X-Men: Days of Future Past

Musical Score By: John Ottman

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the latest installment in the X-Men movie franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must travel back to 1973 and convince Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to work together to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing the creator of the Sentinels.  If he fails in his mission, the X-Men will be destroyed and the war waged on mutants all over the world will be lost.

                The musical score of X-Men: Days of Future Past was created by American composer John Ottman.  At a very young age, Ottman began performing radio plays and recording them on cassette tapes.  He learned to play clarinet, but began focusing on audio and video production, creating movies with musical scores mixed together from some of his favorite movie soundtracks.  A film creator and editor by trade, Ottman tried his hand at scoring when the composer of a film he was editing for Bryan Singer left.  The musical score of Public Access received great praise.  Since then, Ottman has scored numerous films, including Cruel Intentions, Lake Placid, X-Men 2, Gothika, Fantastic Four, Orphan, The Losers and more.

                The X-Men: Days of Future Past begins with twenty tracks of musical score and ends with two love songs from the 70s.  The musical score of the film is an intense orchestral affair which alternates between dark, ominous sound (as in moments when the Sentinels make their appearance), soft (as in scenes in which Raven is alluded to by Professor Xavier and Magneto in fondness, or when Charles Xavier's sorrows are discussed) and fast-paced action (as in scenes featuring intense battles like Springing Erik and The Attack Begins).  The score adequately expresses the emotions of the characters as well as the action that takes place in the film, their race against time and the ominous nature of the mutants' enemies.

                The two songs featured on this album are love songs, but have some pertinence to the storyline as well.  Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce is a classic that talks about the quick passage of time and how one never can truly do all they want in the time given.  That being said, the singer has found enough time to realize who it is he wants to grow old with.  The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack is about love that will span the test of time.  Both love songs have a sense of time and fit perfectly in this film, speaking to the love triangle of Professor X, Magneto and Mystique, to the time in which much of the movie takes place as well to the sense of time slipping away.

                Having listened to this album no less than four times, I can honestly say that John Ottman has created the perfect musical score for this film.  His vision of what sort of music was needed for each of the dramatic scenes in X-Men: Days of Future Past was spot on and the songs selected for the film were fit perfectly.  I had toyed with the idea of seeing this film in the theaters, despite never having seen any of the films after the original X-Men.  It was this soundtrack that persuaded me to actually head off to the theater to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, feeling that the action and emotion would definitely play off one another well in this film.  The X-Men: Days of Future Past Soundtrack is a perfect addition to any fan of dramatic action film scores.


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