5 Lessons Other Blockbusters Should Learn from X-Men: Days of Future Past

1. Time-travel movies are cool.

Jumping around in time creates challenges for screenwriters, but it also opens up more imaginative possibilities. Days of Future Past gets rolling in a nightmare sequence in 2023, when Terminator 2-like shapeshifting robots called Sentinels, created by humans to extinguish mutants, are mopping up a war that has nearly destroyed the planet. Only Wolverine (a character who is ageless, hence played by Hugh Jackman in both eras) has the healing capacity to withstand the bodily stresses of traveling back in time to 1973, to stop Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, in a surprisingly prominent role for the world’s hottest actress) from assassinating the scientist (Peter Dinklage) who invented the Sentinels. She was hoping to stop the Sentinels from coming online in the first place, but the other X-Men decide that her move was counterproductive. The plan is to pacify humanity and prevent all-out war by saving the Dinklage character.