“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is set in 2023 and 1973, hence the title. The 1973 part sets up the movie for all sorts of jokey ’70s references. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) wears a Pink Floyd T-shirt and plays Pong on a rudimentary computer. To conceal certain X-Men activities from Pentagon security cameras, an episode of “Sanford and Son” is piped in on the surveillance screens. Richard Nixon (Mark Camacho) is seen feeding treats to his Irish setter, King Timahoe. The soundtrack features Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” and, best of all, Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken.” Jennifer Lawrence, when not squeezed into Mystique’s blue birthday suit, wears stone-fox floppy hats and fake white fur.
The best bit of ’70siana involves Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, at left). Doesn’t the best bit of everything in an “X-Men” movie involve Wolverine? He’s the link between 2023 and 1973, being transported there by Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) . . . and, well, it’s the usual superhero superpower nonsense. The point is that when he arrives in 1973, it’s in a bedroom, there’s a squishing sound when he moves, and, yes, it’s a waterbed he’s stretched out on. This is funny enough. Something much funnier — if also predictable — happens a couple of minutes later. Why predictable? Anton Chekhov famously said that when a gun is seen in the first act of a play, it needs to be fired in the next one. Think of Wolverine’s claws as a gun. Too bad they’re not also a mop.