20th Century Fox has released 11 Marvel movies in theatres. Of the first ten, I’d say 2 were really great. Is this the third? There is a scene after the credits, and the 3D didn’t seem to really add anything to the presentation.

Cast and Crew Information

Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine
James McAvoy as young Charles Xavier / Professor X
Michael Fassbender as young Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique
Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe / Storm
Nicholas Hoult as young Hank McCoy / Beast
Anna Paquin as Rogue
Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde
Peter Dinklage as Dr. Bolivar Trask
Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake / Iceman
Omar Sy as Lucas Bishop
Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver
Josh Helman as young Major Bill Stryker
Daniel Cudmore as Colossus
Bingbing Fan as Clarice Ferguson / Blink
Adan Canto as Roberto de Costa / Sunspot
Booboo Stewart as James Proudstar / Warpath
Ian McKellen as old Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
Patrick Stewart as old Charles Xavier / Professor X
Lucas Till as Alex Summers / Havok
Evan Jonigkeit as young Mortimer Toynbee / Toad
Mark Camacho as Richard Nixon
Zehra Leverman as Magda Maximoff
Kelsey Grammer as old Hank McCoy / Beast
Famke Janssen as Jean Grey
James Marsden as Scott Summers / Cyclops
Chris Claremont as Congressman Parker
Len Wein as Congressman Davis

Screenplay by Simon Kinberg, story by Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg and Matthew Vaughn.
Directed by Bryan Singer

Availability Information

This is not legally available for home video. If this uses the industry standard 17 week cycle, it should be available on October 14.

Premise

In 1973, Mystique killed Bolivar Trask in an attempt to prevent a war between mutants and humans. Unfortunately, instead he was viewed as a martyr, and the war was accelerated, with Mystique herself being studied and her abilities getting integrated into Trask’s mutant hunting Sentinel technology.

High Point

While this shows significant departures from the comic canon, it’s a well made movie that captures the spirit of the comics very well. Also, X3: The Last Stand has been retconned out of existence!

Low Point

So many of the heavily advertised mutant characters in this movie were little more than cameos. If you’ve been watching the online clips, you’ve seen 95% of the footage involving some of these characters.

The Review

This is an original take on the X-Men movies. Equal parts “First Class” and the Bryan Singer films, it has a different feel than many of the previous incarnations. They also take the basic idea of “Days of Future Past” and take it in a very different direction. The new direction is thematically comparable to the original story, but virtually all details are changed. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are impressive. Slow motion is used effectively in multiple situations, and the seams between physical and digital effects are invisible. Some are subtle, while others are very large scale effects. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is well structured, particularly for a time travel story. The reason for it to be Wolverine heading into the past is plausible. I don’t understand how Kitty Pryde is able to do what she does at all; the source material used characters that couldn’t exist in movie continuity, so they had to come up with something else. That McGuffin is the biggest sticking point for story logic, but so much time has passed between movies that I’m sure there’s a way to fill that blank. We get emotional moments, character growth and some interesting ramifications. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is strong. The “First Class” crew does the heavy lifting, along with Hugh Jackman. The other characters have few scenes, if any. (There are cast members listed above with one or fewer lines of dialogue.) Lawrence, Fassbender and McAvoy carry the vast majority of the movie. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is very well done, with some interesting choices to give a “stock footage” look to scenes via colour filters. John Ottman does double duty as editor and composer, which helps keep everything moving tightly and married to the soundtrack. Singer has managed to combine his own style with Vaughn’s to send the franchise in a brand new direction. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was pretty good. The biggest limiter I had was restricted to the specific theatre I saw this at. There was some sort of issue with all front channels, causing cracking and muting nearly constantly throughout the film, which made it extremely difficult to forget I was watching a movie and really get involved. I felt it was a four, but I’m going to add a point for that problem and give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, for the third time in the history of Fox movie adaptations, I’m looking forward to the next chapter because this one was so good. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, X-Men: Days of Future Past receives 36 out of 42.