Movie Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past


X-Men: Days of Future Past is based on the iconic comic book story of the same name by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin in which the consciousness of X-Men Kitty Pryde in the future is sent backward in time to prevent the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by Mystique, unleashing a wave of anti-mutant hysteria that leads to a Dystopian future in which mutants are being systematically hunted.  But, due to the changes between the comics and the movies, the change from Kitty Pryde to the more established Wolverine was made.  And, instead of the assassination target being Senator Kelly, it is now Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels.

Before I go any further, I do want to warn you that there will be SPOILERS.  So, if you don't want to know what happens, please read this after you've had a chance to view the film yourself.  Again, this is your SPOILER ALERT.


Okay, that said, here we go...

I've been trying to digest my overall feeling about X-Men: Days of Future Past.  I don't know if it was the anticipation or the tweets I kept seeing that said things like "Best X-Men Movie Ever" that had my expectations high for this film.  But, while I very much enjoyed this film, I don't know if it lived up to my expectations.  Don't get me wrong, I thought there were a lot of great moments in this film, but there were so many holes that I just couldn't stop thinking about them.

I'm not talking about holes as in, "Hey! This didn't happen in the comics." I totally understand comics have to be adapted for the films, especially because there's so much continuity involved that would boggle the mind of the average filmgoer.  For example, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is very different from the iconic "The Winter Soldier" storyline by Ed Brubaker.  But, they had the spirit of the source material. I also believe X-Men: Days of Future Past has the spirit of the source as well.

And, it's not that I'm all about continuity.  The X-Men films have changed up the classic roster of characters and, for me, as long as it's interesting and there is reverence for the source materials, I'm fine with change ups.  There are so many X-Men and mutants that have been created over the years and I know that some are more interesting or popular than others.  

But, adapting comic books for the movies does create its own continuity that I would hope they'd adhere to, unless they outright reboot the franchise as Sony has done with Spider-Man.  Now, admittedly, that's no easy task.  The first three X-Men films are very different than 2011's X-Men: First Class, even though they are supposed to be in the same timeline.


Now, melding all these films together so that they fit into the same continuity, I'm sure, was no easy task and I do think, for the most part, Bryan Singer managed to do it well.  My biggest complaint about X-Men: First Class was that, while I enjoyed it, it did not feel like an X-Men movie to me.  Bryan Singer brought it back to feeling less emo and more like a superhero comic book movie to me.  It honestly lacked the joy or the nod-nod-wink-wink of an X-Men film.  The opening scene in the future featuring the X-Men battling the adaptoid Sentinels was quite breathtaking.  And, whenever I am watching a superhero movie, I LIVE for moments in which I feel like a little kid watching my childhood heroes come to life.  These scenes really made me feel this way.  Blink using her blink powers! Iceman in ice form! Sunspot! Bishop! Warpath! Even Halle Berry as Storm felt so much more like the Storm I know in this film.

Speaking of great moments, the scene in which Quicksilver (Evan Peters) helps break Magneto (Michael Fastbender) out of his maximum security prison is absolutely wonderful.  In fact, it is, perhaps, one of the only truly joyous scenes in the film.  While this Quicksilver is not necessarily the Quicksilver I've known and loved, I did think he was a great character.  Honestly, I loved the scene so much I'd pay full price just to see it again.  And, based on what I've read from other people's reactions, he's left a big impression on people which will make it interesting to see how people react to Marvel Studios' version of Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron which will be an entirely different Quicksilver.  


[A side note: For those of you not in the know, Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch are two characters that fall into two different franchises.  They are mutants and were introduced in the X-Men comics, they are also members of the Avengers.  So, when Marvel and Fox negotiated the contract, these were the two characters that could exist in both worlds.  The rub is that Fox's X-Men movies can not reference them as Avengers and Marvel Studios' films cannot call them mutants or X-Men.]

Another thing that the film does well is it makes Mystique much more interesting than she ever was in any of the other X-Men films.  The first three films, I felt, while she was badass, seemed like an over glorified lackey of Magneto.  She just seemed to be his blind follower and that's not really the Mystique I knew in the comics.  One of the things I did like about X-Men: First Class is that it made Mystique a contemporary of Magneto and Professor X, leaving the door open for being the seasoned mutant villain she eventually comes.  So, with X-Men: Days of Future Past, I really got to see the Mystique I feel I know. And, it's amazing how much Jennifer Lawrence has matured as an actress in the last three years. To me, her performance in this film eclipsed Rebecca Romjin in the first movies.


