‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Erases The Sting of Many Bad Memories and Replaces With Amnesia (Movie Review)

Days of Future PastAlthough I cannot claim to be a huge X-Men fanboy, I went into this past Tuesday night’s press screening of X-Men: Days of Future Past with a gusto of glee and optimism, not to mention excitement, after being so let down by the mediocre Godzilla last week.  And why not?  The past two films, The Wolverine and First Class, were actually really quite good after series stinkers such as The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine.  So I thought why not take all that negative energy exhausted from my disappointment over Godzilla (although Curtis Bloodworth and countless others will disagree with my sentiments there) and spin it into something positive by strolling into Days of Future Past (henceforth abbreviated as DOFP throughout the rest of this review) with a big a$$ smile on my face.  You know, now that I think about it, that begs to question.  What movie isn’t good with a little Michael Fassbender action in it, huh?  Alright, let’s be serious.  We are gathered here today to talk about the time traveling comic book film, DOFP, and by golly it’s about “time” I stop wasting your present and start talking about your future, that is the movie you’ll be attending this weekend.

Believe it or not, DOFP is actually the seventh movie in the X-Men film series and it makes it the third one directed by Bryan Singer.  It also kind of serves a trio of purposes.  It acts as a sequel to both 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand and the superior X-Men: First Class in 2011 as well as a follow-up to 2013’s The Wolverine, hence that mid-credit sequence in it.  And let’s not forget about the star power and weight this one also carries.  It has got quite the bloated ensemble cast with household names such as Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Lawrence, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.  Wow!  You had me at hello with the just the first three names.  Unbelievable!  I am pumped.  Moving on…

So I’m quite certain you have all seen this film’s trailers and the cat’s proverbially kind of out of the bag regarding the flick’s plot of should we say time traveling.  Well, any educated individual could have pretty much ascertained that from the film’s title, but for a moment let’s pretend you had no idea what to expect here.  Give me your undivided attention and let me massage into your brain what you’re getting yourself into when you walk into the theater this weekend with your popcorn and other goodies and the house lights slowly dim.  Let me paint that visual landscape and hit you with what I like to call a brilliant recap that doesn’t spoil, but instead it gets your juices flowing, your brain thinking and leaves you with expectations and burning questions that can’t be quenched until those ending credits of DOFP roll.  How’s that for being a big tease?  Haha!

The secret to tackling this review for me is the same formula as always, talk about what I feel is good and bad, but also this time around I’m walking on eggshells as I tenderly want to touch upon how this ties into continuity wise to the rest of the X-Men films.  I’m sure you all want to know what kind of expectations you are going to want to have walking in, right?  Of course, I’ll let the cat out of the bag and say this right here and now.  Regardless of how you feel about the exposition I’m getting ready to dish out about the story, I’m pretty confident all you cats will have a groovy good old time in this 70’s era caper.  I use the word caper solely because it means to leap or skip about in a sprightly manner and that’s exactly what the filmmakers do and achieve within my favorite decade of them all, the 1970’s.  So if you are picturing a political thriller in the vein of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then you’d be half right.  Remember how much fun you had going back in time with 2011’s First Class?  Well, mix those two sentiments together and I’ll whole heartedly agree that you’re onto something then.  So let’s talk story first.

Like usual, you’ll find the same four things you are used to in all X-Men films.  The movie is propelled by Wolverine.  He still misses Jean.  He still agonizes about how he was experimented on.  And Magneto and Professor X still disagree about the same many things they always have.  However, let’s get serious now.  This story is also all about the Sentinels, big robots who kill mutants easily, created by Bolivar Task (Dinklage) circa 1973.  Things start off in the future where we meet such characters as Kitty Pride (Page), Bishop (Omar Sy) and Blink (Fan Bingbing) and are also reunited with ones such as Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore).  They are all trying to keep the Sentinels at bay.  Yeah right!  Good luck with that!    Those guys are relentless and destructive as all hell.  But wait!  Professor X and Magneto show up together with Wolverine and Storm to tow.  Say whaaaat?  Yes, I said Magneto and Professor X are working together.  And Wolverine even has some gray in his hair.  Wait?!  I thought he does not age?  What’s going on here?  I’ll tell you.  A plan is hatched!  Wolverine becomes the unlucky volunteer.  His mind is set back in time to stop Mystique from killing Task, which they believed in the mutant timeline ultimately generated a sympathy vote and lead to the creation of these Sentinels.  Ah!  Good!  We are back where I love this franchise.  There’s no stupid Storm, just Wolverine, a young Beast and my much preferred younger versions of Professor X and Magneto, portrayed by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.  Now we’re talking!  Let the good times roll!

