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X-Men: Days Of Future Past

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Oct 14, 2014
 X-Men: Days Of Future Past

This newest installment in the X-Men film franchise marks the return of director Bryan Singer. Since Singer and the X-Men parted ways, after the second X-Men feature in 2003, neither has quite been up to snuff; Singer left The X-Men to helm the less-than-beloved 2006 movie "Superman Returns." The X-Men, meantime, had a disastrous flirtation with another director, Brett Ratner.

There were a couple of Wolverine spinoffs, including the noirish, minimalistically-titled "The Wolverine" (2013), but it wasn't until the retro reboot "X-Men: First Class" (2011), which re-cast all the iconic roles with younger actors (except Hugh Jackman's immortal Wolverine, of course) that The X-Men proper made a return to the screen.

The Matthew Vaughn-directed "First Class" was good, but this latest flick in the franchise is better. With "X-Men: Days of Future Past" Singer, and the franchise, are at their peak. The movie blends the original cast -- Patrick Stewart and Professor Xavier and Ian McKellen as Magneto -- with the younger "reboot" cast, in which James McAvoy plays Professor X and Michael Fassbender portrays Magneto.

The cast is only half of the film's delight: Singer's direction rises to pure pop poetry in places, especially when the camera shifts into super-fast time to focus on zippy Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and in quieter moments where colleagues forced to work together wrestle with clashing sentiments of friendship and enmity.

The plot is complicated, involving time travel and Wolverine trying to recruit estranged friends Professor X (McAvoy) and Magneto (Fassbender) to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from murdering a mutant-phobic industrialist named Trask (played with brio by Peter Dinklage) in the year 1973. If the mission to the past fails, a future in which all mutants -- and a large percentage of regular humanity -- are hunted down and killed by robotic "sentinels" is assured. Even as Wolverine guides the mission in 1973, in the future (the present?) a final lethal force of sentinels is closing in on Professor X and Magneto as we know them best, played by Stewart and McKellen.

But if Wolverine succeeds... well, who knows? All sorts of wrongs might be set right. In any event, the most important lesson seems to have been learned: Singer is attached to the next chapter, "X-Men: Apocalypse," set for a 2016 release. (A brief scene after the credits of this movie offers a glimpse at events that might tie into "Apocalypse.")

The online screener made available to critics did not include the extras that the physical Blu-ray is slated to contain, but here is a list of the special features the Blu-ray supposedly will include:

  • Deleted Scenes [with Optional Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer]
  • Kitchen Sequence
  • Gag Reel
  • Double Take: Xavier & Magneto
  • X-Men: Reunited
  • Classification: M
  • Sentinels: For a Secure Future
  • Gallery: Trask Industries
  • Theatrical Trailers


    "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
    Blu-ray
    $39.99
    http://www.foxconnect.com/x-men-days-of-future-past.html

  • Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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