Time and evolution are two perfect concepts for X-Men: Days of Future Past to explore, not only because we get to see how a franchise has shifted 14 years after its modern debut, but also because we’ve now spent half a century with these characters. On that first front, it’s especially important that Bryan Singer has returned to reclaim his directorial authority. A kind of full circle that promises to keep spinning . On the second front, it’s amazing to see how fresh and young these 50-year-old mutants really are.
The second full trailer for the film seeks a balance of those characters — showing off all the major players and some incredibly tall, robot bad guys.
Along with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, 2000’s X-Men helped change the game for comic book movies, proving that they didn’t have to be spandexed camp. After stumbling with X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and rebounding on both fronts, the big question here is whether Singer’s sensibilities will fit an even more evolved version of superhero storytelling.
The odds are heavily in his favor. X-Men holds up (a bit of wonky CGI aside) really well thanks to tight writing and directing that focused on distraught characters seeking their place in the world. Now that we’re celebrating The Avengers for “doing the impossible” by juggling a large amount of big personalities, it’s important to remember that X-Men did very much the same thing with the added challenge of introducing those characters in the same runtime.
Now Days of Future Past fits into that expected model — putting a well-loved group of characters into greater, more personal peril while attempting to save the world. They also manage to maintain the requisite post-Dark Knight bleakness in tact.
Obviously this is just an advertisement, but it paints a picture of a movie that’s both part of the original fad-launching franchise and a creature thoroughly of the comic book movie landscape of today.
Then again, that second part might not be all for the best.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is in theaters May 23rd.