matrix. The war between humans and mutants has continued to wage, and with the mutants almost entirely wiped out by a human-invented weapon known as Sentinels, their last hope is to send Wolverine’s consciousness back to his past self in 1973 in an attempt to change the future. And despite some slightly jarring tonal swings – it’s a film of two halves, with the first being full of jokes and the second being very serious – and quite a rapid shift in momentum towards the end, it mostly works well.
There are some really inventive ideas when it comes to usage of the different mutant’s powers, and how they can combine their powers too, but it is a certain scene involving the phenomenal speed of Quicksilver which particularly stands out. It is so good in fact, that it’s almost worth watching the film for alone, but it is perhaps a shame that there weren’t a couple more scenes of this calibre in the movie. When it comes to performances, it’s Patrick Stewart who really steals the show: he only has a short amount of screen time, but manages to give the ‘youngsters’ a run for their money and the production the touch of class that it needs with it. Performances from all of the cast members are solid throughout however.
It does feel like the X-Men have had their days now, but if this were to be the last film in the franchise (it won’t, as X-Men: Apocalypse has already been announced, in addition to a third Wolverine movie, scheduled for release in 2016 and 2017 respectively), it would have certainly ended on a high note, and the sequel/prequel approach was a smart way for Singer to complete his trilogy.