I’ll just say it now: Quicksilver almost stole the show, and he would have if he didn’t play more of a supporting role. Evan Peters brings the fleet footed mutant to life and he dazzles on the screen when utilized by Logan, Charles, and Beast.
His powers have been teased in all of the films trailers and teasers, but that all fails in comparison when you witness them in full view and glory. I can’t spoil it, I won’t, you’ll have to see it for yourself, but I will tell you this: you might find yourself uncontrollably clapping after being exposed to the way he is depicted on-screen, and the bar has been set pretty high for Joss Whedon and Co., who are utilizing Quicksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Remember complaining about Quicksilver’s look too? He’s a teenage kid, and once you see him in action you’ll find yourself forgetting about that whole gripe.
4. It’s beautifully terrifying
When Singer shows us the future, he brings it to us in a very dark and grim light, but the way he weaves that dark tone into the action of the story is where the film begins to find its beauty. In the future, the action is relentless and often horrible because that’s how the Sentinels operate. In the past, it is kind of upbeat and fun until the emotions of future and past meet together for the finale. Emotions propel this movie forward, and the terrifyingly beautiful cinematography and imagery of the future sequences drive the emotions and main themes of the film home.
3. The Cast
The ensemble they put together for this film really knocked it out of the park, the performances across the board were on par, and many were outstanding. In fact, only one actress lacked while she was on-screen and it was Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique. Whether her performance lacked or she was overshadowed by the incredible efforts by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, I can’t tell, but for being such an important part to the overall story of DOFP she is the weakest main character of them all.
All around, the cast delivers in their respective roles. Many of the advertised mutants appear in various supporting roles, including the elder versions of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr played by Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen respectively, but every little piece serves the greater puzzle and that is really the point of this film; it’s a team effort, the work going on in the future to try and change the past is desperate, fading, there is no hope.
Even in very small roles, characters such as Blink, Warpath, and Bishop play significant roles to the emotions and action of the film, but only see a few minutes of screen time in total. Singer was able to pack his film with mutant protagonists, (most of them in the future) with the excuse that the X-Men had been operating as a functioning unit for years, and it works on-screen.
2. Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto was one of the strongest points in this film, granted he doesn’t appear until almost halfway into the film, but it’s worth the wait. The dynamic between Fassbender and McAvoy is almost worth the price of admission itself, but the performance of the dark and damaged Lehnsherr by Fassbender is so hauntingly awesome.
Magneto is just trying to do what is best for the future of his race at all times, and doesn’t care what that means for him. One of the best moments in the film comes from Charles confronting Erik on an airplane, where Charles is tragically blaming Erik for abandoning him. Erik returns this tirade with an anger fueled response, basically telling Charles that his cries didn’t matter because he abandoned the whole mutant race upon becoming reclusive. Magneto’s story arc is very interesting in this film, and provides a lot of interesting questions moving forward with in the future of the X-Men franchise, but Fassbender was a perfect casting, and would have been my number one choice if it wasn’t for the incredible performance turned in by…
1. James McAvoy
Days of Future Past was really all about shaking the Charles Xavier from 1973 out of apathy to become the guiding light for the mutant cause when they needed him most. When Logan finds him after the events of First Class, he finds a broken and tormented man that doesn’t care anymore and McAvoy displays these emotions to the point where the audience can feel these emotions happening inside of themselves.
McAvoy steals the show with his acting talent, and that shouldn’t short change a movie that was successful because of the emotions conveyed due to a plethora of talent, but there is something about the way that McAvoy plays the younger incarnation of Charles Xavier with a flawed perfection that makes us all want to rally behind him. He is a shattered individual that must deal with the idea of channeling the darkness of an entire planetary consciousness, and as a young man, simply cannot bear that weight.
As a moviegoer, you can easily step into the flawed shoes of Charles Xavier because of the extremely human way he is portrayed, we are all flawed, and if any of us were sitting around in our pajamas, drinking scotch all day, when a message from the future arrives to tell us that we are the eventual savior of life, and that even though you are broken, if you begin to hope again the world has another chance, you would probably crush under that weight just as Xavier does when faced with the impossibility.
Overall, the latest installment in the X-Men franchise delivers us with a supreme level of entertainment and acting ability, while delivering socially relevant commentary and satisfying action that organically blends itself with the story, Days of Future Past is certainly one of, if not the most entertaining film to grace the screen so far this year and if you haven’t made your way to see it yet; you should… right now.
Author Bio: Nick LaMacchia is from Buffalo, NY. While currently residing in Portland, OR, he is writing a sci-fi trilogy of novels, with the first being published late in the year. He’s obsessed with film, football, hockey, Batman, and real chicken wings from his hometown.