‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ satisfies and confounds

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” serves as a bridge of sorts between the first trilogy of “X-Men” movies released in the early 2000s and “X-Men: First Class” released in 2011. As confusing as the title “Days of Future Past” may seem, it is thematically and structurally appropriate.

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation.

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation.

The film opens with the cast of the original “X-Men” movies, most notably Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Hugh Jackman, and then transitions to the younger versions of the characters from “X-Men: First Class.” There are strong performances across the board. While James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who play the younger versions of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr respectively, are both very compelling in their roles, I did find myself pining for more screen time with Stewart and McKellen who are two of the all-time greats.

The fun in “X-Men” movies is the incredible diversity and quality of the mutant’s powers. Adding or subtracting characters completely changes the dynamic of how the action plays out. The action participants, in “Days of Future Past” are top-notch and far less annoying than the disappointing goofballs in “X-Men: First Class.”

This movie is very difficult to review. I enjoyed it, but found myself very distracted while watching. Combining two sets of actors playing the same characters that span six previous “X-Men” movies is a lot to take in. Furthermore, like many time-travel films, it’s easy to get lost in the continuity and spend time questioning how or why certain things happen when the answer may be simple oversight instead of deliberate foresight.

While “Days of Future Past” marks the best “X-Men” film in over a decade, in this reviewer’s opinion, it doesn’t surpass “Amazing Spider-Man 2” for the best film of the summer thus far.

5 of 6 stars

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