I went into this film with low expectations. In fact going to see it Thursday night was a last minute decision as I had pretty much written off seeing it. While I enjoyed the first two films, I disliked the third and wanted to like X-Men First Class, but couldn’t get over the continuity clashes. With that in mind, I tried to put that baggage aside and take it for what it was worth. And I really liked it.
As most of you probably know, the story is based on the Uncanny X-Men #141-142 (1980) “Days of Future Past” by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Singer managed a decent reinterpretation of that idea for the movie universe. At first, I didn’t like the substitution of Wolverine for Kitty as the X-Man who was sent back in time as it pulled away from one of the strengths of the Claremont/Byrne story. However, it worked really with the twist the movie put on the time travel. Building on that twist, the story forced several main characters to change instead of having an all-out, city-devastating slugfest.
Peter Dinklage was a cardboard cutout villain despite a solid performance; a bit more backstory to his character would have made a world of difference. As a nice tip of the hat, Chris Claremont and Len Wein made cameos in the film. I liked the future vision of the Sentinels as it reminded me of the Captain Britain nemesis, the Fury (http://marvel.wikia.com/Fury_(Earth-238))
The ending was pleasantly surprising and satisfying. The aftermath left the franchise in good shape with many possibilities for X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016. While we didn’t see the full effects of the changes in the time stream, I’m sure that will be explored and exploited in the next film. I’m hopeful that they can move beyond Singer’s core cast of characters and focus on the broader X-Universe.