In the past I've been very critical of the X-Men films. I'm close to this franchise, because as a young boy, it was my first real comic series that I fell in love with. There were the comics, the animated series, and the toys. I loved the X-Men and at a young age I couldn't get enough of them. Then as I got older, they announced the release of the first X-Men film. I could not wait to see it and it was amazing. Then X2 came out and it was even better than the first, but it was downhill from there. X-Men: The Last Stand left a very sour taste in my mouth. And it was all made worse with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, even though I finally got to see my favorite mutant, Gambit, hit the big screen. I was given hope, however, when X-Men: First Class came out. I enjoyed it a great deal and couldn't wait for more films with these characters and actors. So, now we have X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Obviously as an X-Men geek, the Days of Future Past storyline holds a special place for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and even how they sort of adapted the story for the animated series. Which only means my expectations for this film were high. I knew going in that they would change the story in certain ways, which is fine. I had apprehension going in because I thought director Bryan Singer was putting too many mutants in one film, something the bad X-Films had done repeatedly. Too much, too soon, with no substance or story.
The viral marketing for this film was fun. The JFK/Magneto conspiracy theories, the Trask website debuting Sentinels to the world. It was fun and it helped keep the movie in everyone's minds. It reminded me of the viral marketing done for the film Cloverfield, with less hunting for easter eggs of course.
Now for the actual film itself. I'm not going to go into depth on the plot lines, you can see the film, or look up the synopsis on a variety of other sites. I'm gonna tell you what I enjoyed. I was pleasantly surprised that, though the new characters introduced (Blink, Bishop, Warpath, and Sunspot) didn't get much screen time, you got enough to see their abilities and even a bit of their character. I was pleased by this because they didn't take away from the main characters of the film, mostly those of the First Class film (Xavier, Magneto, Hank McCoy, Mystique) and of course, Wolverine.
There was a lot of well timed humor in this film. It reminded me a lot of my experience while watching Avengers for the first time. The dialogue was extremely well done. One of my favorite scenes (though I went in expecting to hate it) was the Quicksilver sequence. Not only did they do a good job introducing the character, they actually did hint at his relationship with Magneto (Spoiler alert: Magneto is Quicksilver's father.)
I also enjoyed how they were able to seamlessly go from the future to the past a few times throughout the film. Seeing the gravity of their situation in the future, you really felt the weight and desperation that the X-Men were going through and how hopeless they were becoming. While the Sentinels looked different from the comics and the cartoon, they still were well done, both the future models and the models from the 70's.
Something I found myself not liking, and it's more of a nitpicking thing, was the whole time travel process. In the comic books, Forge sends Bishop back in time with a machine they were able to create. In the film they had some power that Kitty Pryde was able to access that would send someone's consciousness to the past. They never quite explain how she can do that, as her ability is to phase through walls and such. Again, this is nitpicking and not a major issue for me.
The ending of the film had me a bit confused. I was happy that they ret-conned a lot of things. Mainly being Stryker never experimented on Wolverine...at least not that we know of. Meaning the events of X2 never happened, meaning Scott Summers is alive and so is Jean Grey. Rogue was never cured and is in her relationship with Bobby Drake, and Kitty and Colossus were teaching a class together, perhaps implying that they're together. My issue with the ending is, we know there's going to be a sequel to this film taking place in the 80's. But at the end of this film we see our future (or is it present day?) X-Men class living happily ever after...again I'm nitpicking.
The post credit scene had me geeking out. I cannot wait for X-Men: Apocalypse and not just because Gambit will be featured. We got our first taste of a young Apocalypse, the first mutant and one of the greatest X-Men villains created. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this sequel and I was happy to see the four horsemen on the horizon as the natives worshiped Apocalypse while he telepathically constructed the pyramids.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this film. I saw it with a big audience and they applauded the film at the ending. It was a good experience and it did wash some of that bad taste from my mouth left behind from X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins. That's what I thought...we wanna know what you guys thought of this film! Let us know here or on Twitter!