X-Men Days of Future Past, is absolute pure poetry in motion. It is a true masterpiece of the comic-book genre. It now sits on the mountaintop of the great Comic-Book Films of all-time, alongside 2008's The Dark Knight, and 2012's The Avenger's. This film like the two I just mentioned, manages to combine action and chaos, drama and pathos in such a wondrously and deliriously fun way that you forget the genre altogether and you begin to live within the world that's been created for you.
The film starts in a dark apocalyptic world where humans and mutants have been hunted to near extinction by the dreaded sentinels. The devastation is vast and the camera hugs close to the dark hued skies and the neon lit expanses. There was death here. There is death everywhere and you feel it from the very first moments. This is particularly telling because death doesn't usually have a lasting impact in comic-book films. In fact to be quite honest, it's usually done as a service to further along a plot-line or two. But things are different in the Days of Future Past. We see that death this time is final, and that there are very few left alive who can save us all.
Bryan Singer brilliantly captures the tone and the suspense of super-powered people who still aren't enough to turn the tide that's coming against them. This brings to mind Singer's earlier work in the tension drenched "The Usual Suspects". This latest X-Men film of his is absolutely masterful in this respect and it's frankly refreshing to see the subject matter handled so deftly by Singer. To be quite honest, I did not expect this from him and it was a pleasant surprise.
The script is the best in the entire series, swiftly dodging heavy questions that the action doesn't have time to answer and instead we get relationships that are cut open for us to revel in. There is also great humor here, and sequences that dazzle and cause us to giggle from the sheer audacity of it all. In this respect, Quicksilver indeed steals the movie. What a marvelous interpretation of the character Singer has brought to us. I wanted Quicksilver in more of the movie and was sad to see him not get on the plane with the rest of the team.
Now to the real meat of the matter. I understand if less inspired fans want to decry the lack of super-powered beat downs. And trust me, to be quite frank...I wanted to see Cyclops behead some sentinels and I wanted to see Storm rain down some horrific, flesh-shredding hail storms. But this film is absolutely a step in the right direction from where the series languished before. The special effects are absolutely dazzling. The 3-D was complimentary and outright astonishing in all of the action scenes. Their very powers have been expanded in a rather simple way, allowing the action to be free-flowing rather than trying to see which mutant is doing what at what time. This allows you to simply enjoy seeing your favorite X-Man in action. ie: Blink absolutely ruling the screen as she teleports herself, teammates and even sentinels back and forth like a true boss of a mutant. And in 3-D, her sequences simply left my jaw on the floor. Storm (my absolute favorite Marvel superhero) is perhaps too powerful to be of full use in the minds of these filmmakers, and I've come to accept that. But when the Wind Rider stirs the heavens, the sentinels quake baby. The Professor, Wolverine, Mystique & Magneto are in fine form as usual.
Without hesitation...I give this masterpiece in the genre, a solid A. It's not an A-plus (A+) like "The Avengers", (which is still the slightly better film, if only for it's sheer boundless ambition) simply because the X-Men are still too de-powered and we need to see them in their full glory. We need to see Storm tossing hurricanes. Yes we know that Storm can wipe out a full sentinel army on her own. Show that! Yes Professor X can make Mystique do anything he wants and questions his actions later. Show that. Yes Colossus can wreck a sentinel with one punch like Thor can. Show that. They hold the X-Men back too much and that I do NOT like. But I repeat, I shout...this is the right direction for the X-Men franchise in every way. Good Lord, Bryan Singer has truly just made a fan out of me. Who woulda' thunk it? - Jason Raphael's Rated R for Reviews
GRADE: A (95/100)
Acting - A
Special Effects - A
Script - B+
Direction - A