X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Review

Rating: 2.5 Stars

The following review contains spoilers.

This review is for the Rogue Cut of the movie.


In the near future – near enough that none of the characters have aged, with the sole exception of the ageless Wolverine, who suddenly has gray sideburns – sentinels have taken over the world, captured or killed most of the mutants, and have turned their sights to humans with mutant potential. A small guerilla band of cool new X-Men like Blink, Warpath, and Bishop (a voice cries out, “And me, Sunspot!” from somewhere in the void) are fighting on, but it seems hopeless.

Then the old guard – Professor X and Magneto – come up with a plan: Kitty Pryde, a mutant who can walk through walls, can send people’s brains back in time for some reason (actually the reason is that Bryan Singer comes from the Richard Donner school of “He just has all the powers, who cares” super hero filmmaking), and so she can send Wolverine (because he’s your favorite X-Man whether you like it or not) back to the 1970s, stop Mystique from assassinating the creator of the sentinels, Dr. Trask, then being captured, and having her DNA used to make super-shape-shifting-sentinels (because magic blood was all the rage in 2014), and thus prevent the war from ever starting.

To accomplish this, Wolverine will use his super-senses to track Mystique down before she can kill Trask and he will take her out. Haha, just kidding, Wolverine doesn’t have super-senses in the Bryan Singer X-Men movies. No, instead, he’ll have to find young Professor X and young Magneto, because this movie is about these two idiots fighting over Mystique’s soul. It would be way easier if they didn’t bother breaking Magneto out of his prison so he could be there to represent the wrong choice, but then the movie would lose its best effects scenes, and then where would we be? Also, it would be easier if Mystique was a character with her own agency and not just a pawn in Professor X and Magneto’s interminable chess game, but forget that noise.

“Are you still Charles’s Raven or are you Mystique?” Sorry, those are your only two choices!

Best Parts:

Both of the scenes where our new future X-Men are fighting the sentinels are great. Blink has some of the coolest powers of any X-character, and they look amazing in live-action. Warpath and Bishop both look and seem really cool, despite how little we know about them. Even Colossus gets to use a series of Blink portals to charge at a sentinel at terminal velocity. I so wish the movie was about these guys instead of the same tired characters we always get.

Quicksilver’s scenes in the Pentagon are just as awesome as everyone says. Not enough to justify the entire movie (or even justify his awful “costume”), but definitely a thrill. Of course the scene of him running around the kitchen arranging everything in the team’s favor is incredible, but even the smaller moments like duct-taping the guard to the wall or supporting Magneto’s head so he doesn’t get whiplash, are really well-done.

I dug the old-timey cameras we sometimes cut to in Paris. Seeing characters like Mystique and Beast through those cameras gives them an eerie “Is this actually real?” quality.

McAvoy and Fassbender are still good actors.

Worst Parts:

The best evidence of how little Bryan Singer and Fox care about expanding the X-Men movie universe and bringing in some of the other great characters from the comics: At the end of the movie, when Wolverine finds himself at the school (in the same “near future” the sentinels had taken over) and walks through in a daze seeing all his dead friends still alive, none of the cool future X-Men are there. Why isn’t Blink taking a class? Why isn’t Warpath out on the front lawn tossing the ball around? This franchise is about Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, and now also Mystique because Jennifer Lawrence got real famous. Everyone else can forget it.

Related: most of the new characters from First Class died between movies. Ugh, new characters! Get rid of ‘em, am I right? Who needs ‘em.

Hank McCoy invented a cure for spinal cord injuries in the early 70s and never shared it with anyone. Furthermore, it’s a cure for mutant powers, because whatever. It’s also a great floor polish and a passable dessert topping. And it’s clearly heroin.

Magneto using metal to take control of the sentinels and fire into the human audience is a smart way to convince the humans to abandon the sentinel program, and a lot of innocent collateral damage would certainly bolster Magneto’s villain profile and give the team a reason to take him down off-camera while still guiltily reaping the benefits of his terrible actions. Unfortunately, this movie is dumb. Instead Magneto very publicly takes over the sentinels, shoots a bunch of empty cars, and drops a stadium around everyone for no reason. Then another mutant shoots him, then threatens to shoot Dr. Trask, but suddenly decides not to. Both mutants get away without being questioned. Realistically, this would lead to the sentinel program going into overdrive (a single mutant dropped a stadium on you and then tried to kill the president on television) but absurdly because Mystique ultimately chose Professor X as her spirit animal everything else just resolves itself for the best. And even more absurdly Dr. Trask is immediately arrested and locked up in Magneto’s former cell. He doesn’t even have super powers! What is he doing down there? He goes to prison because he tried to sell the sentinel program to North Vietnam, which of course is the next logical choice to fund your billion-dollar robot program once the U.S. passes. It’s all just so careless.

Quicksilver: “They told me you control metal.”
Magneto: “They?”
Quicksilver: “You know, my mom once knew a guy who could do that.”
record scratch!

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