20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise is a study in inconsistent frustration. Riddled with canon issues from 2000's X-Men through the highly controversial The Last Stand, comic fans and newbies have come to woefully accept that their vision of the Marvel comic is no longer their own. After a refreshing reboot in First Class, hope was aroused that Fox had finally gotten its act together, and then The Wolverine arrived and that hope seemed dashed once more. But Days of Future Past re-establishes the universe, cleaning up several (but not all) major plot holes while delivering an excellent superhero character study that doesn't need a lot of big effects to sell itself.
The future is a dark and dreadful existence, as both humans and mutants suffer under the thumb of The Sentinels - massive robots initially built to target mutants. Unfortunately, their programming has determined that humans are just as dangerous, and have spent the last 50 years eliminating everyone. Only a few X-Men remain, including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), but they have a plan: use Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to transport Wolverine to the past to confront Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). Her assassination of the human military scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) has led to her capture and experimentation, which now allows the Sentinels to adapt to any mutant power. He connects with the 70's Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Micahel Fassbender), only to learn that the two still hold deep resentment towards one another. As humanity stands on the brink of elimination, 70's Wolverine must work to bring an end to Mystique's plan while his compatriots in the future desperately try to hold off a Sentinel attack destined to end their race.
The Amazing Spider-man 2 suddenly seems incapable of doing. Where ASM 2 was bogged down in a crushing amount of plot details, DOFP effectively blends the two timelines while throwing in plenty of 70's pop culture oddities. Whenever someone can use the penultimate time travel reference - Star Trek TOS' episode of The Naked Time - without totally confusing things, you know our team has a handle of the importance of doing the film right.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language. and has a runtime of 131 minutes.
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