X-Men: Days Of Future Past ***1/2

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The “X-Men” film franchise was put back on track with last year’s “The Wolverine”. “Days Of Future Past” brings the series back to full prominence. Bryan Singer, who directed the first two “X-Men” movies, returns to helm this latest installment and absolutely kills it with probably the most epic superhero flick since “The Avengers”.

The plot follows the classic storyline from the comic books. We start in a post apocolyptic future where the mutant race has all but been eradicated by robots called Sentinals. They were created specifically to identify mutants and destroy them. As the film opens we are thrust in to a battle between a select group of mutants and some particularly fierce sentinals that seem to be able to absorb a mutant’s specific powers and turn the tables on them. Fans of this series will recognize Ice Man and Kitty Pryde instantly. Fan favorite Bishop is introduced here as well.

Eventually they meet up with Professor Xavier(Patrick Stewart) and the X-Men which now consist soley of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), and Magneto (Ian McKellen). They devise a plan that will send Wolverine’s future mind back in to his 1970’s self so that he can organize the X-men in the past and stop a specific event that will stop the sentinels from ever being created.

When Wolverine wakes up in 1973 he travels to the X-mansion to find Xavier (James McAvoy) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) living in isolation. Xavier has lost his power due to the side effects of a medication that has restored his ability to walk.

Once Logan convinces Xavier of the terrifying future that awaits they band together to break Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of a specially designed prison under the Pentagon. This involves the help of a mutant known as Quicksilver (Evan Peters), who has the ability to travel at supersonic speed. The effects that went in to creating the scenes with Quicksilver almost steal the whole movie. We see his point of view as he moves through time as everything slows down to a crawl.

The visual effects in this film are some of the best that this franchise has seen but they are finally used to service the story again. Entries like “The Last Stand” and “First Class” seemed to rely on CGI action and shied away from great story telling. “Days Of Future Past” is one of the iconic tales of the X-Men canon and it is told marvellously. From the screenplay to the direction and the performances, this is about as near perfect as a blockbuster can get. It is exciting and engaging at the same time.

It also masterfully combines the casts of the original films with the cast of “First Class” and creates a bridge that can lead in to a reboot of the series. Normally I am against reboots, remakes and reimagining’s but this one does it brilliantly because it is technically a continuation. And the tease at the end tells me it is going to continue towards a place I have truly longed for with this franchise.

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