I originally posted this to my blog (wordofsean.blogspot.com) back when the film came out but now that the movie is out on DVD/ Blu-Ray, I figure I'll post it here. Also, SPOILERS for the whole movie and post credits scene follow. But if you haven't seen the movie yet...what are you doing?!
The X-Men cinematic universe is one that is jumbled up more than a ball of rubber bands. There are continuity errors, character errors, and things that are just downright confusing following the events of X3 and definitely including Origins.
But that's where Bryan Singer comes in! He reins in the X-Men series of movies back to a continuity that makes sense, if you don't want to question every little detail, does away with the aforementioned two movies as far as continuity goes, and provides us with a solid future for the franchise to continue.
All within two hours and eleven minutes. Welcome to X-Men: Days of Future Past!
The film promised big things and most certainly delivered on pretty much all of those things. Though we did get more of the past characters, there was a good enough amount of the present-day characters, especially the ones we were supposed to care about most, like Kitty and Xavier. True, Iceman didn't have a lot of dialogue but we did get to see that he has gained a higher status on the team as he is often left to save the day against the Sentinels.
Oh, speaking of those things, they were quite awesome. They were drastically different between the past and present and that only makes sense. In the past their abilities were limited to just shooting stuff and not being made of metal so that Magneto could not affect them. In the present, they weren't just not made of metal but they were able to adapt quite quickly to a mutant's ability and be able to counter and kill them. The Sentinels were smart, strong, and superior in almost every way to their mutant foes. Every time they were on screen you knew they weren't going to go down without a struggle.
The film opens displaying such a thing. Kitty, Blink, Warpath, Sunspot, Bishop, and Colossus are all on some mission and are getting ready for battle against the Sentinels. Warpath, Blink, Sunspot, and Colossus all put up a valiant fight, with the eventual help of Iceman, but all are defeated and seemingly killed, with the exception of Kitty and Bishop.
Then we get to see that it was all a ruse, that this was merely training for Kitty to exercise her time-travelling abilities. We find out that most of the human world is decimated, and that the mutant population may as well be completely extinct.
From the get-go we get this very dark, depressing vibe that there isn't any hope, something that would carry out throughout the rest of the film. It's pretty obvious, too, as five very powerful X-Men are dropped like flies when they square off with the Sentinels.
When looking for volunteers to go into the past, Kitty suggests Xavier should go; however, his mind would not be able to sustain such a time leap. Wolverine volunteers, as his mind will be able to heal as the fabrics of time try to rip it apart. Plus, he will be able to awaken in his younger body and still be in peak physical form.
I should also mention he somehow has his metal claws back, but really they're only shown maybe twice in the movie, as in 1973 he has yet to meet Stryker and get the animantium.
So Kitty uses her powers on Wolverine and sends him back to 1973, where he finds himself to be in great physical shape and still have all his powers intact. He goes to the X-Mansion but finds only pre-Beast and a depressed Xavier there. We learn that Xavier is able to walk by taking some drug that suppresses his ability to read minds but grants him the ability to walk, a serum similar to the one Beast uses to hold back the big blue guy.
Wolverine manages to partly convince the two about the future when he tells Xavier a lot of secrets he hasn't told anyone else, and they discuss a way of breaking Magneto out of a completely non-metallic prison. Wolverine brings them to the house of Quicksilver.
Despite the nagging on how he looks and how ridiculous the costume is, the character himself is a really fun guy and the movie does display his powers and personality well. He talks fast, he is easily distracted, and he moves at a speed that is completely unrivaled. He actually does the bulk of the work when they are busting out Magneto, using various abilities to apprehend his foes, such as using his quick vibrations to break the glass as well as just messing with the security guards as they are all breaking out.
We also get our first little nod that made me go, "Ha, nice" as Quicksilver notes that his mother once knew a man who had Magneto's ability, confirming that in this continuity Pietro and Wanda Maximoff are indeed Magneto's kids.
Anyway, they manage to bust out and board a plane to Paris, where Mystique, the one who causes the mess of the future, is headed. This whole time she has been busting out mutants all in search of one man, Trask, who is the one who created the Sentinels. In the past, after she kills Trask the government unites and creates the Sentinels, which do indeed target mutants but similar to Project Insight from Cap 2, it starts targeting any potential mutant threats, including the parents of them or even the potential grandparent threats, thus destroying the future.
Mystique and the gang all manage to meet up in Paris in the fated moment where Mystique is meant to kill Trask, but Magneto has other plans after he and Xavier have a bit of a heartfelt discussion, where we learn the rest of the X-Men, minus Havoc and Beast, are all dead because he sat by and couldn't help them. Mystique does not kill Trask, who gets away unharmed, and Magneto tries to kill Mystique, merely wounding her in the leg. Wolverine has a little bit of a mental spasm as we see what happens when the connection breaks when he sees and recognizes Stryker. He manages to recover and rejoin with Xavier.
