X-Men Days Of Future Past: Five Best Moments
Last week, X-Men: Days of Future Past finally hit theaters and, for most audiences (including the critics at Rotten Tomatoes), it's the best X-Men movie yet. The film wasn't without flaws, but strong performances and a compelling plot strung together a series of awesome action sequences to make it a broadly-appealing movie that fulfilled its promise to "fix" some of the problems of X-Men: The Last Stand and set up a new status quo for X-Men: Apocalypse and beyond. What were the best bits that writer Simon Kinberg and director Bryan Singer delivered? Well, that's pretty subjective, but for our picks, read on... Oh, yeah. And SPOILERS, of course.
The brutal Sentinel battles We'll wrap all of the battle sequences with the futuristic Sentinels into one entry here because what made them appealing was so similar. The scenes were effects gold, and they helped to really elevate the stakes (admittedly, one of our regular readers commented after our review of the film that the stakes weren't effectively raised for him because of time travel, but there's only so much you can do about that since time travel is key to this story). The fight choreography was really good, and the use of Blink's powers was effective and awesome. She was, perhaps surprisingly, the standout of those sequences to me, with better-known and more popular characters like Bishop and Sunspot being, essentially, just kind of there (other than some neat choices regarding his appearance, Sunspot was basically no different from how we've seen the Human Torch depicted onscreen in the past).
Quicksilver to the rescue The entire time Quicksilver was in the movie, he was a bunch of fun to watch -- but everyone seems to have collectively agreed that the best bit of business he had was the actual "rescue" scene where he ran between seconds at super speed and redirected all of the scene's action in both cool and comical ways. Supposedly we'll get more of him in the next film, and it'll be interesting to see where they go from here. The Paris sequence The centerpiece of the movie, of course, is Mystique's assassination attempt on Bolivar Trask. They make that work well by making that scene chaotic and keeping the viewer in suspense. You've got the flash backs and flash forwards happening, you've got Magneto trying to kill Mystique and later, everyone trying to get away from everyone else. You've got Wolverine having a weird chronal seizure that has implications in both eras...and that's just to start. That it was so complex that it could easily have been confusing and messy, but instead works very effectively, is enough reason to put it on here for me...but we also get to see the best Beast stuff so far in the franchise, as he's a character it's kind of felt like they're not sure what to do with. In this movie, they went full Savage Hulk with him, and while it's not entirely in character, it works well and we can justify it by virtue of the fact that he's younger and may not have the same level of control we're used to yet.
Magneto lifts the baseball field Honestly, this one wasn't one of my personal favorites, but a ton of our readers have been talking about it and I can see why. Magneto is arguably the mutant whose powers have been the most effectively used on film, historically, in this franchise. To see him return to form in a huge, impressive way was fun...and the use of the stadium to create kind of a gladiatorial arena around which the fim's final big confrontation would take place was an interesting visual choice.
The Cyclops Cameo As a comic book reader -- and, heck, just as a guy who likes happy endings -- it was hard not to like the fact that in the end, we got our heroes back to life, we got Rogue and Iceman back together and Kitty Pryde with Colossus. That final period on the end of the film may have been a little on-the-nose, but it's what I (and many others) wanted when you take a series of unpopular decisions in some of the movies and combine them with time travel, then pop it in the oven for the duration of a sequel. Why single out Cyke? Because as fun as it was to see Beast alive or any of those other changes in place, Cyclops was arguably the best-kept secret. Seeing Jean was less of a surprise since her death had been such a thing for Wolverine in The Wolverine and Days of Future Past...but when Scott showed up, it was not only a little bit less expected but also added a bit of comic relief to the touching scene that had been built up to that point.