After work this afternoon I rushed to the closest theater showing X-Men: Days Of Future Past, got my ticket and settled in with about 150 other movie-goers to watch the latest incarnation of the mutant franchise on the silver screen.
I was and am a huge fan of the original comic book storyline that took place 33 years ago in a great collaboration between writer/artist Chris Claremont and John Byrne with inker Terry Austin. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge sucker for time travel stories and this one was worth every word and panel of art.
So, when the studio announced 2 years ago that the next X-men movie would be an adaptation of that story, I knew I would have to see it on opening night.
I will say up front that the movie version is different in that it changes some of the main characters and expands upon that original comic book story…but that is not a bad thing. In fact, to me, all the changes and expansions make perfect sense in the context of the previous X-men movies, especially First Class.
I don’t want to put out any spoilers, so I’ll just stick with the basics.
In the future (2023) all mutants and those who may carry the mutant gene that they might possibly pass on to their children or grandchildren (which to my rudimentary understanding of human genetics would include EVERYONE, but we won’t dwell on that) are hunted down and imprisoned or killed by Sentinels. A few last mutants, including Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Bishop and a couple of others are all that remain in the mountains of China. Professor X has developed a last-ditch plan; Kitty Pryde will use her powers to send Wolverine, who is the only one that could survive the effects of being sent back into the past 50 years because of his mutant healing power, to 1973 to stop Raven/Mystique from killing Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels. That’s because after killing Trask, Raven/Mystique is captured and her unique shape-shifting mutant gene is added to the Sentinels’ bio-makeup and they become capable of adapting to ANY mutant who battles them.
In addition to having to make contact with and convince a not-at-his-best Professor X, Wolverine also has to pull Magneto in to help as well, by order of Magneto’s older self in 2023, who is now an ally with Professor X in the battle against the Sentinels. This isn’t easy because in 1973 Magneto has been in a metal-less concrete cell 100 stories below the Pentagon for something he was convicted of 10 years ago, shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis of X-men: First Class in 1962. I won’t say what he was convicted of, but think about the worst thing that happened in 1963 and you should be able to guess what it is.
There follow a great number of twists and turns, but the movie never loses its focus and we’re brought to an edge of the seat photo finish that spans events happening both in 1973 and 2023. Storylines of previous X-men movies, including last year’s Wolverine movie, are all tied in nicely throughout the film and we get to see some fun cameos as well.
Most of the audience seemed to enjoy the film, but here’s something I don’t understand; we’ve been watching these superhero movies pretty regularly for what, 7 or 8 years now? And what is a constant of these films? That’s right, the post-credits teaser scene! Sometimes more than one!! And yet, as soon as the credits began to roll more than half of the audience got up and left. I was kind of incredulous. Was this really the very first time any of these folks had seen a superhero movie and they had no idea there was more to come, or did they just not want to see a scene that would tease the next X-men movie?
Well, I stayed but I’m not going to say anything more about the post-credits teaser scene except this one word…APOCALYPSE!!
I highly recommend this movie.