After several sequels dragged down the X-Men franchise, it is refreshing to see the latest movies prove that super hero movies can have deep themes and human context. Days of Future Past balances character development with action for an enjoyable movie.
The sequel begins in the future as viewers catch up with their favorite mutants and a host of new ones. Wolverine, Xavier, Magneto and Storm connect with Kitty Pride and her group of refugee mutants hiding from the giant machines meant to kill mutants. They need Kitty’s help to send Logan back in time to keep the Sentinels from destroying just not the mutant, but the human world. Logan is transported into his body to the ‘70s and must keep a young mystique from killing Bolivar Trask the creator of the Sentinels. But to do so he will need the help of young Xavier who is at odds with his powers.
Like First Class, the film does well harking back to themes in the original X-men movie. The film delves into social norms and how we use our gifts when they are against those norms. Xavier and Mystique both fight with their powers and how to use them. It’s about accepting your differences and focusing on whether you express these differences with love or hate.
The film reverses the role of Xavier and Wolverine, and it’s interesting to see these characters outside pre-defined boundaries. The best moment? When Xavier throws Wolverine’s words in his own face. But for everything we see these two overcome, viewers are still face with an inevitable end with Mystique and Magneto. Or are we? The movie lags as Magneto rages out against the humans even though this becomes turning point for Mystique. Yes, he is full of rage and hate. We get that by now. We know what becomes of these characters and of their predestined roles as villains.
But the ending proves we know nothing. The last few minutes of the movies make up for any mistakes made in the last X-Men movie and leaves viewers wondering how much of the X-Men cannon has changed now that the past has been altered. This makes the franchise ripe for the taking. Instead of a new Wolverine, the producers should focus on these changes within the X-Men world. There is so much room to expand whether in the present time or in the First Class world.
X-Men Days of Future Past is thrilling and fun. Though it has one lag, the last minutes of the film make up for any issues with the movie. This franchise can keep going and be successful.