After witnessing X-Men: Days of Future Past, there is no question we have seen the best movie we will see all summer. The issue now for Movie Fanatic is where it ranks on the scale of all-time summer movies!
The film brilliantly brings together the worlds of X-Men old and new. And by old, we mean simply the ones that arrived when you watch X-Men online -- Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Ian McKellen as Magneto, Halle Berry as Storm and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
And by new, we mean the cast of the most recent X-Men movie that showed us how they all came together, X-Men: First Class. Michael Fassbender is Magneto, James McAvoy plays Professor X and Jennifer Lawrence stars as Mystique.
X-Men: Days of Future Past begins in the future and it is a dismal one. Sentinels -- machines built for only one purpose and that is to destroy mutants -- have in fact decimated everything, humans and mutants.
A handful of survivors remains, including Stewart’s Xavier, McKellen’s Magneto, Jackman’s Wolverine and Ellen Page’s Kitty Pryde.
Stewart and McKellen have an idea -- send someone back to 1973 when Dr. Bolivar Trask introduced his Sentinels to the world. See, Mystique killed him when she learned what he was doing. It had the opposite effect. It showed the world that these Sentinels were needed more than ever. If the mutants in the future can stop Mystique, they can prevent this war before it ever starts. So, who to send back?
Only one person can survive the trip and recover, and only one person does not age so they would be the same in the future as in 1973 -- Wolverine.
X-Men: Days of Future Past shifts back and forth between the '70s and the post-apocalyptic world where Pryde has Wolverine literally in her hands in physical form as his mind is in his younger body. The Sentinels are coming for our futuristic heroes, we just don’t know when. That adds a layer of suspense to the Simon Kinberg script and Bryan Singer’s direction.
Meanwhile, Wolverine has the toughest of challenges and that is to get Professor X and Magneto together and on the same page if they are going to stop Mystique and prevent a future that is nothing but death and destruction. Watch X-Men: First Class online if you don't remember how that ended and to see what a challenge it will be for Wolverine to get these two old friends together.
Jackman has priceless chemistry with both worlds. We know he kills it with the older cast, and to see him intermingle with McAvoy, Fassbender and especially Nicholas Hoult’s Beast is pure joy. And McAvoy and Fassbender show what a stroke of brilliance it was for X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn to cast them in roles that the older and most esteemed actors made famous.
McAvoy, in particular, shows depths of emotions in X-Men: Days of Future Past that are nothing short of miraculous. Much of the success of the plan within the film and even the movie itself lies on his shoulders. Without him, neither works, and thanks to him, both are strokes of genius.
As seen in the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer, in order for Fassbender’s Magneto to help this effort, he must first be broken out of his subterranean jail cell in the Pentagon. Wolverine “knows a guy,” and what a guy he is -- Evan Peters’ Quicksilver.
Peters is an uncanny choice to play Quicksilver. He takes to the character with such joy that the audience basks in his glow throughout the all-too-short time he’s in the film. And that “prison break” sequence, it may be the best moment on film you will see all year -- think X-Men’s greatest action, Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle and a director at the height of his game combining in one breathless stroke of brilliance.
The key to this entire future we're trying to avoid is Mystique. To say that Oscar winner Lawrence is up for the task should hardly be a surprise. She kicks butt like crazy, but there's an emotional relevance to her performance that is simply sublime.
Our X-Men: Days of Future Past review has to go all out with the praise on this one. It is epic, extraordinary, entertaining, enlightening -- we could go on and on with many more descriptive words.
It is the summer movie we have been waiting for since The Avengers, and now that it’s here, all other summer movies that come after it have firmly been put on notice.