If you're going to see X-Men: Days of Future Past then you are going to have to accept the movie's rules regarding time travel and one big plot hole. The movie also owes its plot to the original series Star Trek episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever" and other Star Trek productions. It's reminiscent to Star Trek: First Contact. (1996) But it's more like Star Trek Voyager's series finale, "Endgame." I'm glad that director Bryan Singer threw in a clip from the original series Star Trek on time travel.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, in future, it's not "a wonderful life" for people living on earth. Giant super robots called Sentinels now control mankind. The irony is that they were created by man to eliminate mutant human beings, the super humans who were featured the first X-Men movies but now the Sentinels subdue all of humanity. The X-Men live that are still free, live a life on the run. They are able to survive because mutant Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) can project a mutant's consciousness into the past to warn of attacks.
What caused the rise of the Sentinels is an event. During the 1973 Paris Peace talks between Viet Nam and the United States, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), a mutant who can shape shift, kills scientist Bolivar Trask. (Peer Dinklage) You see Trask had experimented on mutants to create the Sentinels. He believes that the mutants are a threat to the human species known as homo sapiens. However, Mystique is captured and her abilities are used to make the Sentinels that can now utilize mutant powers. The murder of Trask leads to the creation of the Sentinels.
In the future, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) hatch a plan to change their timeline. They will send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 to stop Mystique. To do so, he must also convince younger versions of Xavier (Jim McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to work together in order to find Mystique.
Based on a story by Matthew Vaughn, Simon Kinberg and Jane Goldman which in turn is based on a comic book by Chris Claremont and John Byrne; Simon Kinberg has created a rich screenplay. The dialogue sounds real. The conflicts are not contrived. Yeah, it does stretch believability with one plot point regarding President John F. Kennedy. Villains like Trask have real motivation and one can understand their logic thugh it's one based on fear. There are also welcome moments of humor. And I appreciate the metaphor that the X-Men movies present regarding human prejudice. One of the few flaws is an anticlimatic final act.
But as I said before there is one big plot hole in this movie and you're going to have to accept the movie's rules regarding time travel. If you've seen X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) then you know that Professor Xavier is killed by being disintegrated by Jean Grey.(Famke Janssen) And yes, there's an end credit scene where it seems he was able to put his consciousness into another human's body, we hope it's a brain dead body. But how does the body of the old Xavier in the form of Patrick Stewart exist in the future? Remember it was disintegrated. Oh and there is another plot hole. In the seventies, Wolverine enlists the help of Peter Maximoff aka Quicksilver (Evan Peters) to break out Magneto from prison. He's so fast that you can't see him. After he does his job, he leaves the movie. Hold on. Wouldn't it be prudent to use him to complete the mission? But of course that would end the movie in a few minutes.
And what about the time travel plot line? Any time you have a time travel movie where somebody travels back to the past, you will likely get the "grandfather paradox." It's an idea where you travel back into time and kill your grandfather thus eliminating your own existence. But the paradox is that you could not travel back into time if you didn't exist. X-Men: Days of Future Past has the same problem. The idea to send Wolverine to the past to change timeline can't happen since the dystopian future must exist to send Wolverine to the past. Yes, Star Trek's "The City on the Edge of Forever" handled it much better since the time Guardian was the device to send Kirk back into time to correct the timeline. By the way, Patrick Stewart is quite experienced in timeline change stories as Captain Picard. See Star Trek: The Next Generation's episodes, "Tapestry", "All Good Things..." and the movie Star Trek: First Contact. (1996) Maybe we should take the advice of Basil Exposition from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) when confronted with the time paradox in that movie. "I suggest you dont worry about this sort of thing. And just enjoy yourself." Clip below.
The acting performances are just "marvel"ous. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen display two men who have grown wiser with time. The same goes for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. He's less angry because he's older. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is driven with rage and the will to survive. Peter Dinlage's Trask is a man who's also concerned with survival but it's tinted by fear of mutants. James McAvoy as the younger Xavier is a man who's lost his way. The always excellent Micahel Fassbinder's Magneto also is driven by fear. Fear that normal humans will kill all the mutuants and he's also got a power complex believing that mutants are the future. They should rule. And kudos to Evan Peters as the teenage Quicksilver. He's a delight as a young adult full of good humored mischief.
Director Bryan Singer not only commands the material but he shows a respect and affection for it. The battle sequences between the mutants and the Sentinels are exciting. That's because you feel the desparation with the mutants who are fighting for their lives. The scenes involving Cerebro and Quicksilver's ability to make time stop at least to him, are stunning visual achievements. And of course, he gets all the emotions needed for this movie from hs actors.
X-Men: Days of Future Past was filmed in 3D and it shows it. There's pop and depth. The 3D cameras capture all the real life objects and is able to display them to you in 3D. This allows them to be integrated with CGI effects. The result? Stunning 3D images. Check out the afforementioned use of Cerebro and Quicksilver's actions when confronted with armed guards. The latter scene is worth the price of the premium you pay to see this movie in 3D. Recommendation. See X-Men: Days of Future Past in 3D.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a compelling piece of comic book science fiction. If one can get past the plot holes and paradoxes, you will be in for some fine entertainent. The grade is A.