The hardest thing to do as a film reviewer is to be a little kid. To drop your grown-up expectations, disappointments of past bad movie experiences, knowledge of budget overruns, studio dramas, shooting catastrophes and sit there in wide eyed innocence as the lights dim in the movie theater.
This is true for the artist too, budget constraints, tight shooting schedules, casting conflicts, demands and tirades. It all gets in the way of wonder and what you set out to capture in the first place.
X-Men Days of Future Past delivers on wonder and will remind you of what it is to be a kid again.
Cleverly grounded and told through the point of view of the ever irritable and impatient Wolverine, (Hugh Jackman) the actor keeps his character fresh, and the writers keep the story clever, emotional and still bring the unexpected. No easy task to make five films into a franchise.
Populated mostly by the young versions of the X-Men hero franchise, the cast of heavyweights with Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbinder), and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) propel us forward on the emotional battle lines drawn between them from their previous crushing encounters that have split the respective sides of the mutant politics. The bottom line is that everyone is alone and Wolverine, cleverly, is the impatient brute assigned the task of reuniting the enemies Magneto and Xavier. Clever ploy, especially as we spend time with them in their older forms as well, (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan) and they all don't disappoint.
The director (Bryan Singer) understands emotional storytelling -- betrayal, trust, unexpected heroism and backstabbing and keeps one guessing until the end. And a few words of deeper wisdom imparted by the good professor hit home in a moment more profound than you might expect.