(SPOILER DISCLOSURE: There are no full-on spoilers in this review.  However in the analysis I do make references that might influence how you watch the movie.  If you haven’t seen this movie, stop after the first paragraph then come back and read the rest.)

Let me start by saying this was a “Great” movie. It was very entertaining and enjoyable.  If you are a fan of X-Men, or action movies, or superhero movies at all you should go see it.  It had great action sequences as well as some good serious moments.  It also had a good dose of humor to balance the heavy plot.  It had some amazing moments (Quicksilver in the kitchen, the battles with sentinels).  And it was great to see old Magento (Gandalf Magneto) and old Professor X (Jean-Luc Professor) again. Hugh Jackman was great as Wolverine (as always).  I also like the new guys from First Class and think they do a great job of reprising iconic roles. X-Men Days of Future Past is going to make a boatload of money, and deservedly so. You should definitely go see this movie.

(This is where you should stop if you haven’t seen the movie.  Go enjoy a Great movie, then come back and read the rest. It will be here patiently waiting…)

(Just one last check to make sure you see the movie before you keep reading.  Enjoy the movie without any preconceptions based on my thoughts…)

"This movie is 'Great', I'm just not in it as much as you might hope."

“This movie is ‘Great’, I’m just not in it as much as you might hope.”

Even though I really liked X-Men Days of Future Past, I was also somewhat disappointed.  Part of that disappointment was fair and part was unfair.

Let’s start with the unfair part. I may have let my expectations get a little out of control.  As much as I tried to mentally temper myself, by the time it finally came I was hoping for an Amazing movie.  And that’s not very fair (or wise).  Nothing ruins a movie more than unrealistic expectations.  But after all the previews and anticipation, I was hoping to be blown away.  For me the bar for superhero movies is Avengers.  Exciting, inspiring, not too corny, great collaboration between characters, a little humor and immediately leaving me wanting more. I hoped X-Men would be the movie to rival Avengers and maybe even raise the bar.  And even though it was Great, it didn’t achieve amazing-ness and didn’t raise the superhero movie bar.

Another unfair reason is that I expected this movie to be an awesome merger of the two different X-Men groups: the old guard and the new guys.  I’ve been eagerly waiting to see more of the old X-Men since the moment X3 ended and it seemed Professor X came back to life and Magneto started getting his power back.   And it finally seemed like that wish would come true! I hoped this X-Men would be a synergy of both groups working together to repair the cataclysmic future.  I figured it would be 50/50-60/40 split, or at least somewhere in that range.  In reality it was more like X-Men First Class 2 (with cameos from the original X-Men). OK, it wasn’t quite that bad but it was definitely more 80/20 than 50/50.  Professor X has some good dialogue, but Magneto and Storm hardly spoke. Cyclops, Jean and Rogue weren’t even in it. Wolverine was the only major part from the old guard.  Ultimately it was really just a chance to see an extended cameo from the old guys before we say goodbye.  And it was great to see them again, but I had wanted them to be a bigger part so I couldn’t help but be disappointed.

Now for some fair criticism.  This movie dragged a little.  After the assassination attempt the movie felt like it lost momentum that it never fully recovered.  Up until that point it was on track for Amazing.  The future scenes had whetted my appetite.  The escape from the prison was awesome.  It had a good build up in the dialogue between Wolverine and new Professor X and the struggle between young Professor X and Magneto.  The twist at the assassination made me audibly gasp.  At that moment the movie was primed to take “Amazing” by the horns and run with it.  The movie might have gotten bogged down from beating the Raven/Mystique good/evil theme to death and never fully recovered. I was expecting a cut to the future where we got a heavy dose of old Magneto and Professor X leading a battle against the super sentinels.  I hoped that would lead to a big awesome finale. But instead it was only short cut-scenes of future X-Men. And the finale was good, but not great.

Ultimately what this movie did well was tie a bow on the old X-Men franchise to neatly set the stage for future X-Men movies with the First Class crew. It honestly probably tied it up a little too neatly.  But it did let us see our old friends one last time and it even “undid” some things the others movies had messed up.  It was a nice goodbye to the old guard before the official permanent takeover by the First Class crew.

All that said, I will still be highly anticipating the next X-Men movie in 2016. Because even though X-Men Days of Future Past failed to live up to my unrealistic expectations, a Great X-Men movie is still something nice to have in your life.  Next time I’ll try to be wise and not set myself up for disappointment by having unrealistic expectations. Who am I kidding?  I’ll probably go in expecting Amazing+ and hoping to see old Professor and Magento again.

Final Verdict: “Great”

DVD Recomendation: Pre-Order this one to have as a part of your X-Men complete set

RT Audience Score: 95

CinemaScore: A

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IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]

Director: [imdblive:directors]

Cast: [imdblive:cast]