X-Men Days Of Future Past review: A good superhero film? It's about time
(12A) Dir. Bryan Singer; Starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, 131mins
Thursday 22 May 2014
In the first of several nods to The Terminator, the seventh X-Men film opens in a future in which humanity is losing a war against a breed of machines of its own devising.
So the cast of the original films convene in order to send Hugh Jackman's Wolverine back in time to the Seventies, to connect with the younger cast members of the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class, prevent an assassination, and change the course of history for the better.
These kinds of plots can be tricky, but Days of Future Past handles the counterfactual history and time-travel paradoxes very well.
In fact, it is a pleasingly coherent, plot-driven action movie, positively streamlined by the standards of today's superhero blockbusters.
While virtually every shot has some kind of digital special effect in it, the spectacle is subservient to the storytelling right until the climactic showdowns at the 1973 Paris peace accord and at the White House.
The period is evoked with lava lamps and disco music, rather than lovingly and wittily, as in the Sixties-set First Class, but the film-makers still situate the action in something that approaches a recognisable version of the real world. Albeit a version with mutant superheroes.
It is fun, shiny and optimistic, just as good Pop art should be.
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