X-Men: Days of Future Past
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The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

May 23, 2014

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A compelling tale of mutant survival

Reviewed by Kunal Khandwala

When one combines the idea of time-travel by a mutant with a generation-spanning multi-star cast, through times dark and culture-shifting, against forces incomprehensible and daunting, with a Lannister creating quite a stir on the other side, you know this isn't just a summer action movie. In this chaotic Marvelverse, Bryan Singer ('X-Men', 'X-Men 2') overcomes his follies of 'Superman Returns' and 'Valkyrie' to give us a finely convoluted extravaganza that picks up from where the well revived 'X-Men: First Class' left us. Based around real world events in epic proportions, 'Days of Future Past' is a compelling tale of the survival of mutants in a world that grows increasingly hostile towards them. The action is spectacular and the plot allows for enough sly humor and human emotion that has always been at the forefront of the mutant psychology. With a multitude of characters and constant transitions between the past and future, one should be well versed with the mutants from the earlier X-Men films as well as from 'First Class' to maintain sanity during the riveting proceedings.

The future is dark and lingers with the threat of annihilation of the mutant race by the Sentinels. These robotic creations honor the legacy of Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage), whose program to combat the mutant threat was seen through fruition by the Government. After tremendous loss and relentless fighting, the remaining mutants gather for a last resort that involves Kitty's ability to project a person's consciousness to their past selves so warnings and messages can be conveyed. Due to his self-healing powers that could withstand such time travel, Wolverine is sent back to 1973 to prevent Mystique from murdering Trask. It was his death and the research of her powers upon capture, that led to the launch of the Sentinel program. Wolverine, guided by Charles Sr. and Magento Sr. must find their younger selves and with their assistance, prevent Mystique from triggering their own devastation.
Young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is confined within the most secure facility from where escape is impossible. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is busy saving the army recruited mutants from their imminent capture by Trask's forces in Saigon while Logan (Hugh Jackman) finally convinces the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) of his plan to save the future.
With the help of the speedster Quicksilver, they are able to free Magneto from Pentagon's impenetrable facility in what is perhaps the most dazzling slow motion sequence that is as thrilling as it is amusing.

Their combined forces intercept Mystique in Paris and thwart her attack on Trask but her injury led to the discovery of her blood stain that was then seized by Trask's security. The result of these events was that humans perceived the mutants to be a threat and the Sentinel project came closer to implementation with her vital DNA.
Eventually, the Sentinels are revealed by Trask at the White House in an event but not before Magneto had inserted shards of metal into the robots that were in transit. Charles must thus confront his pain and regain his powers to prevent Mystique from committing a public murder which would forever make mutants the enemy of human-kind. In this process, he even confronts his older and wiser self who guides his conscience to pursue peace for the future of the mutants which again makes an epic moment in the film. On the other hand, Magneto lifts an entire stadium to create a barricade around the White House to prevent any escape of Trask.
Meanwhile, in a last hopeless stand, the mutants come together to face their doom with the arrival of the Sentinel army that threatens to disrupt Wolverine's conscience from achieving its objective in the past.

There is just so much going on with the multitude of characters that action cannot overpower the events and yet it remains spectacular owing to their superpowers and the destruction causing Sentinels. Magneto's stadium sequence is another CGI marvel and so is the stand-off against the final Sentinel assault. But the most remarkable sequence is of course the one where Quicksilver (Evans Peter) puts on some music and casually runs around the kitchen in slow motion, changing the postures of shooters and re-aligning fired bullets, all at an unreal speed.

Performances by the entire cast are sublime and Hugh Jackman truly seems to enjoy his meaty role more than his independent Wolverine series. James McAvoy and Fassbender are very impressive as the young Charles and Magneto, yet again, while we get to see very little of the costumed or disguised Jennifer Lawrence to even judge her performance. Peter Dinklage is left underutilized for his standards. Sir Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are exemplary in their characters even after years of absence as X-Men leaders. Overall, it is just sensational to witness the entire cast from both periods come together in one movie.

Bryan Singer rises above all the X-Men installments with the most humanly felt story of mutants' survival. One truly feels the desperation of the few who bravely fight the Sentinels the same way one relates to Charles' hopelessness during the Vietnam war. Mystique's anger almost seems justified in her cause while Magneto's change in approach to Trask is a true revelation of his stubborn and apathetic nature. Wolverine's anguish frequently haunts him while his determination to save the future proves his heroism. Their possession of such human elements apart from their immense powers, makes some powerful characterization in an action movie that is rare to find. The call for righteousness through tolerance and peaceful co-existence by Charles is truly symbolic of his stand in the mutant- human relationship which will always be challenged by the society that finds it hard to accept that powerful mutants live among them. Especially when one of them lifts an entire stadium just to drop it over the White House with only his mind.

- 8.639 on a scale of 1-10.

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