Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and although I did enjoy that flick, was it really the greatest thing I'd ever laid my geeky eyes on? Not quite! What about this latest X-Men instalment then? How does it stack up?
Including 'Days of Future Past' there have now been seven titles in the X-universe, and without a doubt this is right at the top along with 'X2', and 'First Class'. Consider this almost a "greatest hits" of the film franchise so far because there are callbacks to nearly every movie, and the elements that worked so well within each one of those individual films are thrown together here, and it all works spectacularly well. Even with it still fresh in my mind I'm not entirely sure how it was all pulled off, and executed so flawlessly especially considering the ambitious nature of the story, and structure.
The story begins in a "not too distant future" where mutant-exterminating Sentinel robots have nearly wiped them all out the world over, as well as rounding up and eliminating humans who have in any way aided mutants along the way. It's a bleak, and dangerous time to be alive, and the few remaining X-Men are constantly on the run, trying to figure out a way to not only combat this seemingly unstoppable genocide but to simply live another day. While hiding out in a mountain-top Chinese monastery, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) devises a wild plan to send Wolverine back in time to 1973 to stop the Sentinel program before it ever gets off the ground. In order to accomplish this, it's up to Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to use her powers to send Logan's consciousness, not his body, back in time to the physical form of Logan in 1973. I'm not kidding, it's difficult to write this without sounding utterly ridiculous, and it's to the movie's strengths that it's all pulled off not just cohesively but with barely any confusion along the way! Logan meets up with the younger versions of Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy), and Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) that we met in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men First Class, and together they aim to stop the events that will lead to the destruction of the future.
What I enjoyed so much about 'First Class' is on display here yet again, and that begins with McAvoy, and Fassbender. They are just so good in their respective roles, they have tremendous chemistry together, and their acting chops really elevate not only the other cast members around them but the movie as a whole. It's also great to once again delve into another fun time period--the early 60's in 'First Class', and here moving forward another decade to the early '70's. Director Bryan Singer deserves a whole lot of credit for re-creating this unique period in time in a very genuine way, without beating you over the head that "Hey it's the 70's! Funky clothes! Old cars! Richard Nixon!". Actually, Richard Nixon is portrayed here, and oddly convincingly, too! It's nice to see Singer jumping back into this franchise that he began all those years ago, and his action-directing skills have been seriously honed and amplified over the years, culminating in some set-pieces that rank among the best in the series. The character that I was most reticent about, based on all the promo materials before hand, was Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and I can tell you now that he steals every single scene that he is in. Don't let his somewhat goofy appearance fool you, his mutant powers are extremely badass which you see on full display in one very memorable, and humourous sequence--it got the biggest reaction out of the packed audience.
Let's be honest here though, if you've seen the other X-Men movies, and are a fan of comic book movies in general, you've already made up your mind as to whether or not you're going to purchase your ticket. I'll say that it's a very worthy purchase, and I'm even considering checking it out in theatres again! And yes, you should stay through until the end of the credits because there's a pretty intriguing tease of what's to come next in this universe, and based on the brief sequence, I am pumped for what's in store. Is 'Days of Future Past' the best X-Men film to date? I can't say for sure yet, I'll need more time to mull it over, and I'll definitely need to see it again but it has the potential to be my favourite once the dust settles. *Snikt!* It's a Good, bub.