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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
James McAvoy
Michael Fassbender
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen
Jennifer Lawrence
Hugh Jackman
Shawn Ashmore
Anna Paquin
Ellen Page
Nicholas Hoult.
Directors
Bryan Singer.
Screenwriters
Simon Kinberg.
Running Time
131 minutes

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past
That ‘70s showdown


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Plot
In the year 2023, the weather is really, really bad and killer robots have hunted mutants to the point of extinction. Desperate, the X-Men zap Wolverine’s (Jackman) mind into his 1973 body. Can he change the course of history?


Review
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
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X-Men: Days Of Future Past is a movie about the slippery paradoxes and mutable mechanics of time travel. Or, as James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier winningly puts it: “Future-shite.” Although the storyline was conceived back in the early ’80s for a two-issue run of the Uncanny X-Men comic book, it feels like it was dreamed up especially to solve the problem Fox faced after 2011’s X-Men: First Class: what to do with a franchise that’s been split into two timelines, with two sprawling casts? The answer, clearly, is to put all of it in a big pot and stir. Hence this vast-scaled, decades-leaping blockbuster, which throws in everything up to and including the kitchen sink. Plus the sleeker, leather-jumpsuit-clad kitchen sink of the future.

Marshalling it all is Bryan Singer, who seems to have himself jumped back in time. Whether he’s been recharged by his decade away from the series, or by the prospect of eradicating some of the dodgier plot-turns made by Brett Ratner’s The Last Stand — a movie that could now be retitled The Not Massively Relevant Stand — this is easily the most on-form and playful he’s been since X-Men 2.

Remember the magnificent, bamf-happy Nightcrawler sequence that opened that movie? Wait until you see the mutant melee that kicks off this one. Pitting new heroes, the flashiest of which is Fan Bingbing’s Blink (special ability: being able to play Portal in real life), against a teeming mass of unstoppable Sentinel robots (essentially a cross between the T-1000 and Louis Smith), it’s a thunderous succession of nifty action beats. And that’s just an amuse-bouche. Just as slick and inventive is Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) escape from a plastic Pentagon prison — one-upping a similar sequence from X2 — and a series of moments involving everyone’s favourite nudie aqua-skinned shapeshifter, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).

Jumping between the future (light source: apocalyptic lightning) and the past (light source: lava lamp), the plot teeters on the edge of becoming exhaustingly knotty. Fortunately, the story distracts from any temporal muddles by zeroing in on three of the most charismatic characters in the X-universe: Wolverine, plus the younger iterations of Xavier and Magneto.

Charged with stopping Mystique from assassinating diminutive weapons-maker Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) — a deed which will result in global extinction — Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is hampered by obstacles: his claws are no longer metal, Magneto’s being his usual bastard self, and his serene mentor Charles is now a thirtysomething depressive who won’t get out of his dressing gown. In fact, the largest throughline of the film is dedicated to the latter (who doesn’t seem to have yet thought up his snappy mutant monicker Professor X) attempting to get his mind-mojo back. Given all that, and the catastrophic peril that hovers over proceedings, there’s a high potential for angst. But Simon Kinberg’s script keeps things breezy; there are quips, in-jokes, Terminator references and, one of the high-points, a callback to the F-bomb dropped in First Class.

Following in the footsteps of Matthew Vaughn, who gets a story credit here, Singer has a blast going period. Richard Nixon is glimpsed on the cover of a National Lampoon magazine well before he becomes a key player in the climactic set-piece. The film deploys Zapruder-y handheld footage to jitter up a tense sequence in Paris. And while First Class tied the mutants’ exploits in with US milestones like the Cuban Missile Crisis, Days Of Future Past gleefully rewrites the history books on a massive scale. Most notably by redecorating the White House lawn with the RFK Stadium.

With so much going on, and such a ferocious pace, several parts of the story feel undernourished. There’s not nearly enough Ian McKellen. And it would be nice to learn more about villain supreme Trask. What is his motivation? With him so physically different, why would he choose to persecute others who are different themselves? And when the hell does he turn into Bill Duke, as seen in Last Stand?

But what we do get here is largely fantastic, not only re-energising old-favourite characters (and after his two spin-offs, Wolverine was in dire need of that) but introducing intriguing new ones. Most surprising is the fact that the super-speedy Quicksilver (Evan Peters), whose Ramona Flowers-y appearance did not inspire much confidence in marketing materials, turns out to be the coolest thing in the film. The sequence in which he leisurely takes out a squad of lawmen while stopping to taste soup makes Nightcrawler, in the words of Blackadder, look like an asthmatic ant with heavy shopping.


Verdict
The best X-Men film since the second one, this sequel/prequel/reboot trashes the ’70s with élan. Some of the massive cast struggle to register (there’s only a brief Storm), but what’s here is all good. We want X-Men: Apocalypse, now.


Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Empire Star Rating

RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Hmmm - disappointed by this, overall I just found it a bit dull, no real suspense generated and it just sorted of plodded towards the end, a lot of the actors were either given too little to do or didn't seem that interested to be there - Dinklage in particular was wasted. Not to excited about Apocalypse after seeing this. ... More

Posted by Indio at 22:14, 14 March 2015 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Please see my earlier post (recent). Professor X is alive in the 'future' timeline created by the introduction of the sentinels into the original timeline in the 1970s (remember that they're not in any of the X-men movies set in the present). Their interference with the timeline means that all X-men movies set after 'First Class' are now in a separate timeline. So Professor X is therefore alive in the 'future' time of DOFP. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Belisarius0365 at 16:50, 14 November 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men Days of Future Past

I must watch it again, 'cos I don't recall the 'robotic hot fembot', but I can see where you're coming from. I'm not a huge X-men fan, I prefer it as a homage to the Sean Connery Bond movies. As a comic book movie, I still think it's way above average for that genre, though, and much better than any of the ones set in modern times. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Belisarius0365 at 16:39, 14 November 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men Days of Future Past

L: Belisarius0365 It's a Ret-Con disguised as a time travel paradox movie. There's no way of reconciling the events that take place in the 1970s in DOFP with the timeline of the original X-men movies, and as a long time fan of 'timey-wimey' stuff, I have tried hard to make sense of it all (the best explanation I could come up with is that Trask is a time-travelling shapeshifter who went back to the 1970s after the events of X3). The most obvious difference between the timeline of DOFP ... More

Posted by superdan at 21:49, 13 November 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men Days of Future Past

It's a Ret-Con disguised as a time travel paradox movie. There's no way of reconciling the events that take place in the 1970s in DOFP with the timeline of the original X-men movies, and as a long time fan of 'timey-wimey' stuff, I have tried hard to make sense of it all (the best explanation I could come up with is that Trask is a time-travelling shapeshifter who went back to the 1970s after the events of X3). The most obvious difference between the timeline of DOFP and the original X-movies i... More

Posted by Belisarius0365 at 13:29, 13 November 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Welcome back Bryan Singer!

I'm going to give the movie 3 stars. First class is somewhat the better movie in my opinion. I'm not sure what it is about the movie that didn't quite hit the mark but there was just that something that didn't quite appeal to me about the movie I found it a little tired to be honest and got a little bored by it all; I think the reviews of the film are too positive. ... More

Posted by Willy Wood at 19:19, 22 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men Days of Future Past

My guess is that this movie explains the changes on earlier stories... such as Professor X still being alive. It might be a reboot movie of sorts. its quotable quotesh, they're not bad. But the focus is after all really on the "early days" characters. ... More

Posted by Imperion at 16:31, 16 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men Days of Future Past

I really enjoyed this film. My biggest concern leading into it was that all the time travel "future shite" would tangle the plot up in knots - so many films and TV shows fall apart when they attempt time travel stories - but Singer et al nailed it by setting out their simple time travel rules and sticking to them. Admittedly, they don't explain ]the time travel works, but that's irrelevant - all we need to know is that it does. It was great to see the Stewart / McKellen partnership on scre... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FoximusPrime at 11:16, 16 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

L: Pandora I enjoyed the movie and was relieved that the time travelling worked quite well. The only thing that did not convice me completely was Mystique's role. Her motivation remains a bit vague and her actions didn't always make sense to me - but hey, she's the McGuffin, so who cares? Someone mentioned the plot borrowed a lot from the Matrix but what about The Terminator?? There are some parallels there... Apocalyptic future, going back in time to alter the past so something spec... More

Posted by primebhoy at 11:44, 05 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

L: Darth Marenghi L: Pandora Someone mentioned the plot borrowed a lot from the Matrix but what about The Terminator?? There are some parallels there... Apocalyptic future, going back in time to alter the past so something specific is not invented... eeing as Future Past blished three years before minatorrrowing took place. point, I didn't know that. That changes things then, so no borrowing from The Matrix either. ... More

Posted by Pandora at 09:13, 05 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

L: Pandora Someone mentioned the plot borrowed a lot from the Matrix but what about The Terminator?? There are some parallels there... Apocalyptic future, going back in time to alter the past so something specific is not invented... eeing as Future Past blished three years before minatorrrowing took place. ... More

Posted by Darth Marenghi at 00:29, 05 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Overall I enjoyed this probably best not to think too hard about some of the plot points but it's a return to form for a series where the mediocre films were starting to outnumber the good ones. While I'm happy to ignore most of the plot holes for the sake of a good story, can someone explain how Professer X is still alive at the beginning? I know there was the mind transfer thingy after the credits in X3, but why is he still Paddy Stewart? If the answer is they were hoping nobody rea... More

Posted by blackduck at 13:27, 04 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

I enjoyed the movie and was relieved that the time travelling worked quite well. The only thing that did not convice me completely was Mystique's role. Her motivation remains a bit vague and her actions didn't always make sense to me - but hey, she's the McGuffin, so who cares? Someone mentioned the plot borrowed a lot from the Matrix but what about The Terminator?? There are some parallels there... Apocalyptic future, going back in time to alter the past so something specific is not inven... More

