k, I meant to go and see Godzilla today and X-Men ended up happening instead, but X-Men was pretty great so overall I'm OK with it. I believe I've seen all the X-Mens now, even though I've never been a big fan of the X-Men themselves. I was always under the impression that I liked the first movie the best until I actually watched it again, so thesedays I think I'm on Team X2 with the rest of you (even though I really don't like the whole ending thing with the dam and Stryker's weird daughter/son). I think X3 is awful, Wolverine's standalone was even worse, First Class was pretty solidly mediocre outside of Fassbender and McAvoy (who I still think are perfectly cast), and all I remember from Wolverine 2 is when that Dirtbike Ninja falls into Wolverine's random combine harvester thing that he found in a snowy Japanese village. That and Hugh Jackman's gross veins. And that crazy tall Japanese lady. So, in short, I guess X2 sticks out in my mind as the best of all the movies, but I could still kinda take it or leave it, y'know?
Days of Future Past, though? I think it's pretty sweet. Definitely the best of the bunch, in my opinion that might be safely-ignorable because I'm not a huge X-Men fan or nothin'. I think this movie alone does a better job at establishing the X-Men... movie universe, I guess, than the entire rest of the movie series taken together. By tying the best parts of the 'present' X-Men 'verse (i.e. the main crew we know and love, plus a pretty girl with awesome Portal-ing powers [we'll get to that bit later]) with the best bits of the 'past' one (i.e. Fassbender and McAvoy's smouldering sexual tension, with almost every other lame mutant from that movie gone or relegated to minor cameos), and tastefully painting in subtle details that outline the fifty years of history between them, I honestly think they finally nailed the bigger picture they've obviously been trying for all these years. It feels like they went down the Marvel Studios route of embracing the source material rather than cringing away from it, embarrassed to be making a comic book movie. Not just the original Days of Future Past storyline, either, but everything that comes with being in a comic book universe, warts and all. Early on, Professor X casually mentions, "I didn't have my powers in 1973", and I could just imagine a little note at the bottom corner of the screen saying "*See Issue #163 for details, dear readers. Excelsior!"
Before we drop the spoiler gate, I just want to say that the action scenes were absolutely wonderful, a complete surprise with Quicksilver and the Portal girl (I think her name was Blink?) being standout highlights. Everyone there is so comfortable with their characters by this point that the only weak links to be found are the occasional supporting cast members (and they come and go so quickly that it ain't even a thang). They painted Mystique the right colour this time, and fixed her ridiculous receding hairline from First Class while they were at it; the six inches of leg-length that J-Law Mystique lacks compared to Raven Romijn can't really be helped, but they did at least bring back her old fighting style from the first two movies and it's as delightfully ludicrous as ever. Fassbender's dropped the Irish lilt from First Class, in favour of a spot-on Ian McKellen impression, but, weirdly, Ian McKellen does kind of an American accent in his future scenes and I have no idea why. And, despite all my protestations about the X-Men not being my go-to superheroes, I couldn't help tearing up a little at the final scene. If there's a post-credits scene I didn't see it, because they didn't put it in the middle of the credits (where it gosh darn well belongs) and I just can't sit and wait through the full ten minutes just for a little stinger that'll show up on Youtube anyway. k spoilers!