"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is a truly epic action-adventure movie that brilliantly mixes the original movie's cast, which includes Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, with the younger crew from 2011's "X-Men: First Class," including Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies, returns to the franchise to direct "Days of Future Past." Produced with a colossal budget of $225 million, the movie is captivating from start to finish.
"Days of Future Past" opens in the year 2023, and the mutant population has been virtually decimated by robotic fighters called Sentinels. To save the future, the remaining mutants decide to transport Wolverine 50 years into the past to alter the course of events that led to the creation of the Sentinels.
Here are five fascinating tidbits to think about and look out for in "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
Director Bryan Singer reportedly based the movie's time travel on string theory, which allows for multiple universes and parallel action. The time travel story arc is employed to reconcile certain plot conflicts in the film series, but it also provides for interesting potential twists.
In "Days of Future Past," if Wolverine successfully completes his mission, then the future devastation of the mutants by the Sentinels would never happen. However, along those lines, the events in some of the other X-Men films would also be undone, leaving potential new avenues for future films to explore.
The best part about including the element of time travel is that the amazing cast of the original films can appear in the same movie as the equally amazing cast from "X-Men: First Class." One remarkable scene in "Days of Future Past" includes a cleverly crafted interaction between the young and old Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart respectively.
The best scene in "Days of Future Past" occurs when Wolverine and Charles Xavier attempt to break young Magneto out of prison. To keep Magneto from using his metal-manipulation, he was imprisoned in a metal-free bunker 100 stories below the Pentagon. To free him, Quicksilver, who is portrayed brilliantly by Evan Peters, rearranges bullets. Shot in slow motion, the scene is visually amazing as well as very funny.
Setting the past portion of the movie in the early 1970s means that viewers have to endure that era's cringe-worthy fashion (Wolverine's muttonchops fit right in), but it also allows for the inclusion of some interesting historical details.
Young Magneto is involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy. The time travelers upset various historical events, including the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. President Nixon, who is played by Mark Camacho, meets with Bolivar Trask, played by Peter Dinklage of "Game of Thrones" fame, at the White House to discuss buying a fleet of Sentinel robots. Mystique even makes a trip to Vietnam.
Outstanding Cast of Award-Winning Actors
The acting in the movie is phenomenal, which is a rarity for comic-based action films. The cast includes three Academy Award winners (Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and Anna Paquin) and four additional Oscar nominees (Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen and Ellen Page). Nearly all of the principle cast members have either won or been nominated for Golden Globe awards.
The Original X-Men Comic
The story of "Days of Future Past" is based on a 1981 two-issue special of the X-Men comic series written by Chris Claremont. "Days of Future Past" is the fourth X-Men movie to be based on one of Claremont's stories. "X-Men 2," "X-Men: The Last Stand," and "The Wolverine" were also based on Claremont's work. Claremont served as a consultant on "Days of Future Past" and makes a cameo in the film on the sidelines of a fight scene.
The major difference between the comic and movie versions of the story is that in the comic it was not Wolverine who travelled back in time but Kitty Pryde. The switch from Kitty to Wolverine is reportedly based on a few key elements. First, Wolverine does not age and therefore would look the same in both the future and the past. Another reason is that Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is more of a fan favorite and box office draw than Ellen Page's Kitty.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is a wonderful mash-up of two remarkable casts, which is made possible by the inclusion a time travel element. The risky plot device works wonderfully in this film. The story is complex and satisfying. The acting is outstanding. The film is action-packed and visually stunning. Overall, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is cinematic brilliance.