ELLE reviews X-Men: Days of Future Past

Warning: risk of sensory overload

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The sequel-to-the-prequel has landed and while X-Men novices are likely to suffer brain-freeze, those who have already fallen for the franchise are going to love the plot, the special effects, the special guest appearances and the cracking dialogue.

Days of Future Past sees the X-Men fighting for the survival of their species across two time zones, with original Magneto (Ian McKellan) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) sending Wolverine (Hugh Jackman - who makes a special guest appearance in the June issue of ELLE) back to the 70s to enlist the help of their younger selves (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) in stopping a physicist (Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage) creating mutant-destroying Sentinels.

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There's a small problem, and great plot opportunity, in the fact that young Charles Xavier and Eric 'Magneto' Lehnsherr are not in a good place. Meanwhile the reason for their schism, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence in a gratifyingly beefed-upl role) is on a homicidal mission that, if it succeeds, will help the Sentinel programme develop.

McAvoy is clearly having a blast doing drunk, lost and angry (but not quite as much fun as he is having here - watch it and weep). Fassbender is back doing what he does best - playing an unfeasibly hot bad-boy who is both indefensible and adorable (check out our exclusive interview here). Forever girl-crush Jennifer Lawrence is simply sublime - sad, angry, beautiful, vengeful - while her boyfriend Nicholas Hoult also gets to grips with a more crucial role this time out (while off screen the lead actors got up to no good together). Nonetheless the show is pretty much stolen by Evan Peters as newcomer Quicksilver,

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Nothing makes an action movie more than the one-liners, and you could trip over them in this one. And old-timers will enjoy cameos from classic X-Men Storm (Halle Berry), Kitty (Ellen Page) Jean (Famke Janssen) and Rogue (Anna Paquin).

X-Men: Days of Future Past is released on 22 May