Almost from the moment it was announced, X-Men: Days of Future Past has been met with no small amount of apprehension by the comic book community, and not without good reason. While they admittedly had their occasional bright moments, the track record of ‘X-Movies’ isn’t exactly awe-inspiring, and concerns about overcasting and the potential pitfalls of cramming such an expansive, multi-layered storyline into just a couple of hours were definitely running wild.
Well, I can officially confirm that – from my point of view at least – Days of Future Past manages to evade almost all of these stumbling blocks, creating a well-paced, dramatic and exciting film which, while not quite hitting the lofty heights of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which is pretty much going to be the benchmark from here on in, I’ve decided), definitely does more than enough to cement itself in the upper echelon of comic book movies.
I’m not going to delve too deeply into anything regarding the storyline twists and turns (of which there are many) because, y’know, spoilers suck, but I will say that I felt the overall pacing worked extremely well here. The action set-pieces were contrasted brilliantly with the emotionally chaqrged, character-based moments, with neither seeming to outstay its welcome as we flitted back and forth between them. The movie was also bookended by scenes featuring some truly jaw dropping displays of mutant powers, including a show-stealing performance by Bingbing Fan’s Blink, who puts on a display that almost – almost – comes close to rivalling Nightcrawler’s assault on the White House in X2. Yeah, I said it.
There are some great performances here, as you would expect from the likes of McAvoy, Fassbender, Jackman, McKellen and Stewart, and we are treated to a solid mixture of gravitas and humour throughout the 131 minute running time. Oh, and speaking of humour, one of the most maligned characters in the build-up to this movie’s release, greeted with almost universal eye-rolling groans of “oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me” actually turned out to be one of my personal highlights of this movie.
Yes folks, that’s right… Quicksilver is AWESOME.
Again, I can’t really dissect this movie and its ins and outs too much without delving into spoiler territory, but suffice to say that in a year where the bar continues to be set almost impossibly high by the likes of Captain America: The Winter, not to mention those goddamn awesome Guardians of the Galaxy trailers, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a film deserves your attention, and I can only hope that it doesn’t end up being lost in the shuffle.
Oh, and in case you’re new to this kind of thing, yes, there is an post-credits scene right at the end. And after the disappointing nature of ASM2’s “scene”, this one delivers in spades, I promise you.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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