X-Men: Days of Future Past brings the franchise on track

xmen1ANYONE who has ever talked to me about the X-Men films will know just how uptight I get about them. I find it irritating just how many plot holes there are, and I know I’m not the only one. The films themselves have had a mixed past: beginning with the decent X-Men, it was followed by the fantastic X2, the horrendous X-Men: The Last Stand, the confusing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the pretty decent X-Men: First Class and last years The Wolverine. After much anticipation, the new film X-Men: Days of Future Past wraps up all these films into a nice little package, filling in a few of the gaps as well.

Before I get into the fan-boy elements such as the continuity and such, let me analyse the film as a standalone production. Directing his first X-Men film since X2, Bryan Singer is back, and it’s evident from the quality of the film, living up to the standard of the second film. Character wise, the film feels a little underdeveloped, but when you’ve had 6 films to build up the characters of Wolverine, Xavier, Magneto, Storm, and others, there is reason to forgive this point. Indeed, the characters who get the most development are Mystique, Beast and James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier. New characters such as Sunspot and Bishop get very little introduction, which is a shame considering their interesting comic back stories. The result of this means that those who haven’t watched the other X-Men films may be left confused by the events, the mannerisms and little in-jokes found in Days of Future Past.

As for reliability to the comic, it’s pretty much there, or at least enough to transfer it to the big screen. Due to casting differences, Wolverine is once again the main facilitator of events, as opposed to Shadowcat, however Mystique is the one to try and assassinate the target. Of course not every film can perfectly replicate the original source, and Days of Future Past does a pretty damn good job. There are plenty of references to other films and comics as well, especially when it comes to the character of Quicksilver, a character who I had severe doubts about. Elsewhere there’s enough action to satisfy any hungry film goer, keeping in check with the others in the series, without losing any of the plot.

That leads us nicely to continuity. As I have stated before, plot holes are an unfortunate part of the X-Men series, but they few and far between in Days of Future Past. Indeed, the ending of the film (which I shall not reveal) actually undoes a lot of the errors found in the past films. Obviously it doesn’t fix everything, but there’s a great deal to be found in this film to restore faith in the franchise.

With Bryan Singer back at the helm, X-Men: Days of Future Past is perhaps the best in the series yet, although may confuse first timers. Singer does a stellar job of bringing the franchise back on the rails after it’s deviations in more recent years and does it while keeping reasonably reliable to the source material.