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X-Men: Days of Future PastIn a desperate attempt to save humans and mutants, the X-Men from two different generations unite in an effort to change the past and secure a brighter future.

And given Brian Singer’s return to the project, that future looks incredibly bright.

Having been on hiatus from the franchise after directing the original X-Men in 2000 and X2 in 2003, director Brian Singer’s return to direct X-Men: Days of Future Past is an incredibly successful one. Based on a screenplay by Simon Kinberg and a story by Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, and Matthew Vaughn, the X-Men have found themselves loosing their war against the dreaded sentinels. With numbers and allies dwindling, Professor Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (played by Ian McKellen) hatch a desperate plan: send Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) back in time to change history. With any luck they can stop the war before it ever happens, but they’ll need a lot of luck.

The only way for Wolverine to accomplish his mission is to unite a young Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) and Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) in a desperate search for Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence) before her actions set history in motion. All of this takes place around the end of the Vietnam War in 1973 and an opportunistic researcher named Dr. Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage). With the war ending, Trask lobbies world leaders to begin investing in his sentinel program to combat the next threat to humanity: mutants.

Throughout the film the storyline jumps back and forth between what is happening to the remaining X-Men in the future and their younger selves in the past. It seems like a daunting task for Bryan Singer, yet he proves an uncanny ability to find balance between two timelines and groups of characters. He doesn’t waste time focusing on non-essential characters and paces the movie to capitalize on its ever building dramatic climax. He both builds on and relies on character development from previous X-Men movies. While Wolverine is the vehicle for the plot, Singer wisely maintains his efforts on a young and broken Charles Xavier and his decayed relationship with Magneto and Mystique.

Where First Class was clearly the Magneto origin story, Days of Future Past is the Xavier origin story. Audiences begin to understand Xavier on a much more complex level, especially in relation to his old friend and nemesis Magneto. The film also builds on Mystique’s character to present her as a strong, independent individual struggling to break free from the control of two competing influences. Rather than being relegated to a superficial villain, she now becomes a more complicated and understandable.

Singer has the unique talent of being able to juggle competing characters within a complex storyline. At no point does the audience get lost amid all of the entertaining action and peril that makes the movie so enjoyable. The actions sequences are visual spectacles and all the characters are portrayed incredibly well by their respective actors.

Overall, this is one of the better movies of the X-Men franchise and superhero movies of the past decade. With Age of Apocalypse already announced as the pending sequel, there should be plenty of excitement among fans after seeing Days of Future Past.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Grade: A-

Aaron Zamora

Aaron grew up in Whittier, California and is currently finishing his master's degree in Human Communication studies from California State University, Fullerton. His interest in journalism began in high school where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for his school’s newspaper and participated in their inaugural broadcast journalism program. An avid world traveler, Aaron has a wide array of interest that include a passion for cinema and television. He is also a sports fanatic.