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Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

No X-Men movie should ever be made again with director Bryan Singer at the helm.  Singer directed the first two installments of the X-Men movies and then left to direct his failed Superman reboot.  Singer is a great filmmaker (although Superman Returns was a critical and commercial flop, I still enjoyed it), and he knows how to make an X-Men movie.

Singer’s departure brought us the worst installment, X-Men: The Last Stand, directed by the terrible Brett Ratner.  We also were treated two Wolverine: Origins – in my opinion, the worst X-Men film to date – and X-Men: First Class, a strong reboot (at least I thought it was a reboot at the time) of the franchise that featured many of the X-Men from the previous films played by younger actors.  It seemed that the future of the X-Men franchise was headed towards more films with the young actors and possible spin-off films.  That is, until X-Men: Days of Future Past brilliantly brought everything together in possibly the best X-Men film to date.

Future Past begins in a future that has been obliterated by sentinels (giant robots originally designed to kill all mutants, but eventually targeting humans as well).  They track origin of this dark future to the assassination of a scientist and sentinel program founder by shape-shifting mutant Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games).  Wolverine (again played perfectly by Hugh Jackman) volunteers to go back in time and try to stop the assassination, hopefully resulting in a bright future.  He is sent back in time to the 1960s and spends the rest of the movie with the younger incarnation of characters, played by the cast of First Class.

What makes this movie so brilliant is the crowd-pleasing way that it takes the story and cast of First Class and merges it perfectly with the older cast.  We get the best of both worlds, and the future of the franchise could pretty much go anywhere from here.

This is not a perfect film, but what is?  The story is lacking in action (Wolverine doesn’t ever show rage, and doesn’t do much action-wise), but while past installments have leaned on action as a crutch, this X-Men uses plot, story, and character-development to keep the audience engaged.  There are also some continuity issues that aren’t explained.

Bryan Singer tried to make a living without X-Men, and the result was Jack the Giant Slayer.  He needs the X-Men Franchise, and the X-Men franchise needs him.  Here’s hoping he comes back again, and again, and again.

Grade: A-

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