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Latest 'X-Men' will please hardcore fans (w/video)

  • This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ian McKellen in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Alan Markfield)

If you enter "Future Past" just having watched an "X-Men" marathon, you are golden. You can use your encyclopedic knowledge of this comics universe to understand the importance of a seconds-long appearance of a character, and cheer it.

Otherwise, "Future Past" just seems crowded with characters constantly talking philosophies or trying to persuade someone else to change his or her mind or take action – and not enough subsequent action.

'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

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Mystique shape-shifts and Erik/Magneto controls airborne metal objects, but the big set pieces one expects from a comics film are few. Either that, or they did not leave enough of an impression to seem like set pieces.

A rousing third act, and stirring performances by Michael Fassbender (younger Erik) and James McAvoy (younger Charles), who do get enough screen time, and by Hugh Jackman – always a cranky, grounding force amid the sci-fi as Logan/Wolverine – will compensate. But not fully.

Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-men films, returns to the franchise with "Future Past," which starts in a near future in which giant government-sent enforcers called Sentinels are killing mutants. The mutant brain trust – Professor X, Magneto, Kitty (Ellen Page) – try to stop this by sending Logan back to 1973 to change the future. The age-less, injury-defying Logan goes back because he seems most able to weather the taxing nature of time travel.


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