REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past

The WSF boys are getting together for a creative meeting tonight and that's a big deal, but it really doesn't help fill the Notes column until after the meeting. So, why I don't give you some thoughts on the latest X-Men film, Days of Future Past.


So everybody just cool your jets on that one. It is, however, the second best and that's pretty darn good considering everything Bryan Singer and his writers were up against. X2 was obviously the top of this franchise. X2 is a lean, mean and nearly perfect bit of superhero storytelling; easily in the top three of all time, if not #1. It has balance, it has pace, it has the most genuine emotion I've seen from the genre, and it doesn't have to navigate through four films worth of garbage continuity in order to right the ship. X2 had one objective; to tell the best story it possibly could. Days of Future Past is juggling two casts, multiple timelines, and accounting for the sins of other movies that Singer had no part of. What they managed to accomplish with this film was no less impressive and was possibly more difficult than what Whedon had to contend with on The Avengers.


If there is one thing that Bryan Singer continues to do better than anyone else, it is how to interpret superpowers on the big screen. X2, Days of Future Past, and even Superman Returns have one huge set piece that almost define the films they're in. Nightcrawler's infiltration of and attack on the White House in X2 made my cranium explode and really opened our eyes as to what was possible. For Days of Future Past, it was Quicksilver in the kitchen. The creativity of these scenes, the visuals involved, the way he chooses to shoot them... I'm not sure to what degree Singer himself is responsible for this or the other members of his team, but the captain gets the credit and clearly his films continue to deliver the awe-inspiring moments. Continuing on that note...


He delivered the best scene in the movie, some of the funniest moments, and the character was just likable. Which is funny, because the Quicksilver of comics has always been one of the most consistently cranky and unlikable characters in the Marvel U. The big story here is the fallout this has on Marvel's decision to include a Quicksilver of their own in Avengers 2. If I'm Joss Whedon or Aaron Taylor-Johnson, I walk out of Days of Future Past thinking, "Well, craaaaaap." Fox's Quicksilver was first and he was really good. Even worse is the beauty and fun of that scene in the kitchen. You can't top it. It's a uniquely tough challenge that the Marvel gang has made for themselves.


Fassbender has gravity on screen. He makes everything feel real. A star among stars. You can't help but watch everything he does. Part of me wishes old Magneto had never existed, just so we could get more of the young version. (Also so he never ends up in that fancy half-cape and space-age helmet from the first two X films.)


It was nice to see James Marsden / Cyclops back in the fold. Not so much, furry Kelsey Grammer. Can we please erase X-Men: The Last Stand from our collective consciousness now? Ugh, what a waste. That third movie should have been Singer's mutant masterpiece. Instead, he leaves to make a much maligned Superman movie and we got stuck with flipping Brett Ratner.  Brett Ratner?!