With mutants on the verge of extinction and humanity itself now in the cross-hairs, Wolverine must go back in time to stop the events that led to the rise of the sentinels and the war against mutant-kind.
In a dystopian future, the sentinels reign supreme and the mutants are nearly gone. Humanity has become a target as well, for their potential to later create new mutants. In a last, desperate attempt to prevent the annihilation, the X-Men send Logan’s consciousness back in time to prevent the start of the extermination. Old Magneto, though, is no more reliable than the present one. Professor X has lost hope and the X-Men as we know them have disbanded. Wolverine must rekindle the fire in Xavier, assemble what mutant allies he can find and figure out a way to stop Mystique from bringing about the ruin of them all.
“Days of Future Past” remains one of the great comic book story lines, which makes it sad that they took so many liberties with the source material. Instead of a last valiant stand by the mutants, and specifically the chance to see another mutant take the reins and save the day, the vague pseudo-science that has always made the X-Men plausible is discarded so that we can be treated to yet another Wolverine movie. The plot becomes a bit convoluted for the uninitiated and Magento’s true powers continue to be basically whatever the writers need for him to be able to do, but continuity and logic aside, this is a solid action flick. It bogs down from time to time, and the cuts back to the “present” time are too infrequent to be useful – instead becoming somewhat of a distraction – but for the most part the pacing is strong. James McAvoy continues to make the role of Charles Xavier his, even while sharing time with Patrick Stewart in the same role. Jennifer Lawrence is a less convincing Mystique, however, and the makeup for both her and Beast is distractingly bad, particularly in light of the otherwise solid special effects.
Following an incredible opening sequence which sets a pretty high bar, this is an uneven ride with several low points mixed in with the high. “Days of Future Past” provides a nonetheless exciting buildup to an impressive final act, highlighted by that final brave stand by the mutants which the entire movie could have been.