“X-Men: Days of Future Past” impresses Marvel fans

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Alexis Williams, Spread Editor

The second “X-Men” movie and latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Days of Future Past” was released into theaters on May 10. The movie features an all-star cast, including Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Eric Lehnsherr, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven, Halle Berry as Storm, Nicholas Hoult as Hank, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask, Ian McKellen as Magneto and Patrick Stewart as Professor X.

From the beginning, the movie is action-packed. The first scene shows the X-Men fighting a group of machines called Sentinels that they cannot hope to beat. Just as they are on the brink of losing, Kitty Pryde saves them by sending one of the mutants to the past to warn them of the danger before it even happens. They are instantly in a different place, and it is as if the battle never even happened.

This same plot point, of moving back in time, becomes crucial to the story. As a last-ditch effort to save the mutants, Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine back to 1973 to find a young Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr, later to become Professor X and Magneto, and keep a mutant named Mystique, also called Raven, from killing the evil Dr. Bolivar Trask, who invented the evil Sentinels. Unfortunately, Mystique is captured by Trask’s employees and the Sentinels become more dangerous as a result of experimental tests run on her, so keeping her from assassinating Trask would keep the Sentinels from being as dangerous.

The movie switches between Wolverine’s flashback and the present of the mutants, which is a race against time as they try to keep Wolverine in the past as Sentinels descend down on the mutants’ hiding spot. The movie does an excellent job of keeping the transitions between past and present from being confusing, and both the flashback and the present are full of the action that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have come to love.

The characters are equally well developed. Teenage punk and kleptomaniac mutant Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, brings wit and youthfulness to scenes dominated by the serious Jackman, while the development of Charles Xavier is beautifully emotional and his relationship with Raven has intriguing developments.

Unfortunately, the villains are not so well developed. At first, the villain is Raven, a mutant that plans to kill Dr. Trask, who is also evil, but later the villain is Eric Lehnsherr, aka a young Magneto,  who is good in the future and present. It is often confusing keeping track of who Wolverine and Charles Xavier are fighting.

Additionally, the ending was a bit anticlimactic. Instead of an action-packed climax in which the X-Men emerge triumphant, there is instead an emotional turning point for Raven and Charles. The acting is well-done and the scene well-written, but it’s simply not what many want out of a superhero movie.

Well-written and well-acted, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is lacking only in some plot points. However, the future and present scenes with the Sentinels and the past scenes with the emotional development make for a balanced movie that is well worth watching.