In an answer to the title, i have to say no. I still prefer First Class. This movie is still good, its just not quite... that good in my eyes.
If your looking for the short review then i would definitely recommend this movie, its a lot of fun whether or not you know the x-men well. The action is entrancing, the story is compelling and the characters are (for the most part) engaging.
Now, from hereon in, beware the SPOILERS!!!
First of all, can i ask where the hell Kitty got her time warping skills from? Never before have the films hinted at it, it never comes up in the comics, but she just has them. Why? Well, if it gets rid of Origins and Last Stand then i'll overlook it. And its a testament to the films quality that i admittedly don't really mind this. Still, it kinda bugs me. Also, if anyone actually knows why Professor X isn't dead, please inform me
The film starts out in the future, the world is barren, people are rounded up in concentration camps and sentinels go around killing off mutants, or anyone in any way linked to mutants, or just whoever they feel like murdering (chant along if you've seen terminator) so our heroes go back in time to stop the sentinels from being created and thus save the human race. Or maybe its just mutants, we're kinda unclear on that. But its a cool rendition of post apocalyptic earth and a nice narration by Patrick Stewart with not so subtle foreshadowing. Then we see what is a pretty damn awesome action sequence showing many of the X-men being killed by sentinels. But then Kitty transports Bishop back in time. Except we discover its only his consciousness. So, she can send people's memories back in time to their younger selves. Okay, we'll just roll with that. Still, it's unbelievably satisfying to see a properly good action beat from an X-men movie, with Blink making a great entrance to the canon.
Cutting to the chase, they send wolverine back in time to unite all of the mutants in order to save the mutants by... stopping Mystique from killing a guy? Right, why do we need Professor X and Magneto for this? Surely Wolverine can just tell her that killing the dude ends up inexplicably destroying the world so she should just not? No? Fine, be that way. So Charles is doing drugs and getting all depressed because he lost Raven/Mystique as well as his legs. Okay, rewind, i don't buy this. Charles is not the kind of guy who would mope around and abuse substances. It is completely out of character and all it does is allow for an anti-drug message and some padding of the run-time, the 2 hour 15 minute run-time. It's also blatantly obvious what's going to happen when we get our big will he, won't he moment. In the movies' defense though, it's never boring and seeing Charles be a dick to Wolverine while he tries to be nice is pretty damn funny, thanks to James McAvoy's of course excellent acting. Hank is here as well, great, let's move on cause if the film doesn't think it important, neither do i.
So they break out Magneto with the help of Quicksilver. Yeah, that god-awful looking guy who's going to completely ruin... What? He's actually... funny. Well... that's kinda awkward. Ahem. We get a pretty damn amusing scene where Quicksilver takes out some guards and vanishes for the rest of the movie. Despite probably having the most useful power in the world. Oh well. So Charles and Eric get re-acquainted, blah blah blah, and we turn our attention to Mystique. Hooray! Jennifer Lawrence, boy i can't wait. And she sucks. I'm sorry but she does. She was great in First Class but here, she comes across as bland, uninterested and boring. Which is a shame because she is a great actress and has her chance to shine here as kinda the main character. But it's as if she just doesn't want to be here. Still, she doesn't have all that much screen time, so it isn't a great tragedy. So Hank, Charles, Logan and Eric head off to stop Mystique from killing the head of the sentinel project: Boliver Trask, played here by Peter Dinklage. He doesn't exactly have much to do but boy does he sell the hell out of it. He just owns this role. Every time he's on screen its engaging because though he's a villain, he's also kind of right. Mutants are dangerous, the humans need a defense. I really wish we got to see more of him, but that's the problem with every X-men film, i guess we just have to live with it.
But the twist with the attempt to stop Mystique is that Eric decides it's safer to just kill Mystique. But he doesn't even though he has about ten whole seconds where he could, but decides to make a whole scene out of it. Yawn. Not interested, i know they won't kill Jennifer Lawrence so i really could have done without this scene. But it's cool i guess So then the hunt for Mystique continues as she gets away. Charles gets a really great moment with his older self where he asks him to hope again, because he's lost faith in humanity. Which again, is a bit out of character but again is played out so well that i am definitely willing to let it slide. So he uses Cerebro to find Mystique and tries to convince her to not kill Trask. He fails but it is a touching moment between them. Purely because of James McAvoy it must be said. She goes through with her plan and ends up trying to murder Trask so we get what is a spectacular showdown with the help of a pretty pointless but nonetheless awesome lifting of a stadium by Magneto as well as his controlling Sentinels thanks to some earlier mischief. It's the least action heavy but probably the most compelling final act to an X-men movie beyond First Class, despite its predictability up to a point. A lot of people also die in the future in another great action scene, but the impact is somewhat lessened by the ending, which feels like a cop-out even though it really isn't.
If it seems like i'm being harsh on this movie then its probably because I am. It's tonnes of fun, the comedy plays out brilliantly and a lot more blockbusters should be like it. The one massive problem that i think sinks it below First Class (which, despite what i seem to be making it out to be, is not perfect, but i t is really good) is the story. Yes, as i said at the start, it's compelling, but its the same god damn story as every film in the main body of the series except First Class. Mutants arguing over whether humanity is worth saving, fighting over it and good triumphing at the end. That's why First Class is, in my eyes, the better movie: evil triumphs. Yeah, Magneto wins. Still, if you thought days of future past is better then i totally get it. It's all a matter of personal opinion. But don't miss this movie.
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Never stop lovin' movies or superheroes guys!