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'X-Men: Days of Future Past' is that smart blockbuster we've been waiting for

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

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For the past few years the worlds of the comics have been hitting the big screen at a stunning rate and when one of its more beloved stories gets done and done right it is a thing to behold. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is one of the more inventive reboots to a movie franchise that still keeps the spirit of the original comics while tweaking the story just enough for the big screen.

In a fight for the survival and the future of all mutant kind that spreads across two time periods, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" brings all the generations together as in the near future with mutants on the brink of extinction, the remaining members of the team send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) into the past to reunite Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in order to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) setting off a chain of events with Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) and his Sentinel program from destroying them all.

With Bryan Singer back in the lead chair helming the series once again, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" captures the genuine essence that made these stories so popular during their initial comic book run, as it deals with issues of racism, intolerance and xenophobia to a younger audience in such a way that it never talks down to them and successful instills some positive values to draw on no matter how bad the situation appears to be, while still being a fun, fantasy driven story.

The sharp screenplay from Simon Kinberg sets the stage in a rather neat and tidy fashion as we are quickly thrust into this dystopian future that sees our heroes on the run. The concept of time travel as a narrative device does allow for the occasional easy out, but it rarely takes it as we have to deal with everyone of these characters, both new and old that we are being confronted with. Singer keeps the action moving at a break neck pace, but it is never, ever at the expense of the action and while it tweaks with the original comics from a narrative standpoint, the spirit, message and the energy is always there thanks to the cast that buy into the depth and genuine complexity of this story.

Jackman is our defacto leading man as The Wolverine but he has mastered the swagger of this loner character who has become a leader with such ease that it is always fun to watch. James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart both came in with some fine work as both the yin and the yang of a Professor Xavier at odds with himself and so crucial to the success and survival of all of these characters. Michael Fassbender still carries that anger and charisma that is so crucial to the younger Magneto and Jennifer Lawrence embraces a darker side who can't see past her own hatred. Peter Dinklage is a welcome addition as the menacing scientist hell bent on creating a purity and assisting in the evolution of the human race

The film is overloaded with cameos and key characters that make small appearances as Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicolas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore and Peter Cudmore all return along with Omar Sy and Evan Peters as Quicksilver jumping in and nearly stealing the show along with a few surprises but it all works. The very nature of this highly emotional tale is supposed to be as chaotic as humanly possible as it draws us in as far as it possibly can.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is quite simply a smart piece of grand scale blockbuster storytelling that will delight the hard core fans and add even more to the ranks of the X-Men Universe. Make sure you stay until the end of the credits as well, because this is simply just the beginning.

4 out of 5 stars.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is now playing at theatres everywhere.

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