Wednesday 21 March 2018

Film reviews: Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past

Cert 12A

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Aine O'Connor

The pre-sequel/sequels start getting confusing after a while, evidently, but X-Men Days of Future Past, although the seventh in the X-Men series is a sequel to the first prequel, 2011's X-Men First Class.

It's 2023, and the mutants and their human sympathisers are being hunted around the world by the Sentinels. The world is all but destroyed, so in a bid to change history Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to 1973, to stop the event that started this carnage. Elder lemons Professor Xavier and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) date the trouble to when Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, right) killed for the first time, her murder of Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). But back in 1973 Logan has to get the younger and disillusioned Professor (James McEvoy) and Magneto/Erik (Michael Fassbender) on his side too.

Bryan Singer, around whom personal controversy swirls at the moment, is on top of his professional game here. Directing the franchise for the third time, he keeps this complex story ticking along at a great pace. The plot is complicated, not least because it takes place in different times, but it's easy to follow. There are some clever set pieces and, unusually, a scene – in which Quicksilver (Evan Peters) uses his speed to make adjustments other people cannot see – got a round of applause from a very appreciative audience.

The effects are as incredible as you might expect, and the cast delivers that mix of superhero and tongue in cheek that works so well for a modern audience.

All of the main characters appear, even if only very briefly, and as it says at the end, the making of this film kept 15,000 people employed. A goodly proportion in the cast. There are plenty of laughs to go with the action, one f-word and a couple of minor swears, comic-book violence, no blood, and at over two hours long is suitable for older kids only. And most adults.

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