The X-men series has been going strong for a good 14 years now, with it's fair share of duds along the way. While both Wolverine movies haven't been super great, the series has been good where it counts, barring X3 of course. X-men First Class ushered in the Professor X and Magneto of the past that we get to spend some time with in this newest film, and they are perhaps, the best part about X-men Days of Future Past. This time, Hugh Jackman isn't the only one carrying the movie, and it's a nice change.
The movie opens with in a dark, post-apocolyptic world where humans and mutants are being killed left and right by terminator robots. (I was waiting for Christian Bale to show up) Before you know it, you see our old friends (Prof. X and co.) fighting these robots in their futuristic X-men garb. Things look grim for the crew, so they find a way to time travel to change the void future to one that is a bit brighter. Naturally, Wolverine is the one sent back, because he gets paid the most. (But really because he heals really fast). Because of the lightning fast set up, the beginning felt sort of weak. The mutants have experienced this horrible future for an unclear amount of time (you assume quite a while), and within about 5-10 minutes they figure out and decide that they can save the entire future. Fortunately, this is not reminiscent of the entire film, which makes you forget about the poorly written beginning.
X-men First Class is arguably the best X-men movie since X2, and I think that is largely due to the amazing cast. Fassbender and McAvoy do amazing jobs as the younger versions of McKellen and Stewart, making the characters of Magneto and Prof. X feel fresh and a little less like men who escaped a nursing home. The way that Days of Future Past improved on First Class was to keep everything, but this time add Wolverine and Peter Dinklage (from Game of Thrones fame). The movie is extremely entertaining and not void of dramatic moments that make you feel a little nostalgia toward the old characters. The story did feel a little like a fetch quest at times, but the chemistry between characters was so great that you don't get lost or annoyed by small details like that. Hugh Jackman did a great job as Wolverine as always, and he looks more and more like Wolverine the older he gets, somehow being more ripped than the film before. While Jackman had plenty of screen time, it was a nice change of pace to not have him as the total star of the show this time around. This gave McAvoy and Fassbender some time to shine, which of course, they did.
It's hard to write a review about a time travel movie without spoiling plot points, which I'm not going to do, nor do I ever do when I write about movies. I will say that the movie was very enjoyable even for someone who isn't a huge X-men fan. By the end of Wolverine, I was pretty burnt out, but the promise of this film got me excited again. The time travel elements in this movie gave the ability for the writers to create completely new story arcs in the X-men universe, which I feel like will get old pretty quick, however. While they have achieved freshening the franchise up a bit, it's probably good to know when to quit.