In the future the X-Men are hunted by robots. In order to escape extinction, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels back to the 1970s to stop the robots' constructor. A felicitous and logical time-travel with the ultimate cast of beloved X-Men and decent enough action to propel the film series.
In a few years Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen), once bitter enemies, fight side by side, because new enemies chase and unite them: the Sentinels. In the 1970s the government felt threatened by the mutants, so they had Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) build these robots with adaptive capacities. In the future these become so strong and many that the mutants are almost extinct. Only a small group consisting of X, Magneto, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and others has been able to save themselves so far.
Their last chance is to use Kitty's abilities: she can send another person's minds into the past—actually just a few weeks. But because of his self-healing powers, Wolverine can survive to be brought 50 years back into the past. Kitty sends him into his body in the 1970s, where his task is not only to unite Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbinder), but also to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Dr. Trask. In the future, however, the Sentinels are attacking again, which doesn't allow them much time...
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Bryan Singer, the director of "X-Men" and "X2", returns to his film series. While Singer shot the uber-expensive "Superman Returns", "Valkyrie" and "Jack the Giant Slayer" (which were less successful), some others have been working on a sequel, two Wolverine spin-offs and a prequel to the X-Men series in the past 11 years. The X-men cast lists have always read like a who's who of Hollywood, but Singer and his writers now connect the first films with the prequel "X-Men: First Class". With their time-travel plot they bring together all the major characters in two periods, which makes the seventh installment "Days of Future Past" all the more sexy. "X-Men" was a pioneer of modern superhero movies, but since "The Last Stand" in 2006 the series lost more and more viewers. Other superheroes like Iron-Man, Spider-Man or Nolan's Batman series seem to have outstripped the X-Men. Therefore Fox and the filmmakers seem to bring in the heavy artillery to ensure this film's success.
It's not enough for a good movie to haul in big stars, of course. No, the story and presentation need to be right. Audiences can expect the production value of "Days of Future Past" to be on the same excellent level as the previous movies. Concerning the story, director Singer puts action and ingenious sci-fi/fantasy elements on an intelligent human foundation again, as he did in his first two X-Men movies. The time travel pleasantly mixes futurism on the one hand and retro charme on the other. Fans can look forward to Wolverine before his Adamantium upgrade. Then again the Sentinels look anachronistically modern (more like "Pacific Rim" or "Iron Man") and other technology will hardly appear right in the 1970s.
Time travels have indeed been told many times already, but the experienced screenwriter Simon Kinberg ("X-Men: The Last Stand", "Mr. & Mrs. Smith", "Sherlock Holmes") plus Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (both "X-Men: First Class", "Stardust") have designed a logical story which tries not to be cluttered. There's no need to be as complicated as "Inception", especially when one handles so many characters. Time seems to be a little too short despite a length of 131 minutes, though, leaving a few things missing (e.g. Quicksilver vanishes as quickly as he showed up). The film as a whole, however, manages to maintain a balanced tone (partly socio-philosophical, partly humorous), a brisk pace, enough action and a well-constructed climax. Prior knowledge of the X-Men universe is certainly beneficial here to understand everything, but even newcomers are likely to be well entertained.