From the director of X-Men 1 and 2, Bryan Singer, X-Men: Days of Future Past sees the ultimate X-Men ensemble fight a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. As the characters that began our X-Men infatuation from the original trilogy of films – Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), Storm (Halle Berry), Kitty (Ellen Page), and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) – join forces with their younger selves from the excellent prequel X-Men: First Class – Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) – when Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time, they must change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save both humans and mutants.
What better way to follow-up a franchise prequel set in the past then to bring that timeline together with one that began a beloved franchise of mutated superheroes? And it couldn’t have been more successful. After a couple of somewhat forgotten origin spin-offs, the original but dated X-Men films were brought back to life in 2011 when Matthew Vaughn directed the prequel, First Class, with a fresh-faced cast playing younger versions of the characters we came to love in Bryan Singer‘s original films. With the director of the first two films returning to direct this fourth instalment, Days of Future Past turned out to be the best X-Men film yet.
Days of Future Past, loosely based on a two-issue storyline from X-Men comics published in 1981, effectively merges the films together, creating a complex but easy to navigate story and combining two fantastic casts and also offers closure to the original trilogy. Carefully controlled, swift, and stylish, Vaughn and Singer, together, have put the X-Men franchise back on top with the likes of the action-filled, comical, and bold The Avengers and The Dark Knight.
With Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine being one of the biggest and best X-Men superheroes, he steps up as a lead here alongside the ever-excellent Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Jennifer Lawrence. But there are a number of exciting new characters, as well, especially Peter Dinklage as antagonist Dr Bolivar Trask and Evan Peters as the speedy mutant Quicksilver. The cast is truly impressive, as it always has been, and once again serves as one of the film’s best qualities, with the actors working so well together to create characters with heart, who make us laugh and admire, and who we really want to follow and all be on the same side.
If, like me, you didn’t quite understand that post-credit scene (which is to do with the Apocalypse and The Four Horsemen, apparently), do be reassured that it promises that the franchise will continue to be as bold and as thrilling as these prequels.