X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer, 2014)

What's it about? If anyone's keeping count, this is the seventh X-Men film, so best brush up on at least a few of those first. Here we follow the exploits of Arnold Schwarzeneggar Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), as he is sent back in time by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) to the 1970s to stop Sarah Connor Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) killing scientist Miles Dyson Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), an event which will bring about an apocalyptic war and the end of mutantkind. First, though, he must convince a younger Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to help him, which is a bit of a problem since they're not the best of friends any more following the events of X-Men : First Class.

Is it any good? Absolutely - hugely entertaining fun. A potentially convoluted time-travel plot is mapped out clearly and Singer juggles things with aplomb to keep track of events both time zones without losing focus. Even if its plot mechanics are not wildly original (The TerminatorThe Matrix and the re-booted Star Trek, to name but a few, are embedded in its DNA), it is smart enough not to tie itself up in too many knots and lets the characters lead the way. (Besides, there's only so many ways you can spin this altering history malarkey, and interesting to note the comic-book inspiration for this tale actually pre-dates all of the above. Who's replicating who, hmmm?). Anyway, never worry about all that. There's not much time to ponder such things as we're amply distracted by some terrific action sequences, a few well-judged moments of humour and plenty of knowing references for X-Men fans to look out for. Cast-wise, it's a clear team effort, with everyone diplomatically afforded their moment in the limelight to display their powers or, in Jackman's case, his ass. Personally, I found Jennifer Lawrence striding about in flower-power 70s gear hard to beat; that's just about the loveliest thing I've seen in a film this year. It's not quite as good as the superlative X2, but it's not far off, even if the end brings a slight whiff of Bobby Ewing in the shower about everything that has happened in the previous instalments. Overall, the best comic-book blockbuster for some time and will likely leave you in an excited daze for future parts.

Anything else I should know? If your tiny non-mutant mind has trouble keeping up with the whirl of characters and interactions through the X-Men movie universe, here's a cut-out and keep timeline guide to who's dead, who's alive, who's good, who's bad, who's confused. Courtesy of Empire magazine.

What does the Fonz think? Seventh heaven. SNIKT!

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