Posted by Pandora at 10:46, 04 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Not much to add really, other than to agree with most in saying that X-Men:DOFP is really great. I actually enjoyed it more than Winter Soldier, which I thought was very good. Thing is, I can imagine returning to Winter Soldier and finding flaws/getting bored, whereas I dont think that'll be the case with this. It's really well structured and when my missus says 'I understood what was going on', you know the director has done well to keep the time travel structure pretty well explained and pres... More

Posted by porntrooper at 08:04, 04 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Saw this again last night and my opinion hasn't changed - such a good film and came out with a massive smile on my mush. BUT it did dawn on me last night - how the hell did this film get a 12 certificate?! I thought The Dark Knight pushed the boundaries of what can be in a 12, but the language (lly guage) and violence in the film is more than I've ever seen before in a 12 and I gotta say; not sure i'd want my 12 year old to see it!! ... More

Posted by waltham1979 at 14:52, 03 June 2014 | Report This Post


RE: i call some full bullshit

Enjoyed it, a solid 3-4 stars but like the rest of the X-men films it never truly takes off and excites, it does have its moments (quicksilver, Magneto stadium) but they are far too rare in this franchise, when u consider the money thrown at them. Again some of the cast are given nothing and left by the wayside and it slows down considerably in the middle so it will be interesting to see how it plays on multiple viewings, but the main cast again are all top notch, Mcavoy and Fassbender ar... More

Posted by Dirk Miggler at 16:13, 30 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: i call some full bullshit

Consider that Bolivar Trask is a time-travelling, shape shifting alien, who starts interfering with the timeline shortly after the events of 'First Class', and stop cursing so f**king much! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Belisarius0365 at 13:48, 30 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: The best since X2?...oh dear

have just seen this, really enjoyed it, 3-4 stars (probably 4 when I watch it again). I still don't really 'get' x-men the way some people do, it was the excellent cast and the good story that kept me watching. I know most people don't get how Prof X is alive again in the future timeline, quite frankly neither do I, but here's something to chew on: it's universally accepted that even if time travel were possible, it would NOT be possible to deliberately travel back in time to change an event, a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Belisarius0365 at 22:52, 29 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

I'm seeing this at the weekend..... Should I watch in 3D or is this another bad conversion to 3D and 2D will be just as good...... ... More

Posted by Antcav at 12:17, 29 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Saw it on Saturday, fantastic film, probably the best one for me, go see it if you haven't already, ignore the haters and make your own mind up on it. The films are now in this order IMO. 1: X-Men Days of Future Past 2: X-Men 2 3: X-Men 4: X-Men First Class 5: X-Men 3 The Last Stand ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Chis at 14:58, 27 May 2014 | Report This Post


Singer returns in style

Okay, I'm gonna be geeking out big-time here, but remember it's just my opinion... Wow. Now I've only read a couple of X-Men comics, so I'm not really a 'hardcore' fan, I guess you could say. However, I do love Bryan Singer's X-movies (especially the second one), so I was very, very excited for this film; even more so than for the upcoming new Star Wars episodes. However, as with any film that I greatly anticipate, I tried to ground my expectations a little. I mean, what movie lives ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr Gittes at 11:52, 27 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Very disappointing

Better then Singer's dull two other X-Men films, and perhaps on a par with X-Men 3 n the end still nothing special. The above poster mentioned The Matrix and frankly there's little that's original, while the action is mediocre and not plentiful enough. Enjoyable enough, and easy to follow, but somewhat tired. 6.5/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 20:56, 26 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

I saw it yesterday and really enjoyed it. I chose to ignore any nitpicks with continuity. I think the fact that a comprehensible plot and solid film came out of this is the biggest achievement with such a large cast and six previous movies history to take into account when many of them are loosely linked. In closing I'm calling Apocalypse now - Next film will take place in 70's/80's and feature the new cast as well as 70's/80's Wolverine. He will be recruited as Death and given his Adamant... More

Posted by Chojin at 10:49, 26 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

L: Vadersville L: Rgirvan44 L: Vadersville L: Rgirvan44 L: demoncleaner Really liked it. I would give it the same I give all X-Men movies...4/5 I'm not into this so i do have a question... ***SPOILER**** Professor X asks Logan what's the last thing he remembers. He says drowning. We see Stryker lift him from the river bed. I think there's a voiceover with Hank saying something about the immutability of time as a river. (Something's can't ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 00:55, 26 May 2014 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

L: Rgirvan44 L: Vadersville L: Rgirvan44 L: demoncleaner Really liked it. I would give it the same I give all X-Men movies...4/5 I'm not into this so i do have a question... ***SPOILER**** Professor X asks Logan what's the last thing he remembers. He says drowning. We see Stryker lift him from the river bed. I think there's a voiceover with Hank saying something about the immutability of time as a river. (Something's can't be changed). Which I tho... More

Posted by Vadersville at 21:12, 25 May 2014 | Report This Post


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