Over the weekend. a bunch of us here at ICRT went to go see the latest X-men movie: Days of Future Past! Prepare for my spoiler-free review!

In this sequel to the prequel to the trilogy, we are initially introduced to a dystopian future, where mutantkind is all but extinct, and humanity is not much better off, thanks to the invention of the Sentinels. The Sentinels are a type of mutant-hunting robot, invented by Bolivar Trask, tasked with eradicating the growing mutant threat to safeguard normal humanity. Of course, things don’t go exactly to plan, and the entire world is left devastated. In this bleak future, we meet a team of X-men, the last of their kind, fighting just to survive. They come up with a plan to send one of their own back in time to prevent the rise of the Sentinels 50 years ago. The only one who can survive the trip? Wolverine.

Logan is sent back to 1973 by Professor X and Magneto, with the mission to contact their younger selves and stop the event that led to the Sentinel programming taking off. While Wolverine is working to reconcile the younger versions of the two, the Sentinels are closing in on the X-men’s last bastion, and the remaining mutants must buy Wolverine the time he needs to accomplish his mission.

Personally, one of the most exciting part of this movie was just seeing some of my favorite mutants on the big screen. This installment of the X-men franchise brings back Colossus and Shadowcat from previous movies, while it introduces Bishop and Blink. Other blasts from the past include Iceman and Storm, while other newcomers are Sunspot, Warpath, and Quicksilver. Sadly, Nightcrawler was not re-introduced with this film, but there’s always hope for the future!

Most of the mutant-powered action takes place in the future scenes, and let me tell you those were a blast to watch. Meanwhile, Quicksilver mainly appeared for a plot-central sequence in the past. It was an interesting juxtaposition: the future mutants actually fighting in order to change the past, while the past mutants being generally more subtle as they sought to change the future.

Overall, I felt the plot and pacing for this movie were excellent. There were almost no moments where I felt things were dragging on, or when things didn’t make sense. Aside from the action, there was plenty of drama and moments of personal growth for some characters. I know a certain fellow-movie-watcher-and-blogger was near tears several times during the movie as this unnamed individual was moved by what was going on on-screen. There were a few timeline problems, but that was largely baggage from previous movies/spinoffs and no fault of this particular movie’s production and writing teams.

I can’t say for certain how far the movie deviates from the comic book it is based off. It may be a somewhat unfair comparison anyway, because for all its importance to the X-men mythology, I think the Days of Future Past story arc originally only lasted the one issue. But I think Hollywood has done a very good job of adapting the spirit of the comic. Not only that, in general, movies have the benefit of cherry-picking some of the best stories from comic book history to receive the Hollywood treatment (re: Days of Future Past, the upcoming Batman v Superman movie), while for a long time comics tended to wade through what I call the “villain of the month” syndrome. Great stories would show up occasionally, but it was by no means consistent. This lets Hollywood directors pick and choose the best storylines to put on the silver screen, giving viewers a chance to witness these stories in a more accessible way.

This was a solid, enjoyable, riveting movie that I am actually tempted to see a second time, if just for the awesome fight scenes. And of course, stay til the very end to watch the now-obligatory teaser scene! En Sabah Nur! En Sabah Nur!

Grade: A