Bryan Singer, Sci-Fi Action Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Kelsey Grammer
Although he has been producer for some of the less-loved X-Men movies, Bryan Singer hasn’t been directing the legendary band of mutants for a while. He launched the movie franchise and surpassed expectations with his X2 sequel, but since then the franchise has only had a few high points. It wasn’t until 2011 and Matthew Vaughn’s First Class that there seemed to be some new and exciting ground to tread.
The newest movie Days of Future Past is extremely ambitious, hoping to tie in the original three movies, First Class and The Wolverine (with Origins being sent to the naughty corner and dutifully ignored). There are more cast members than most other superhero movies combined…which could prove to be the film’s main drawback. The current comic-book one-upmanship that is plaguing Hollywood means that the star-studded cast for this film dwarfs most others, which is great for nods to fans, but perhaps less so for coherent storytelling. Stewart and McKellan are as stellar as always, and it is easy to see how the twisted yet loveable Magneto played by Fassbender aged into the respect-demanding leader of mutants. But McAvoy’s lady-killer come depressed wheelchair user is a far stride from the smooth-voiced (and headed) Xavier that Stewart flawlessly portrays; an interesting arc to be sure, one aided by time travel and the like, but one that struggles to ring true.
Avoiding spoilers, the film is based on a popular comic book narrative, one that was adapted and shown on the awesome 1990s X-Men cartoon series. Wolverine, Storm, Beast, and Shadowcat all make an appearance and Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage plays Bolivar Trask, a man with a penchant for gigantic robots. Whilst the movie is full of twists and turns that could confuse those less accustomed with the franchise, it never fails to be fun, engaging and stylish.