So what I like about this one is a couple of things.  First, because of the mind traveling going on we kind of have an Inception-like feel to it all.  That’s groovy in its own right.  However, like First Class, we’re also back with the familiar faces of which I love where every character, with the exception of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, is played by a younger cast member because…they are younger versions of themselves.  However, what’s kind of a Debbie Downer is that we are back to beating that same old dead horse where Magneto and Professor X bicker about the same disagreements we are used to ever since the very first X-Men movie.  Wolverine still misses Jean and he still agonizes about the experiments he was subjected to.   What side is Mystique on?  My God!  Can we do something new please?  Just when you think it’s all a lost cause I would like to introduce you to my newest mutant friend, Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters.  What a breath of fresh air this character was to the film.  While I was kind of down on his looks beforehand when I first saw publicity stills of his character I can guarantee you the scenes involving him may just be the most fun ones you have with this time traveling, comic book movie.  I’m looking forward to seeing much more of him in the next installment.  And I’ll leave it at that there.

Now I know I made that Wolverine crack not so long ago about the gray hair and whatnot, but I can’t help feeling insulted especially when they clearly say point blank in this flick that Wolverine does not age.  Oh really?  How did he get that fricking gray in his hair?  Now that brings me to my next subject.  Continuity!  While I would highly encourage anyone walking into this to at least brush up on First Class beforehand as required homework, I can honestly say skip the pain and misery of re-living The Last Stand.  Heck!  Skip The Wolverine too!  As long as you know who the major players are, maybe have seen the first two films and the experiments Wolverine underwent in Origins: Wolverine, I’d say you’re set.  Nothing else matters.  I have a hard time with this, but regardless of my feelings it’s true.  If this film exists for nothing else other than to “write” the wrongs of Last Stand, then I say bravo on a job well done.  That it indeed does!  Who needs continuity?  Throw it out the window.  This is a brave new world full of mutants everywhere and everything is just peachy now.  You obviously know things must somewhat kind of work out since there’s another film titled Apocalypse coming up in the X-Men arena, not to mention a third solo outing for the mighty Wolverine.

What I’m most sad about is the fact that this may be the last time we have fun with this younger cast.  I’m not looking forward to another future adventure with old senior citizen versions of Professor X and Gandalf again.  Oh I mean Magneto!  LOL.  I’m in love with this younger cast.  McAvoy and Fassbender are an absolute blast to behold as they seemingly fit their respective roles so perfectly.  I never want their screen time to end, but alas…all good things must come to an end.  Don’t you know that?  So for that reason, much like my love for First Class, DOFP is a winner for me!  It’s not nearly as great and innovative as First Class was, but it will leave you wanting a second helping and that’s always a good thing.  Singer feels right at home again in his X-Men universe and what more can you ever want to know than the realization that you can finally erase the  sting and pain of Last Stand.  Hell.  Do what Gerard Iribe does with his Blu-ray cases, but throw out the disc of third film as well.  You don’t need it anymore.  DOFP is the new gospel of the X-Men.  It lays out the timeline which hopefully all things follow next.

So here’s the deal.  And it’s truly this simple.  If you like what you saw in First Class, well expect to see even more of that here in DOFP.  However, if you are condescending and are going to be irate about not having all your questions answered as to how this happened in Last Stand or The Wolverine and is not represented onscreen here, then maybe you should take a quaalude beforehand.  Now, I’m not condoning the illegal use of drugs and nor have I ever partaken in any recreational drug myself.  I’m only mentioning this to make a point.  Don’t be mad and say I did not warn you.  There are problems here, some very big ones if you can’t come to terms with them and just let them slide like they teach you in the gospel of Fight Club.  You just need the ability to let go and let bygones be bygones because the fun and mythos of the X-Men lore outweigh, in my opinion, the bad here and I’ll take DOFP any day over Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine.  Wait!  Why are you still reading this?  You should be out seeing DOFP!  Run like Quicksilver to a theater near you ASAP!  And remember to stay after the credits and bask in the cameos of faces you might have forgotten (that’s my public service announcement).  Hi Anna!

And the winner for 2014’s worst movie poster of the year goes to…

Days of Future Past Movie Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

4 Responses to “‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Erases The Sting of Many Bad Memories and Replaces With Amnesia (Movie Review)”

  1. Brandon Peters

    X-Men: Age Of Apocalypse takes place in the 80s with the First Class crew again. So, no worries Brian…you get them back. They’re the “few-cha” going forward.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    What Brandon said.

  3. Brian White

    Oh nice guys! Thanks! Can you tell I’m not much of an X-Men comics fan? LOL. I’m pumped again now for Apocalypse! Bring on the youngsters once again!

  4. Brandon Peters

    Knowing that has nothing to do with the comics, that’s just straight up movie news.