X-Men Days of Future Past, the latest instalment of the X-franchise, brings together the old and new as The X-team of X-Men: First Class joins forces with their future counterparts to prevent a mutant apocalypse.
The ambition here is massive, much the same as The Avengers. X-men old and new are brought together in Bryan Singer’s return to the franchise he started more than ten years ago. This, in case you wasn’t aware, means juggling such acting juggernauts as Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and of course, Hugh Jackman. Now this is no mean feat, the multiple-character-problem has plagued many a comic-book film before but, as The Avengers proved two years ago, it can be done, and it can be done well.
It is a credit to the writing of Simon Kinberg then that this issue is overcome. The screenwriter cleverly shares out the screen time allowing each character to have their moment. What is also important is who he chooses to focus on. Yes, some character’s (here’s looking at you Iceman and Kitty Pryde) screen time had to be cut down. The film’s main focus lays on Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and Wolverine. All four are fan favourites and also double up as useful components for the plot. Their role within the story, above all others, is integral. Of course it goes without saying that the acclaimed thesps portraying these characters are on top form. Peter Dinklage too makes a layered and original villain.
The plot, based on the hugely popular two-comic run from the 80s, is well-structured and constantly on the move. It is important with a film so intrinsically complex to make sure the plot keeps moving so we as an audience don’t slip out of the suspended belief. Singer is on top form here – the action is fun, fresh and on an immense scale. He plays around with the 70s setting and makes sure the film doesn’t take itself too seriously.
It is evident that in the short time between The Last Stand and this film the Blockbuster stakes have been raised, thanks in no small part to the Marvel films. The action is now required to be on an epic scale with money and the capabilities of CGI no longer an issue. If you look to the opening teleportation sequence of X-2, in which Nightcrawler attacked the white house, and remember how exciting and playful that was then you’re in for a pleasant treat in this one. Singer plays with the multiple mutant abilities at his disposal and creates and exhilarating and awe-inspiring set pieces.