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'X-Men: Days of Future Past': What's the verdict? May 23, 2014
Behold the massive cast of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." The movie is based on a classic "X-Men'"storyline from the comic books. Because of the time travel element, it gathers characters from all of the previous "X-Men" movies.
Credit: Marvel/20th Century Fox
Lisa Respers France
(CNN) -- "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has stars aplenty, but does it have what it takes to make it a summer blockbuster?
The reviews are in for the film, which stars Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and others -- and not everyone agrees on the latest installment of the "X-Men" series, a sequel to 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand" and 2011's" X-Men: First Class." The plot revolves around the group sending Wolverine (played by Jackman) into the past to try to change a calamitous future.
Rolling Stone's Peter Travers writes, "Step up, cynics, and see the summer 2014 blockbuster that gets damn near everything right.
"OK, maybe 'Days of Future Past' is merely a stopgap between 'First Class' and the upcoming 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' " Travers continues. "But it's also a movie that uses action to define character and has the skills to make you care about outcasts in a society that hews spinelessly to the norm. A rousing epic of mind and heart in a summer of craven formula."
A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes, "In the case of 'Days of Future Past,' the plot is as overelaborate and muddled as some of the effects.
"The logic of the story -- a time-travel pretzel that strains after the brain-teasing power of an old "Star Trek" episode -- requires too many variables," according to Scott. "The frantic crosscutting of the culminating battles, which take place simultaneously and also a half-century apart, requires too much thought on the part of the audience because it has received too little on the part of the filmmakers."
Chris Nashawaty of EW also references "the pretzel-logic pop fantasia" but takes a more positive view.
"I know all of this sounds like a tangled thicket of cosmically Big Ideas," Nashawaty writes. "But Simon Kinberg's marvelous script makes it all move with a Swiss jeweler's precision and hum with internal logic. It's complex without being confusing."
The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan cautions fans to not expect some questions from past films to be answered (like how is Patrick Stewart's Professor Charles Xavier still alive, anyway?). But, he says, " 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' is, in itself, as intoxicating as a shot of adrenaline. It's what summer movies are meant to be."