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‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

by Giovanni Fazio

The new “X-Men” plays like “The Terminator” crossed with “American Hustle” via “12 Monkeys.” Given that the series has spawned six films over 14 years, non-fans may need to do some homework to catch up before viewing.

In a future where mutants have been hunted down and nearly annihilated by killer robots known as Sentinels, X-Men mentor Professor X (Patrick Stewart) tries a long-shot strategy, sending Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time (the 1970s, to be precise) to alter the past events which led normal humans to turn against the mutants. There he encounters the far younger versions of Professor X and his nemesis Magneto, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively, while the ubiquitous Jennifer Lawrence turns up as Mystique, a pro-mutant radical. Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two “X-Men” films, returns to give the franchise a needed energy boost, and while the dialogue’s heavy on exposition, the action sequences feature enough crazy mutant superpowers to keep things reliably entertaining.

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