WARNING: Do not read this if you have not yet seen X-Men: Days of Future Past
There it was. The fantasy of every X-Men film fan brought to life. The original cast brought back from the dead, all living in harmony under the roof of Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, just as they should be. It only took six movies to get it back on track after Bryan Singer left the directors chair, that’s not bad, considering we’re talking about Hollywood here.
The ending of the film was truly satisfying—on an emotional level—so much so, that no other super hero film has come close to matching it in terms of resonance for comic book fans. Now that being said, I am not a huge comic book fan, but the first two films were done so well, their characters were established so strong, that my attachment to them was almost instantaneous, so to see them just be slaughtered in X3 for pure shock value seemed like such a waste. The stories that could have been told, those are things that haunt a film fan (such as myself) for years after the end credits. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hoped Cyclops would make a return into the film world of the X-Men, and I can’t describe the ultimate disappointment when each new “installment” to the series was released and he was of course, not there, because he was killed off in X3 (this of course was due to the actor, James Marsden, wishing to instead have a supporting role in Bryan Singer’s 2006 film, Superman Returns, but this is neither here nor their), as were Jean Grey and Professor X, three of the series five main heroic characters (the others being Wolverine and Rogue. You can argue Storm, but why would you? Her character is there just to fill out the cast).
Of course their return to the film can be seen one of two ways, it can be seen as Singer getting the series back on track for more sequels to this new timeline which would star the original cast, or it can be seen as a swan song to the original cast as the series moves forward with the cast of X-Men: First Class, telling their stories as they move through the decades to the present time. I’m happy with this either way. More than anything, I’m just glad Singer corrected an error in the series that was so glaring, its hard to see how anyone at the time could think that it was the right move for the franchise.
Now, all that being said, lets take a moment to just soak in the intelligent dialogue, characterization, interesting and original plot, that was the majority of the film X-Men: Days of Future Past. Wow. Just wow. There hasn’t been a super hero movie this smart since…well, I’d argue Watchmen, though I can see the argument for Ironman and Thor, and I will agree that those are good super hero films, I will argue that they are not as smart as this film. (Though Ironman is pretty damn close, and I might be stretching myself by arguing that its not as smart as DOFP, but I’m going to anyways.) Oh the characters, how I loved the characters of this film. My first favorite of the film, quite surprisingly I might add, was Wolverine. This is the character that has been with us since the beginning, we’ve seen him at his best, worst, and most recently middle of the road (The Wolverine…come on, lets be honest here, and if you have any qualms with this, just watch 109 Things Wrong With The Wolverine. That will save me time), but here we see him, perhaps for the first time, perhaps for the second or third, (its been so long its honestly getting hard to keep track) at his best. And when I say best, I mean his dialogue is sharp and witty. His character is not there to be the star, but to serve its purpose in the story, just as every other character is there for that reason.
Oh, it feels good to watch a movie that puts story above trailer montages and cliché one-liners. My second favorite character of the film was Pietro Maximoff, or as he’s better known to fans of the comics or 90’s cartoon series, Quicksilver. Now the trailers had me worried about this guy, we see him spinning in a circle in the trailer, in a scene that looks like its going to be a cheesy CGI “trailer moment,” but in the film the scene turns out to be a funny and interesting way to both build the character while also moving the film forward. We’ve yet to see an X-Men character use their powers for fun (that’s also something we hardly ever see happen in the Marvel Studio films as well) so it was more than just a little refreshing to see that take place here.
Over all, the film will live on, not only as the movie that saved the X-Men franchise, but also, as a film that is worth seeing long after its been out of the theater. Which in this age, is something worth stating.