They return to the X-Mansion where Xavier has lost all hope and has also lost feeling in his legs again. Wolverine manages to convince him not to use the serum, to let him use his powers. We finally get to see a little glimpse of Xavier, which quickly fades for a second after Cerebro breaks and he is unable to sustain his abilities for more than a few moments.
No need to fear, we have awesome time-warping scenes to cover that! Wolverine tells Xavier to look past all of Wolverine's memories, in which we get glimpses of the original three X-Men movies, and when Xavier pulls back the curtain, we get the long-awaited meeting between Xavier and...Xavier! Yup, Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy have a conversation about young Xavier having to release his fear and allow it to empower him, and thus give him hope once more for a better future, one that he has the power to make.
Using his newfound strength, Xavier manages to track down Mystique to a big gathering in Washington, D.C., where the first Sentinels are going to be unveiled. It's really cool getting to see Xavier using his powers again like he did in X-Men: First Class, as well as getting to see Wolverine and Beast as his side-kicks, even if they aren't there to really do a lot of fighting.
But time is of the essence, as in the present time the Sentinels begin to make their move to wipe out the X-Men once and for all, which would completely annihilate the mission. The trio of good-guys make it to DC, where Xavier manages to stop Mystique from once again killing Trask. However, Magneto's evil ways stop all the fun once more as he brings a baseball stadium down around the White House, trapping all the humans who would wrong him, such as Trask and President Nixon. Wolverine and Beast try to stop him, but Magneto sends the Sentinels he laced with metal to fight them and defeat them. Wolverine tries to stop Magneto, but Magneto manages to entangle him with metal, breaking his connection in time, and send him in a body of water, allowing him to drown and begin to die in the present time.
Of course with all this bad stuff happening, there has to be even more bad stuff as the battle against the strong Sentinels continues in the present-day. It seems as if Magneto manages to finish them off but just as they are ready to go back into position, Storm and Warpath and taken down and killed.
Magneto readies the kill shot but Xavier manages to convince Mystique to take down Magneto. Beast takes some of the serum he happened to bring with him to make him human, and the Sentinels follows its orders to take down both Mystique and Magneto, the latter of which is forced to destroy it, leaving Mystique with the opportunity to use a plastic gun and bullet to shoot him in the side of the neck. Mystique takes off Magneto's helmet and Xavier uses it to relieve the Sentinels of their power as well as free all of the men.
In the present-day, more and more of the X-Men are dropping, as Colossus, Blink, Sunspot, and Iceman are all killed, leaving just Kitty, a dying Magneto, Xavier, and Wolverine, who is of course comatose. Mystique points the gun at Trask again but Xavier finally gets through to her, telling her to be the example for these men to follow in a good way. She complies, but like Magneto leaves to continue to find her own path, thus changing the future.
Wolverine wakes up in the X-Mansion with any trace of X-3 and Origins completely wiped out, as Rogue still has her abilities, along with Jean and Cyclops still being alive! So yay for that! When he meets up with Xavier again, it is indeed the one from 1973 that met him. As they begin to catch up on all that happened in between, with Wolverine's memories now being fiction for everyone else, we see what became of Wolverine during a Xavier voice-over, in which a Mystique disguised as Stryker volunteers to take Wolverine in, ending our film.
BUT if you stayed for the post-credits scene, you would know that the fun is only just beginning! As the credits end we see a crowd of people praising in presumably Ancient Egyptian as a person in a cloak constructs a pyramid with grand ease. As the camera turns, it is revealed to be a young boy and in the distance stand four men on horses!
Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen!
This film manages to not only tie up most of the loose ends of the X-Men franchise, barring the whole Stryker age-thing which makes not too much sense, but also opens up the gates for X-Men sequels in both the past and present! Not only could we see the Dark Phoenix saga done right, but there is also a possibilty of an X-Men crossover with the Fantastic Four that could see the original X-Men, and not some of the First Class generation.
There is also the question of just which X-Men are going to be in X-Men: Apocalypse? Xavier, obviously, and probably Gambit. But who else of the heroes? I doubt Wolverine, well maybe but then it gets kind of dicey with the whole memory thing again. Perhaps Nightcrawler will get his introduction. Of course Mystique and Magneto will be in it, and maybe as anti-heroes as Apocalypse is kind of a big deal.
Regarding this film, though, it should be noted that while the action is exciting and all, it is not the strong point of the movie. The movie is very suspenseful, especially in the parts where in the present time the X-Men are dropping and it seems like time is running out for them while the First Class guys try to get it together. The drama is good and, again, adds to the suspense. There are a lot of nice nods to the other X-Men movies, and even a small baby Scarlet Witch cameo as Quicksilver is holding her while watching their father wreak havoc. Great parenting!
This film is definitely one to check out. It's one of the best Marvel movies yet and definitely the best of the X-Men franchise. Even if you're not a big super-hero fan, it's still a very gripping, suspenseful, dramatic film. The hype was very real in regards to this film, and it even managed to surpass it.