By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 12, 2014 at 5:59PM
It's a helluva gamble. For "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg brought together two generations of mutants, tossed in time travel and hoped it would lead to a powerhouse result. And ... well, not everyone agrees on whether or not the roll of the dice paid off. Certainly on paper the idea is compelling—Double Magneto! Double Charles Xavier! Mystique rolling hard with Storm!—but making it work is a whole other question, and it seems it was a tricky concept to pull off.
The review floodgates have been opened (at least abroad) with the first notices on the film hitting the web. And as you might expect for a summer blockbuster, opinions are quite mixed on whether or not the "X-Men: First Class" follow-up gets it all right. So without further delay, here's what the critics are saying—and see for yourself when the movie opens on May 23rd:
The Independent: "The problem here is an absurdly convoluted screenplay that leaps back and forth in time in a manner that is both confusing and increasingly irritating."
The Telegraph: "The film squanders both of its casts, reeling from one fumbled set-piece to the next. It seems to have been constructed in a stupor, and you watch in a daze of future past."
Variety: "No skyscrapers blow up, no cities are leveled, and while the White House and a football stadium suffer some serious structural damage, the wholesale destruction of human civilization is kept to a refreshing minimum in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' — just one of several respects in which this strikingly ambitious yet intimately scaled entertainment distinguishes itself from so much of its comicbook-movie kind."
THR: "While it's more dramatically diffuse than the reboot and lacks a definitive villain, the new film is shot through with a stirring reverence for the Marvel Comics characters and their universe…It's hard to imagine fanboys having too much to grumble about here, as Singer has pulled together an ambitious, suspenseful screen chapter that secures a future for the franchise while facilitating continued reinvention."
Digital Spy: "Where 'Days of Future Past' ends up may not be entirely to everyone's tastes, but judged on its own terms this is a movie that delivers excellent performance and brains to compliment its bang-for-your-buck spectacle."
Geek: " 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' is up there with 'X-Men: First Class' as one of the best films in the X-Men series. It’s filled with action, it’s tense, and is surprisingly thoughtful at times. If you like X-Men — even if you hate what the movies became — you should see it."
Bleeding Cool: "I don’t want to go too much further for fear of spoiling the story but I will say that, despite some stand-out action set pieces and some brilliantly inventive details – I particularly liked the last word on Magneto’s possible involvement in the JFK assassination – what makes 'Days of Future Past' work is the big picture. Stakes are established that are consistent with the characters as we know them, and these are explored in ways that remain narratively engaging as they unfold. At two hours and ten minutes or so this is far from the longest superhero film in living memory but it’s not short and there was a real risk of it dragging. It certainly doesn’t, though."
Sci Fi Now: "Earnest and worthy aren’t qualities that tend to produce successful superhero movies. But somehow, Singer makes it work, neatly negotiating the inherit problems presented by time travel and the butterfly effect, and putting the X-verse on an interesting new path in the process. Days of Future Past might present as many questions as it answers – but for the first time in the franchise’s history, the future seems truly – and gloriously – uncertain."
Empire: "The best X-Men film since the second one, this sequel/ prequel/reboot trashes the ’70s with élan. Some of the massive cast struggle to register (there’s only a brief Storm), but what’s here is all good. We want 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' now."