X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

BRYAN SINGER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  USA/United Kingdom, 2014Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donners’ Company, Ingenious Media, Down Productions.  Story by , , , Screenplay by Simon Kinberg.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by John Ottman, .  Academy Awards 2014.  

The adventure of the story behind the adventure continues with another enjoyable romp featuring that multi-pack of superheroes, divided as always between a desire to use their powers to protect humanity or destroy it.  In the not so distant present, the world is in shambles, with an all-out war between humans and mutants being waged by complex Sentinel machines created by humans and able to adapt to any power in order to destroy their targets.  Xavier () and Magneto () have been brought together by this fight and go for their only option for survival,  getting Kitty Pryde () to use her powers to send Wolverine () back to a pivotal moment in 1973 and change events in order to secure a better future.  When Jackman arrives in the era of bell bottoms and wide-brimmed hats (all of it rendered with impressive consistency, particularly in the jaunty costumes), he finds young Xavier () rendered miserable and powerless by the events of the previous decade, and Magneto () stuck in maximum-security prison where he is being held for having participated in the most famous murder of the twentieth century.  From there it spirals many places but, thanks to spirited direction by Bryan Singer and a smart script that is grounded without ever being too self-righteous, it is a delight to sit through from beginning to end.  As always the ambivalence of morality is present, with X-Men loyalties splintering based on their ability to trust humans to be their friend or the fear of annihilation that leads those with more powers to wipe out those with less; the film does a good job of treating this with enough complexity and without hammering the message home too hard, particularly as it all centres down on the character of Mystique (, doing a wonderful job) and her moral choices.

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