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article imageReview: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' does everything right Special

By Michael Thomas     May 23, 2014 in Entertainment
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' manages to be both an excellent crossover of the original trilogy and 'First Class', and a course correction following the disastrous 'The Last Stand.'
Days of Future Past is an interesting note in the X-Men movie continuity, as a sort-of sequel to The Last Stand as well as First Class. As a result, it's got a huge ensemble cast with plenty of new characters to boot.
At some point in the future, the Earth is in a state of chaos since the arrival of the Sentinels, large robots that can adapt to any mutant power and exterminate mutants and humans alike. The mutant front is devastated, with only a small contingent of survivors: Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Sunspot (Adan Canto), Shadowcat (Ellen Page), Blink (Fan Bingbing), Warpath (Booboo Stewart), Bishop (Omar Sy) and of course Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen).
As the group continues to avoid the Sentinels, since there's no hope of eradicating them, Professor X explains that the situation they're in was a result of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) shooting Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), a man who designed the Sentinels and experimented on scores of mutants. Upon his death, the American government becomes convinced that mutants are a threat and orders the Sentinel program to go into full production.
Shadowcat uses her newfound projection power to send Logan back in time to 1973, where he is to find the younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magento (Michael Fassbender) and prevent Trask's assassination.
The film manages to gracefully balance epic, CGI-heavy action sequences with more nuanced scenes that explore character relationships more in-depth. Logan's first meeting with Charles in 1973 features some tremendous acting from McAvoy, who puts on a smug act to hide the fact that he's lost so much. The opening scene in the future, as the remaining X-Men fight the Sentinels, is a nice boost of adrenaline to start off the picture, and the final "battle" is equally epic in scale.
Chemistry is certainly the name of the game as well, featuring a lot of it between McAvoy and Fassbender and especially McAvoy and Lawrence. McKellen and Stewart in the future play an entirely different type of relationship, one of old friends that can read each other's minds.
If there's one thing that suffers it's the minor characters in the future, who aren't really given much personality aside from Shadowcat and Iceman, who appeared in previous films. As well, for those less familiar with the X-Men universe, some might not catch all the subtle shout-outs to other characters and places.
But these are minor gripes in a film more than two hours long but that never feels like it's dragging its heels. And without spoiling anything, those vastly disappointed by The Last Stand can now pretend it never happened.
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