Okay, now...going to the holes that bother me.  Now, the premise of the film is that Wolverine jumps back into his past self to stop the assassination of Bolivar Trask by Mystique and her subsequent capture that leads to the development of the adaptoid Sentinels.  Wolverine must work with a young Professor X (James McAvoy) who knew Mystique when she was younger and appeal to the part of her he knows is good and would not kill. This is my first major hole.  Why did they change her assassination target from Senator Kelly to Bolivar Trask?  Well, doesn't anybody find it ironic that, in the movies, Magneto, with the help of Mystique, end up killing Senator Kelly in X2?  Maybe not at gunpoint, but he does die by their actions.  And, in the first films, that's not the only killing she contributed to.  So, if future Charles Xavier didn't think she would kill, why did he not remember many of the other people she killed or helped kill?

And, in the final showdown, after Magneto has attacked the White House and is about to kill the President, his Secret Service Men, Trask and a bunch of politicos, Mystique saves them all and nobody kills anybody.  Again, not that I want Magneto and Mystique to really kill anybody, but the premise that Charles knows they are better than that just doesn't fly for me because they've already proved themselves to be killers in the future.


Here's another big hole for me.  Why didn't Magneto's ultimate actions of attacking the White House in the way that he did ultimately ignite mutant hysteria where people would want to see something protect them?  Was it because Mystique saved the politicos?  It doesn't make any sense to me because she was really there trying to kill them in the first place.  I feel like people said, "Oh, well! Even though this mutant just laid waste to Washington, DC with his powers and basically threatened everybody on television, this other mutant who tried to kill our nation's leaders just saved them. I guess we don't need to worry about it."  And, honestly, did we think this was going to actually stop Trask from developing more anti-mutant weapons or stop at getting more of Mystique's genetic materials considering he already has her blood? It just seemed a convenient ending.

And, speaking of convenient endings, I get how changing the action was supposed to change the future and possibly to a brighter future, but, how would it all lead to Jean Grey not becoming the Dark Phoenix as she was destined to become? Admittedly, I rolled my eyes, even though it was really cool to see James Marsden and Famke Jannsen reprise their roles as Cyclops and Jean Grey respectively.

All this said, I'm not saying that X-Men: Days of Future Past is not worth the price of admission.  Again, there is lots of great things to be said about it, but I couldn't help but get caught on some of the holes that just bothered me.

Comments

  1. I think they were trying to have Magneto say something like "hey we're here, we don't want to fight you but if we have to we will and we will win" and I think that is why that ending worked for me, and for the present it was great to see Wolverine as confused by seeing Jean and Scott as we were. My guess is that Phoenix will be a tool for Apocalypse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get what you're saying and, again, none of the holes that bothered me made or broke the movie for me. I just kept telling myself that it was X-Men time travel rationale. LOL!

      Delete
  2. The mission for Singer was to erase X-Men 3 from existence.. which he did, Scott never dies, and Logan never kills Jean. That's why we see Scott and thats why we see Jean. They were never supposed to die... especially in the ways they did. Plus if rumors are to be believed, that leaves Cable as their son possible without the headache of explaining different universes.

    I think you answered your question as to why it wasn't Senetor Kelly... because he was the target of the first X-men. If Mystique went after Kelly and killed him then the first X-men never would have happened the way it did. Remember the first X-Men movie takes place in the time line where she does kill Trask.

    Maybe I missed it, but Xavier never says that he doesn't believe Mystique is a killer... he believeds that Raven, the Raven he grew up with would never be a killer... until Magneto who he blames for everything he lost. Kind of like Ben Kenobi and anakin... He doesn't see Anakin, he sees Darth Vader and has good memories of Anakin. Same thing here. Xavier clings to the good memories of Raven, and now sees Mystique.

    As for why no ones ees that Mystique as the one trying to kill Trask.. what did anyone actually see? They see she was there in France, but it wasn't until they confronted her did she attack... then Magneto Wolverine and Proffesor X-show up and hell breaks lose. The public sees her fall/jump from a window... then get attacked by Magneto who also lays the smack down. SO so far, the really bad mutant looks like Magneto.

    No one sees her trying to pull a gun on Trask at the White House. They see the Sentinels turn on everyone. They detect her in the bunker, but again, never really sure why she's there. When Magneto shows up, she saves them all. Sp I suppose that could all assume she was there all the time trying to protect them.

