There are some things that you just can’t help but give second chances to. Despite the innumerable ways that they have disappointed you in the past, you know that somehow, if given enough time, they will prove that you were right to trust them all along. This is how I have felt about the X-Men films since X2. Despite a strong start to the series, it quickly spiraled into a miasma of false starts, tangled continuity and disappointing Wolverine spin-offs. And just when First Class offered a fresh new start to a stagnant series, Days of Future Past loomed ominously in the distance – an impossibly complicated film that would attempt to merge the franchise’s parallel timelines into a streamlined retcon. I had never been so worried about the direction of the franchise, nor have I ever been so pleased to give a struggling series a second chance.
The future is a bleak and desolate wasteland. In their blind desperation to secure their survival as a species, mankind developed Sentinels – robotic drones that can adaptively incorporate the powers of any mutant that they come into contact with. Not only have they brought mutants to near extinction, but have even succeeded at eradicating humans whose genetics would eventually produce mutant descendants. Faced with the inevitability of their own destruction, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr have made common cause against a titanic mutual enemy.
Even at the brink of extinction, however, there is still hope. Kitty Pryde’s ability to phase through solid matter has developed to the point where she can phase a person’s consciousness into their younger body: allowing them to travel backwards through time and change the course of future events. She succeeds at sending Wolverine back to 1973, where he must unite a misanthropic Xavier and an incarcerated Magneto, at a time when the two men couldn’t be further apart, in order to prevent Mystique from assassinating Sentinel inventor Bolivar Trask and setting into motion the events that would convince humanity of the need for Trask’s weapons. Continue Reading »