X-Men: Days of Future Past is not just a time hoping adventure but also a globetrotting one; Saigon, Paris, China and Washington DC are all visited as Bryan Singer returns to the directors chair in the most ambitious film about Professor X and his coterie to date. Helping share the burden of expectation is writer Simon Kinberg, who’s excellent CV contains; Mr and Mrs Smith, Sherlock Holmes and the underrated Jumper.
They waste no time getting straight into the action, a desolate future where skulls are piled high and corpses are rolled into pits by the dozen is introduced in a heartbeat. The backstory over the Sentinels make their terrifying first appearance. These mechanical monsters are not the easily defeated imbeciles from childhood, they are more akin to The Destroyer from Thor with the added ability of adapting their structure to overcome whoever they are hunting.
Unfortunately this is a false start, Wolverine and co are not here for a full on action movie, instead choosing to focus on issues of drug dependency, destiny and equality struggles. The last one has always been a hallmark of the X-Men franchise ever since the first comic was published in the sixties, so it is hardly a revelation, the other two however draw focus from the turbulence that jumping through time to avoid killer robots should cause.
That is not to say Days of Future past is a bad film. The music hits all the right notes, even conjuring up hints of the 1990s cartoon theme. When Magneto Is in full flight it is impossible not to be impressed as he cajoles any available metal to do his bidding, likewise the opening skirmish is populated with a whole host of potent powers.
The seasoned cast deliver and newcomer Evan Peters has a ball as Quicksilver, the unveiling of his ability is a joy to watch, however perhaps a Pink Floyd track would have been better suited to that particular scene… He also has most of the films comic moments, running Jackman close for the title of most amusing mutant,
Disappointingly Peters is the only first timer allowed to do much. Peter Dinklage (Trask) does little more than plug his mutant defence program and while Omar Sy (Bishop) has a quite spectacular ability it seems conversation is not it.
Verdict: A mixed bag; heavy on spectacle, emotion and impressive mutant powers but lacking somewhat in action. The Winter Soldier is still the bench mark for this years superhero films. Perhaps breaking the story down into two films, one in the future and on in the past/present would have worked better.