    I mean, I just saw it, and I could have missed some things or I'm not remembering them right. But I was trying to figure out how this would all come together so I was kinda looking for Mystique's way out. So I was looking for that exact hole... wouldn't they see her trying to assassinate someone... but she never really is seen as that... I think.

    As for the World against Magneto... that probably did happen, but the world also saw a Mutant as a force of good who risked her life and defeat Magneto who was... in the eyes of the world, the new enemy but more like how the world saw Hitler, more as a mad man fanatic. They have that mad man defeated by a Mutant. So yeah, there are bad people in the world, but there are also good mutants that are willing to risk their lives for good. Which is also probably why the Xavier's school still seems to flourish that far in the future.

    The real question now is. Did this movie also erase what happened in the first 2 x-men movies. Does Logan still become a part of the Weapon-X program? Does this mean X-Men Origins is also erased? Leaving Deadpool still able to be Deadpool? Was the Phoenix not triggered yet because X-Men 2 never happened?

    And if Age of Apocalypse is the next movie... which cast is going to be in it? The Stewart/McKellen cast or the McAvoy/Fassbender cast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, on my second viewing, a lot of the holes were closed up for me. For some reason, the first time, I missed Xavier saying that it was the FIRST time Mystique kills and that it wouldn't be the last. So, that cleared that up for me. LOL!

      I'm still meh about the convenient ending of peace and harmony for the mutants (I'm over simplifying...but, you get what I'm saying). We are such a nation divided on almost any viewpoint that you know that for every person who want mutants to live in peace, there are equally as many people who want to systematically destroy them. It is not isolated to just Trask. But, it doesn't bother me that much that I can't let it go.

      As for what this film means to the previous films, I just read an interview with producer Simon Kinberg who said that this film basically resets the timeline in 1973. Of course, certain things are going to happen that happened in the first films (Xavier opens the school, etc), but it also opens the door to fix certain things (Jean Grey not becoming the Dark Phoenix and Cyclops not dying). He also says that showing Mystique's revealing herself to be in Stryker's form at the end will have more meaning. I'm assuming that they're going to fix many of the things that happened in X-Men: Origins (THANK GOD!). Apparently, this change is also going to make Gambit look more like Channing Tatum. ROTFLMAO!

      And, as for Age of Apocalypse, the film takes place in the 1980s and Kinberg says that it will involve primarily the First Class cast, BUT that some of the original cast will be involved. I don't know what that means, but I'm hoping that, by that point, McAvoy's Xavier starts losing his hair. I'd love to see a bald Xavier by that point. LOL!

      Delete
  3. While I liked the first two X-Men movies (X2 still being one of my all time fav comics movies) I think I'm okay with what is essentially a "reboot". When they started the franchise I don't think they ever planned on any kind of on-going universe in the scope that Marvel studios has done/is doing. So this is probably a way to "start over" with the X-men universe.

    The only foreseeable problem is the cast. I doubt that the original cast members can still tussle like they did 15 years ago. I mean Jackman is still good, but you can see the age on him.

    I hope this opens up other movies... like a good Deadpool movie, X-Force, X-Factor (We know Havok is alive.... kinda!), Excalibur (Even without Banshee), New Mutants/New X-Men....

    The characters I wanna see are Cable, Psylocke, Domino, X-23, Jubilee, Gambit (damnit Tatum!), Polaris, Magik, Cannonball, Strong Guy and Dazzler.... and probably a lot more I can't think of...

    Mojo, Longshot, Mr. Sinister....Shi'ar.. Starjammers... lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to figure out what original cast they can bring into a 1980s movie as Cyclops, Jean and even Storm would be too young in 1980 to be played by the original cast. So, it probably means Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and maybe Stewart and McKellan again.

      I do hope, though, they are taking a lesson from the MCU by trying to make a cohesive universe and that this is the first step in doing so. My problems aside, I still think it was an excellent way to bring everything together.

      But, yeah...I would actually like to see more X-Men being X-Men like in the opening scene.

      Personally, I'd like to see more Blink. In the future sequences, I was geeking out hard seeing her more than any of the rest. And, I loved the rest of them.

      But, more than anything, I'd love to see them do a New Mutants with the original New Mutants. They already had Sunspot in the future, let's see a timeline with the rest of them.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts