With multiple timelines, new characters, and themes to shake anyone to their very core X-Men: Days of Future Past might very well be the superhero film to keep critics pleased. After he success of First Class for both fans and critics alike, there was a lot of pressure for Bryan Singer to return to his roots and direct this new mutant filled sequel. But the film does not land flat like other action films and this movie truly does live up to the hype. These are not the superheroes we think of but instead they seem to teeter along the tightrope of hero and villain as if they landed in the pages of Alan Moore’s Watchmen.
One of the most captivating aspects of the film was the great set design and overall hypnotic cinematography that encompassed the emotion of every scene. A stand out look was the use of the Chinese temple that Professor X and the rest of the X-Men stay at in their dark future. Here it stands as a beautifully dark beacon of hope, which was a wonderful way to gear the audience up for what is soon to come. Singer is able to send out a tone that creeps into the viewers conscious. But this is not to say that the acting does not play an important role in this film. The overall acting done by the cast was a huge plus in the film as this might have been one of the more emotionally charged superhero films seen for sometime.
When discussing emotional content it is hard to not mention the character of Mystique, who has gone through a lot of changes since First Class. Mystique truly embodies one of the major themes of the story here, change. Like her mentor Magneto, she has seen the world through dark and cynical eyes and now struggles to change her ways. This isn’t about stopping evil or pure survival; this is about development of one’s character whether it is for the best or worse. And Mystique is sure the trapeze artist that fans will go to see walk that fine line between friend and foe.
With amazing action sequences and great identifiable characters it might seem as if this movie has it all. A major note here is a slow-motion action sequence done with the new “Quicksilver” character. The humorous and well-shot scene shows Singer’s skill as a director and his use of humor to alleviate intense scenes. But this picture might leave some viewers with more questions than answers, hurting their enjoyment of the film. With multiple timelines and quick flashbacks to various films there can be some distractions from the film itself. But this is a wonderful stand-alone movie that can only be enhanced if one were to see the rest of the X-Men films. This is truly a picture to see for every comic book nerd and those looking for a fun and enjoyable action film with enough depth to grow attached to heroes old and new.