Finally! After months of anticipation, X-Men: Days of Future Past is now showing in theatres and I went to see it last Friday, opening day. I’m happy to say that I quite enjoyed the movie and was not disappointed in the least. Obviously, I’m going to go see it again so my opinions might change after multiple viewings but here are my initial thoughts (spoilers, obviously):
I was very happy with the way they adapted the source material. Last week, I posted about the Days of Future Past storyline in the comics and the animated series. I was fully aware that it wasn’t going to be an exact adaptation of either, but I just wanted the main plot points to be there: time travel, an assassination plot and sentinels. Check on all three! Granted it would be better if Kitty Pryde traveled back in time, but I won’t even get started on the representation of “X-Men” vs “X-Women” so I’ll move on.
Peter Dinklage’s Bolivar Trask was a compelling villain. He wasn’t my favorite part of the movies but I thought the character’s motivations were interesting. He’s both an intellectual and a businessman. He wants to save humanity from mutants so for him, his cause is a noble one.
Magneto, Xavier and Mystique are all spectacular. The performances by Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence were unsurprisingly stellar. All of Mystique’s scenes were badass, she basically saves everyone by not being a killer. Magneto’s stadium plan was genius. And Xavier provided the more dramatic, internal conflict. It’ll be interesting to see where their individual paths take them in the next movie. Hopefully they’ll come together, which brings me to..
I can’t very well complain about some of the characters not getting enough screen time since it’s already pretty stacked with mutants. But I will share my boyfriend’s complaint with you all which is that he didn’t like how everyone was pretty divided in the 70s storyline. Mystique, Magneto and Xavier were all off doing their own thing and they only sort of came together for the climactic White House scene, but then again, not really. At the end of the movie, they still go their separate ways. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there were teams assembled at the end of X-Men: First Class. Xavier and Magneto both had the beginnings of their teams but when Days of Future Past picks up, they’re left team-less. I don’t know about you, but the defining thing about X-Men is that they’re a team. Instead, Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants are killed off-screen and he’s not even working with Mystique anymore. Xavier’s school has shut down faster than it opened and we see Havoc for like a second. At least Beast is still with him.
As much as I love Xavier, Magneto and Wolverine, can we focus on other mutants please? I’m pretty sure we’ve explored their characters enough. I know Mystique gets a bigger role. But what about a young Storm? A new take on Rogue? Introducing Psylocke? More Blink!
Pretty much all of the scenes set in the future featuring the original X-Men cast and the newer mutants were the best ones in the movie. The opening fight scenes were so cool. The Sentinels were very scary, especially with the new added twist that they can mutate themselves and adapt to fight any mutant, which if you think about it is more Darwin’s power from First Class than Mystique’s but whatever. I loved the nod to the animated series when it’s revealed that Kitty has been sending Bishop back in time.
But what surprised me the most is how much of a badass Blink was. I saw her character’s teaser trailer and didn’t fully understand how portals would be a useful superpower but damn, girl. In a movie that’s mostly male-centric, she was a welcome addition, albeit for not a lot of scenes. I did read somewhere that Bingbing Fan, the actress who plays her, has signed on for more movies so yay!
Speaking of awesome characters that steal the show but then disappear, I have one word for you: Quicksilver. I, like a lot of you, absolutely adored him. He’s so fun to watch and the hint about his mom knowing a guy like Magneto was good. But then he goes away and you can’t help but wonder if they just added him as an afterthought so people would talk about how the character will be in both The Avengers 2 and Days of Future Past but I’m glad he was in it. He better be back in the next movie, I’m just saying.
The best thing about this movie, I believe and a lot of people will agree with me, is the retconning of the worst parts of the X-Men cinematic universe. I didn’t allow myself to hope but almost squealed out loud when I saw Jean Grey and Cyclops at the end. What a great send-off to the original cast. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. The slate has been wiped clean. There are endless possibilities on what can now happen between Days and the first X-Men movie. This article is one of the best ones that outline what was and what could be.
Days of Future Past was an ambitious movie. It needed to be a sequel that’s as good if not better than First Class. It also needed to stand alone as its own movie. And even harder, it needed to fix the mess that The Last Stand left in its wake. Did it succeed in all fronts? I would have to say yes, definitely. The post-credits scene was short but definitely intriguing. It’s gonna be another long wait until X-Men: Apocalypse but in the meantime, I’m going to watch Days of Future Past at least one more time.
Happy New Comic Book Day and Happy Hump Day!