No Memorial Day weekend would be complete without a major summer blockbuster rolling into theatres, usually with a plot designed to attract the young male demographic. This year’s offering is the science fiction sequel “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” begins years into the future, circa 2023. Like most futuristic sci-fi movies, the future is a very grim and unappealing place. In it, machines called “sentinels” are hunting and killing mutants. The sentinel program got started in the early 1970s by anti-mutant extremist Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage). After his assassination by Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence), the sentinel program got started as hatred for mutants increased. Professor Charles Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart) and his former rival, Erik (played by Ian McKellen), devise a plan to send someone to 1973 to find Mystique and stop her from killing Trask. Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) volunteers for the job. To do this, he must get help from Charles and Erik as younger men (played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender), which is difficult for them since they were enemies at the time.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” has a story that is similar to the early “Terminator” films. The plot is very complex and like the other “X-Men” movies, it has lots breathtaking action scenes and many unique characters, always arrayed in stunning make-up and costumes.
Hugh Jackman is, as always, excellent as Wolverine. He is tough, fearless mutant who does everything he can to save the future. James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart both do great jobs showing Charles at different stages of his life. McAvoy shows him as a loser and drug addict. Stewart shows him having matured into a seasoned, wise leader. Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen are both strong as the young and old Erik. Another good performance is by Nicholas Hoult, who plays Beast, a ferociously strong and agile mutant who helps the younger Charles.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a very impressive sci-fi film and good escapist fodder for a three day weekend.