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It’s a continuous engaging rage of fear and misunderstanding battles between mutants and humans. Going into the past in order to restore the future is quite a complex, yet pleasurable fantasy only mutants can successfully accomplish. In every way, “Days of Future Past” is an intensified thrill-ride of action, drama and visual bliss.

In short, it’s fucking awesome!

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The X-Men ensemble fights one of the darkest wars for the survival of their species across two time-lines in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The beloved, yet edgy characters from the original “X-Men” movie trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight an epic battle that could reshape their future.

Director Bryan Singer reinvented the comic-book genre as we’ve come to know it. With the debut of the hugely successful “X-Men” in the summer of 2000, Singer established nothing less than a new creative touch and look in his motion picture adaptation of the beloved comic-book stories and characters. That movie was followed by Singer’s even more successful “X2” in 2003.

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In “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” Singer returns to the director’s chair to expand upon his vision for the X-Men universe. It’s a huge and provocative story propelled by richly conceived characters. Carrying so much in terms of story, all things X-Men is somewhat of a must in order to keep up with the back-and-forth that’s constantly in shift. Harsh objectives among some in order to maintain their existence as usual become challenged by some that seem to keep an agenda among those who may come off a bit (mutant-like) xenophobic.

Professor X’s (Patrick Stewart) narration during the opening scene in a futuristic, dystopian-like N.Y.C. establishes a deep, dark reality of what’s to come in terms of the mutant race at the hands of the out-of-control force known as Sentinels. As always, finding solutions to any problem, his brilliance gets to work on a possible act that may change the fate of their race: changing the future, by going into the past. Quietly and reluctantly challenged by those surrounding him knowing it’s too much a risk, the only heavy-hitting mutant with healing powers that can resist all sorts of chaos steps up the plate: Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).

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At the agreement of Professor X and handling (literally) of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) starts a rough and tumbling journey back into the 70s that unites the most unique of X-Men characters embarking on a jaw-dropping, bizarre and intense hunt for the only culprit with the power in her hands to have it all go according to plan: Mystic (Jennifer Lawrence). Or so we think? Challenged on every level one can imagine, the ringleader who defines all things going wrong for mutants, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinglage), is always a step ahead of the game as it’s exposed just how much and far back he goes among the hunt in order to preserve humanity.

As a whole, “Days of Future Past” will clearly be one of my top favorites this year. Taking control of your attention-span and emotion, the screenplay (by Simon Kinberg) does a phenomenal job keeping the intensity afloat when it needs to, while leveling it out with great dialog during character-based moments – one of the best between Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) that expresses so much pain and despair, the two come across so well and with so much respect on their own paths, it’s hard to imagine that these two wind up as enemies. Another that involves Magneto sets him up with Mystic in a phone-booth that also exposes so much edginess, it’s mouth-watering moviegasm as these two characters also share a touchy exchange. Owning each of their roles and pushing their objectives, I can say each and every actor lived up to their X-Men guises.

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Giving each mutant their moment to show off, rattle cages, kick ass and leave foot-prints of awesomeness, even though the film’s pretty much carried by Mystic (as backbone) and Wolverine (as unifier), it’s without question one of the best and most enjoyable mutants to watch was Peter / Quicksilver (Evan Peters) whose intro winds up being a bit annoying, but makes up for it in a big way when enlisted to lend a helping hand. Leaving a mark, it’ll be interesting to see how FOX’s (X-Men) version will come off versus Disney’s (The Avengers) version played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who starred along Evan in “Kick-Ass”), but for now stands on his own with an interesting and entertaining display.

Running parallel to great character work comes the craziness among action sequences. By far, one of the BEST movies in terms of action, “Days of Future Past” has to have the darkest and most emotionally-driven of the entire franchise. The fight scenes are vicious, the outlook towards any kind of destruction (whether human or mutant) are visceral and the link between the time-lines carry over so well, the film’s cuts and pacing aren’t off-putting at all. Giving it all to you in an order that ties in all the films, it’s the link between “First Class” and “Days of Future Past” that stand out the most once we see Wolverine back in the 70s as he sets off on his mission.

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As a whole, the film is full of defiant, open-ended questions and actions. How do we define “good” or “bad” in a world full of beings that are set on their own agenda out of fear of what they don’t understand? Not too far off on what’s going on in our world today, the X-Men franchise artistically defines humanity’s arrogance and ignorance among those we consider different and/or challenging to our ideals and morals. Peter Dinklage (as Dr. Trask) presents a strong version of that. Adding a lot to the story, his character may be sought upon as a villain, but others might argue that. Symbolically, it’s an interesting piece that goes deeper than just pure entertainment with our favorite heroes flying from one end of the screen to another as they fight the good fight, but also a metaphor for a thought-provoking approach when taking in the movie.

With an even BIGGER (than Marvel’s “The Avengers”) cast of Hollywood heavyweights, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” delivers well. It’s without doubt not only a summer blockbuster, but one of the year’s best! Accompanied by a pretty good soundtrack, it’s rough, hard, loud, big and freaking insane! Adding to its level of greatness, stay for post-credit scene. I don’t know how Singer will fill in this movie’s shoes with the next one, but with what they have in store, I can’t image how much crazier this franchise is going get.

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Grade: A / Genre: Action, Adventure, and Fantasy / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 131 Min.

Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Evan Peters

Directed by: Bryan Singer

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