In a desolate future where mutants have been hunted to extinction by militarised robots, Wolverine’s consciousness is sent back in time to prevent an assassination that set the course of history on this path.
Based on one of the all-time classic comic book stories, this was probably the most anticipated of the X-Men films and obviously had a lot to live up to amongst fans. As a fan myself this makes it rather difficult to view objectively, but I have to say that the result is nothing like as bad as the sorry bastardisation of X-lore that was The Last Stand. Certain tinkering was inevitable to translate the story to mainstream audiences and the use of Wolverine as the main protagonist works reasonably well, as does the reintroduction of the uneasy alliance between Charles Xavier and Magneto. The biggest problem lies in its treatment of the future scenes which, instead of the darkness and desperation of the concentration camp-set original story, chooses the path of least resistance of pointless Hollywood action sequences and special effects. This seriously compromises the tone of the story, especially as some of the “past” scenes are treated with such levity. The best moments are once again between Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy and the 1970’s setting works quite well. Unfortunately as the story goes on it gets more and more bogged down with unnecessary and overblown set pieces and the characterisation and dialogue is soon taking second place to yet more irrelevant special effects. I was also unhappy with the depiction of the sentinels which were always meant as hulking, mindless concentration camp guards who whose shoot-first-ask-questions-later raison d’etre only resulted in victory through sheer weight of numbers.
In the end, Days Of Future Past is a decent if inevitably fan-disappointing adaptation with plenty of action and some nice moments, but once again it’s a script that misses the point and tone of the original story that prevents it from being great film rather than a good one.