"X-Men: Days of Future Past" Review

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is one of the better super hero films of the summer. Drawing on story plots from “T2: Judgement Day”, “The Matrix”, and “The Wizard of Oz” director Brian Singer leads his troops into a film we’ve seen before but it just happens to be our favorite mutants banding together to get the job done this time. I’m no fanboy but I was definitely entertained!

The film starts in a dystopian future in which mutants are being wiped out by sentinels. After years of being on the run, and down to only a handful still standing, the X-men have one last hope of survival. By sending Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) into the past to stop the assassination of Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) at the hands of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) they believe the sentinels would never be created. The trick is, Wolverine has to convince a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X (James McAvoy) to work together to accomplish the task. 

This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and knows that it has history and a future with its’ characters. One of the funniest moments in the film is  when Quicksilver (Evan Peters) disarms a group of guards in the Pentagon. The slow motion sequence produced laughter and a round of applause from the audience I saw it with. Some may argue that the climactic ending is the slowest part of the movie, but watching Magneto rip RFK stadium apart and finding out what he was using it for was a stroke of genius I didn’t see coming! 

The film also pokes at history with answers to why JFK was assassinated and by whom, and how Trask was funded after rejection from the US government. It also takes a humorous approach to Wolverine meeting up with younger versions of good friends and old rivals. The banter and slightly inside nods should be good for the fanboys and girls out there.

The leads in the film are on top of their game in Fassbender and Ian McKellan’s Magneto, Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, Jackman’s Wolverine, and Dinklage as Trask. Everyone else brings their acting tools but don’t quite build the same gravity in their roles. Who cares? As long as we see cool special effects, a good story, and action, it’s all good right?

Time travel is always hard to do in movies, but when done really well it can be amazing. The writers ask you to overlook a few plot holes here, and it’s not too hard to do for the sake of the story. The end feels a little like “Toy Story 3” with a subliminal curtain call for the cast.  (I’m not saying it’s lights out on any of the characters, but you’ll understand when you see the film.) The biggest thing about this film, without giving spoilers, is that it creates a clean slate for the X-Men portion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After this movie, writers can go anywhere with any story, be it First Class or the cast from the original films. Let’s just hope the blank canvas allows room for even better storytelling!

Rating: B

Note: Don’t see it in 3-D. It’s absolutely unnecessary and adds nothing to the story. Stick around to the very end for an easter egg.

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.