I grew up with X-Men. The cartoon ran after I got home from school, and while it wasn’t brilliant, it was enough to get me acquainted with the most basic X-Men stories. I knew about Jean Grey and the Phoenix, had a pretty tight grasp on the Wolverine origin story… but none of these stories was quite as awesome to me as Days of future Past, in which the X-Men travel back in time to eradicate the Sentinels at their core.
It was my first time travel story. I loved every bit of its twists and turns. And I also loved the movie adaptation – but for a wholly different set of reasons. Maybe I grew up?
Sure, the time travel was as sweet as ever – but really, let’s not kid ourselves: It was mainly a trick to get some sweet Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen action going. Sure, it worked, and they did provide a nice contrast with the past versions of Magneto and Charles (Fassbender and McAvoy, sexay as ever!), but ultimately, the story would’ve worked without the time travel shenanigans.
On the other hand, Days of Future Past expanded upon First Class, where our good friend Fassbender Magneto caused the Cuban missile crisis. Expect Richard Nixon, a mutant-related JFK conspiracy and some awesome Super 8 footage of Mystique with an afro.
So I guess Days of Future Past is a double time travel, in a way. Add to that a tight, unpretentious screenplay that has a very precise grip on the characters inhabiting it and you’ve got a solid two-hour rollercoaster ride to enjoy with a bag of popcorn and a coke. And that’s precisely how I like my X-men.