Film pick: X-Men: Days of Future Past (PG13)

133 minutes

The other title for this work could be The Wolverine Movie We Wished We Had Instead Of The One We Were Given, because this is Hugh Jackman's film. As Logan, Jackman (above right, with Nicholas Hoult, left, and James McAvoy, centre) has never been more interesting or charismatic than in this.

The story is peopled by characters and situations, which bring out his raging animal, not inner simpering pet, as the audience was given in last year's The Wolverine.

Sent back in time to inhabit his 1973 body, Logan's mission to change the future by turning enemies into friends united against a common foe is a formula as old as the summer science-fiction blockbuster. Time travel as a plot device is treated in a respectful, non-throwaway manner, and actions and their reverberations in the future are not locked in a linear, predictable lockstep.

More importantly, there is only a small serving of "the future is what we make of it" speechifying which plagues time-travel plots. But mostly, it is the magic of the ensemble dynamics which lifts the story beyond its formulaic roots.

This article was first published on May 23, 2014.
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