X-Men: Days Of Future Past Review Roundup

The critical reviews for X-Men: Days of Future Past have begun to come in and they are decidedly [...]

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The critical reviews for X-Men: Days of Future Past have begun to come in and they are decidedly mixed, with outlets focused on geek culture seeming to enjoy the film significantly more than mainstream outlets. Here's a sampling. Simon Reynolds at Digital Spy admits that X-Men: Days of Future Past isn't for everyone, but believes that strong performances of the central characters carry the film well.

In truth, the movie belongs to the quartet of Jackman, McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence. Here the roles are reversed for Xavier and Wolverine with the former - disillusioned with society's failure to accept mutants - needing guidance and help from his future protégé. It lends McAvoy the opportunity to grasp the film by the scruff of the neck and make Charles's inner turmoil a key ingredient. Fassbender's Magneto is more clear-eyed and focused this time around, unafraid to double-cross if it'll get him closer to his goal. Strip away the spectacle and pyrotechnics, though, and this film is ultimately about Charles and Erik's battle for Mystique's heart and soul. Lawrence, as expected, is magnificent, the pain and anguish of being a perennial outsider is etched on her face throughout (even through the blue make-up).

Similarly, Will Greenwald at Geek.com says that X-Men: Days of Future Past has its flaws, but is one of the best X-Men films yet.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is up there with X-Men: First Class as one of the best films in the X-Men series. It's filled with action, it's tense, and is surprisingly thoughtful at times. If you like X-Men — even if you hate what the movies became — you should see it.

On the other end of the spectrum, Robbie Collin at The Telegraph found the film to be a bloated mess.

By this point, Days of Future Past has introduced 18 lead and supporting characters, with a handful more to follow. "The mind can only stretch so far before it snaps," Kitty warns before she carries out the brain-meld, and you wish the writers had listened to her. Characters' bad decisions only serve to eke things out. Trask points out to Nixon that Magneto's power to manipulate metal leaves existing military hardware next-to-useless, and then builds the President a fleet of weaponised robots … made from metal. (Guess what happens next.) Mystique, who's bent on killing Trask, learns the assassination will bring about the near-annihilation of mutantkind … and presses on.

Geoffrey MacNab at The Independent feels that the film devoted too much time to the admittedly impressive special effects and not enough time to the story, specifically making the story accessible to those who haven't seen the entire X-Men film franchise multiple times.

As summer blockbusters go, Days Of Future Past does its job. No cinemagoer will feel short-changed because the filmmakers have skimped on the special effects. The VFX companies, among them MPC, Digital Domain and Cinersite, have performed some astonishing feats here - and their contribution deserves to be acknowledged. Vast armies of technicians worked on the film. (The credits are worth staying for as there is an after the credits scene.) For the non-devotee, though, the in-jokes and self-referential nature of the film verge on the bewildering. You can't help but wish that the same level of resources that went into the film's special effects had been devoted to the storytelling too.

Is X-Men: Days of Future Past simply too insular a story for mainstream audiences, with its time travelling plot united two casts that span 14 years of films? We'll have to see if reviews continue to be divided along the same lines while awaiting the film's US release on May 23.