X-Men: Days of Future Past

You take the good, you take the bad, you take ’em both, and there you have… the life of a movie critic. After struggling to make it through Adam Sandler’s now-Razzie-favorite Blended, I sat down for the latest in the X-Men series, Days of Future Past.

Yes it’s somewhat clouded by the allegations currently being leveled against its director, but make no mistake– X-Men: Days of Future Past shows us once again that Bryan Singer knows how to helm a movie. Ever since (what was essentially) his debut, Usual Suspects, Singer has hit his mark and established himself as one of Hollywood’s elite. He keeps his streak going with what is now among the most entertaining movies of the year.

The sequel to 2011’s X-Men: First Class is also a pseudo-prequel/sequel of sorts to the entire X-Men franchise (which Singer got going way back in 2000 with the first X-Men movie). In the dystopian future, mutants are battling a seemingly indestructible race of robots called Sentinels. And they’re losing. Badly. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen have to put aside their differences to find a way to defeat their common enemy.

Their solution is to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 to… (deep breath)… join up with the younger versions of Xavier and Magneto (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) along with Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Sentinel inventor Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), because in the attempt she gets captured, and her DNA is reverse-engineered to create the Sentinel program in the first place. Whew.

Singer, working from a crackerjack script by Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), gives Marvel’s The Avengers director Joss Whedon a run for his money, fusing the perfect blend of comic book action, comedy, and drama together to make a superhero movie worth watching again and again.

Anchored by Jackman’s wry, gruff performance, Days is a showcase of quality performances (you’ve no doubt heard by now that the cast has almost a dozen Oscar nominations between them), and everyone puts on their best show to elevate the movie that much more. Even the (let’s face it) mis-cast Lawrence makes the most of the situation despite not getting the chance to show off her Silver Linings Playbook sparkle.

Days of Future Past, though, may best most noteworthy (and buy-a-ticket worthy) for giving us one of the most expertly-crafted (and downright fun) scenes in recent years. As Quicksilver bends time and space (and physics in general) to help break the younger Magneto out of his fortress-like cell, you will be simultaneously awed and amused.

If nothing else, it will go a long way in washing the taste of Blended out of your mouth.

4.5/5 stars