After the awesome first two films, the relative failures of The Last Stand and the Wolverine(s), and the return to form of First Class, I was cautiously hopeful for Days of Future Past. It had potential–near full casts of both sets of X-Men?–but potential doesn’t necessarily mean good.
After seeing it though, I was again pleasantly surprised. They deal with the parallel story lines well, giving Sir Patrick Stewart et al enough screen time that they didn’t feel useless while at the same time, the new guard gets their chance to shine. The time travel is pleasantly internally consistent1, with the lack of ability to travel more than once at once2 lending some real tension to the future timeline.
On the negative side (and it’s really not much, even at that), this film manages to make even more of a mess of the X-Men movie universe continuity, trying at once to unify the previous six films while at the same time blatantly ignoring other facets. Even worse, in all that time, it still feels like they’re telling the same story 14 years in the making. Again and again, mutants are a thinly veiled analogue for insert discriminated against group here. People hate them (ostensibly in the same universe where they cheer for The Avengers and Spider-Man) and fear them and try to kill them. Unfortunately though, the story works. It’s sadly just as relevant now as it was 14 years ago.
Still. A solid movie. Well worth seeing. I’ve always had a soft spot for the X-Men over Spider-Man (and I did enjoy it more, albeit not as much as I expected to), but it’s not a Captain America. #3 it is!