Joseph Austin reviews the latest outing from the X-Men.
Move over Avengers and step aside Spider-Man, because the X-Men are back and in full force.
Returning to the franchise he began back in 2000, Bryan Singer delivers the series’ most ambitious yet, most confident, X-Men movie to date.
Featuring the casts of both the original trilogy and the hugely successful prequel X-Men: First Class, this is a time-travel tale based on the 1981 comic of the same name.
It opens to Terminator-like ruins of a bleak dystopian future, as both mutants and humans are hunted by power-absorbing robot Sentinels.
Along with some new faces, Patrick Stewart’s familiar Professor Xavier and Ian McKellen’s recognisable Magneto devise a plan to prevent this apocalyptic future from ever happening.
And, of course, there’s the man charged with saving the world – Wolverine.
Days of Future Past marks Hugh Jackman’s seventh outing as the cigar-smoking, claw-wielding, leather jacket wearing vagabond.
The series’ over-reliance on the character, as well the unforgivable abomination that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, made Logan rather stale and uninteresting.
But Singer keeps things fresh, as the impatient Wolverine must travel back in time to bring together a younger, and much hairier, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), and an incredibly dangerous and dogmatic Magneto (Michael Fassbender).
Their mission – to stop Jennifer Lawrence’s elegantly sinister Mystique from assassinating the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask, played by Game of Thrones’ excellent Peter Dinklage.
Yet despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the X-Men’s imminent apocalypse, Days of Future Past is incredibly fun.
Just ask Evan Peters’ Quicksilver.
Topping Nightcrawler’s stunning opening scene antics at the White House in X2, this speed-freak’s playful prison break is as visually spectacular as it is acceptingly hysterical.
The film’s serious tones are anchored by the performances of the original trilogy’s cast.
However, it’s First Class’ line-up that really come to the fore here.
McAvoy’s deeply troubled and hopeless Xavier is by far the most intriguing of the fledging band of mutants, whereas Fassbender wields Magneto with such menacing confidence that moving an entire baseball stadium from one place to another is terrifyingly no biggie.
Days of Future Past seems so aware of the franchise’s previous failures that as each glorious minute ticks by, X-Men: The Last Stand and that awful Wolverine film are all but vague repressed memories floating in the deep recesses of your mind.
Not only is X-Men: Days of Future Past a wonderful comic book adaptation, it may also claim to be the finest comic book movie since The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and the most enjoyable X-Men film to date.