x_men_days_of_future_past_banner-wideThere was a lot riding on Days of Future Past after the 8 years since The Last Stand, which some people are still sour about, and a lot has changed since then. There have been spin-offs, sequels to said spin-offs, and a prequel, so now we have an anomaly; a film that is both a sequel to the prequel as well as one to the original trilogy. The question for this movie, which was also said about the The Avengers, was would this movie live up to everyone’s expectations while not collapsing under the weight of its star-power? The answer is yes. But what’s more is it fills in the gaps and reconnects us with characters from the past in a completely exciting and fun way.

I won’t go into all of the story details because this movie can be rather complex to explain. Basically, in the future, the mutant hunting Sentinel’s have killed off most of the mutants. The war has raged on for quite some time, thus prompting the remaining X-Men to send Wolverine back to the 1970s to stop Mystique from causing the action that prompted the Sentinel’s production.

With a cast this large, featuring most of the original cast as well as the First Class cast, one had to wonder about who would get the most screen time. Going in I had no idea what the plot structure was going to be like. I expected it to be consistently shifting from future and past, causing some headaches along the way, but it actually spends most of its time focusing on the First Class cast, meaning James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, and the only exception, Hugh Jackman.

The movie is just plain fun. It combines great humor and unique uses of each of the mutants powers. I was surprised at how often I caught myself laughing. Yet the move also can flip on a dime and change into something completely opposite. Young Charles and Magneto still share animosity towards each other after First Class, and it is as painful as it was then to see the two close friends hate each other. McAvoy and Fassbender both deliver excellent performances, and so does the rest of the cast.

For all of you Game of Thrones fans out there, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) plays Boliver Trask, the man who creates the Sentinels, and he is great. Whether or not this is capitalizing on his fandom from Game of Thrones, he is excellent as always in whatever he does. He is definitely one of the many highlights of this film.

For those who have seen neither the previous movies or do not have a fresh sense of what is going on, director Bryan Singer does a good job at summing up and hinting at all that has happened. I have not seen the original trilogy for probably 8 years, but I never had a difficult time figuring out who was who and what happened to which character.

In the end, Days of Future Past succeeds on many levels. Not only does it live up to the expectations, it also perfectly ties up the loose ends of the original trilogy into a nice little bow, it delivers an action and humor packed movie with some great powers scenes, it features great performances, and it still leaves the door open for more movies. Days of Future Past redeems the failed Last Stand, go check it out.

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