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‘X-Men’ an engaging tale of past and future

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

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After an eleven year absence, Director Bryan Singer returns to the helm of the Marvel franchise he originated for the third time with “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The series has shown amazing staying power with both large cast team sequels and spinoffs focusing on individual members in spite of its string of subpar movies. The previous outing, “X-Men: First Class,” gave us an early origins picture that finally got it right. This latest entry continues that momentum.

Singer reunites with some older faces and works with others for the first time as this time travel story encompasses characters from all the previous films. Veterans Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan as Professor X and Magneto share the movie with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the younger versions of themselves. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) is called upon to use her powers to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973. He’s the only one physically able to withstand the trip that will hopefully stop an army of nearly indestructible transformative robots from wiping out mutants in the future.

There’s some initial fun with Wolverine appearing as a ‘70’s era bad dude ladies’ man making short work of some very period heavies. He then must convince young Professor X and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) of his time traveling mission and set out to find an arms manufacturer named Dr. Trask (rearrange the letters and curiously get Stark) before Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) gets to him. Peter Dinklage as Trask makes a perfect looking ‘70’s scoundrel with his moustache, large shaded glasses and wide lapels. His proposed robots seem well intentioned, but there’s something not wholly trustworthy about him.

Though there is plenty of action, the focus here is on the story and it’s a pretty good one. It does go a bit wide of its mark however when it eye rollingly implicates Magneto in the Kennedy assassination. The tone is otherwise appropriately serious with ample humor such as Quicksilver (Evan Peters) hilariously taking out a room full of armed security guys. The action sequences are evenly spaced throughout as the story calls for them rather than leading to an all too expected climactic over-the-top battle. Fans will be thrilled and non-fans will be very pleasantly surprised.

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