The franchise that refused to die has finally regained some of the respect that it has slowly lost over the last decade. Heralding the return to greatness is original series director, Bryan (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil) Singer, taking charge in the seventh X-film in the series and putting the story back on track. Though somewhat of a "transitional" movie of sorts, it accomplishes three important things (two of which have been missing since X2: X-Men United, Singer's last film in the franchise). First and foremost, it fixes any and all glaring continuity errors by using a simple comic book deus ex machina involving time travel and multiverse paradoxes. Secondly, it shows that you can have a large star-studded cast and still tell a coherent story. And third, it embraces what it is and doesn't steer clear of making risky special effect decisions. In other words, it goes full comic book movie.
The cast, as previously stated, is huge. Combining elements and actors of almost every past film, it serves as a greatest hits of sorts for both fans of the movies and comics alike. The epic film has a well-cast ensemble of favorites, including but not limited to: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Halle Berry as Storm, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Ellen Page as Shadowcat, Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask, Shawn Ashmore as Iceman, Anna Paquin as Rogue, Omar Sy as Bishop, Daniel Cudmore as Colossus, Josh Helman as William Stryker, Bingbing Fan as Blink, Adan Canto as Sunspot, Booboo Stewart as Warpath, Ian McKellan as future Magneto, Patrick Stewart as future Professor Xavier, Lucas Till as Havok, Evan Jonigket as Toad, and a few surprise guest cameos that will leave the audience with warm fuzzies and plenty of laughs. But the true strength of this impressive cast comes in the form of James McAvoy as a young (and somewhat uncharacteristically bleak) Professor Xavier, Michael Fassbender as a young (and absolutely perfectly-cast) Magneto, and newcomer Evan Peters in a scene-stealing performance as the super-fast mutant, Quicksilver.
Fixing elements that previous directors and screenwriters "broke" in past films, Singer captures the spirit of the first two films, restores legitimacy, and plants the seeds for nearly infinite number of potential sequels and spin-offs. Stay for the post-credits scene to see a glimpse for one of those future storylines. But even without setting things up, the film works as a nice breath of fresh air into an almost defunct franchise. Sony may have the rights to Spider-Man and Disney may have the rights to the rest of the Marvel Universe, but Fox has proven that the X-Men are still in good hands. It will be interesting to see if they can transfer some of the magic of this film onto the set of the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. The summer of the comic book movie blockbuster continues with a surprisingly good entry into the ranks of box office hits.