X-Men: Days of Future Past opened this last weekend, outdoing in my opinion every X-Men in sheer awesomeness [a very technical term]. For good reason too. Everything in Days of Future Past was enjoyable and the movie had it all. There was an engaging story with very real themes. There were incredible and unforgettable actions sequences. And it did something that very few franchises have done, which is successfully link a previous franchise with its reboot without feeling overly convoluted.
So we’re gonna get down to the meat here and discuss a lot of the awesome [and a few of the not as awesome] things with X-Men Days of Future Past.
Spoilers to Follow. If you haven’t watched, please do!
What An Incredible Way to Weave Two Franchises within the Franchise
X-Men: First Class was considered an absolute reboot, with the only bridge connecting the actual movies being the Hugh Jackman Wolverine cameo (which was wonderfully handled with an appropriate callback). When Days of Future Past was announced that it would contain characters from the previous franchise and those with the reboot, I’m sure everyone was very confused [I know I was] and even hesitant with why this wouldn’t work. But this idea of weaving two franchises together is so interesting and awesome to me. And it’s so much cooler than Lou Ferrigno popping up as a cameo in the Hulk movies or Stan Lee appearing in nearly all Marvel movies. It was incorporated in the story so perfectly and sensical, that it’s almost mind boggling that the previous franchise wasn’t entirely created to lead up to this point in Days of Future Past.
The Movie Franchise Has Essentially Become a Comic Book Series [I Know How Weird That Sounds]
Purely based on the previous movies and my experiences with the X-Men cartoons, there was enough callbacks and references to make the geeks inside of me chuckle and squeal. From the previous 6 or so movies, X-Men, X2, X-Men Last Stand, Origins Wolverine, First Class, and The Wolverine we’ve learned that humans don’t like mutants, at all. And that continuous hammer of that theme really resonated into what would happen if that escalation actually continued into the future. Each movie has investigated a means of eliminating mutants from teh face of the earth, and all the instances where humans were trying to take down mutants were finally realized given enough time and shown what would actually happen during the future scenes of the Days of Future Past.
In addition all those previous movies allowed us to know that William Stryker is the bane of Wolverine’s existence, Magneto and Professor X have the best-worst relationship, Wolverine is super broody, angry and cheeky, and Cyclops has a beef with Wolverine when it comes to Jean. These among other callbacks are established in earlier movies and make us laugh when they’re referenced because we are rewarded with remembering these traits. This is why I compare this movie franchise to the joys of reading a comic book. There have been enough movies [comic book issues] with different 2 hour plots [comic book story arcs] that have we have a cemented idea of who these characters are and what they’re supposed to say and feel. The joy of reading the latest comic book is very similar to the joy of watching this movie. Picking out references that were made specifically for those who paid attention to the previous movies [and not even specifically comic book readers] is a lot of what makes this movie such a joy to watch.
Fassbender’s Magneto Boring Broodiness And a Declawed Wolverine: Not the Way We Like Either of Them
One of my favorite parts in X-Men First Class was the clear friendship Erik’s Magneto and Charles’s Xavier. Erik was given motive and a clear emotional connection was made between the audience and his plight in the first movie. He definitely wasn’t the clear cut villain in First Class and was often many people’s favorite character. He unfortunately serves as a flat out villain in this movie, one dimensional, and slightly boring. This was unfortunate because the best parts of him in the movie was before he decided to ‘betray’ Charles, especially during the breakout scene. Even Ian McKellen’s Magneto was more fun to watch than Michael Fassbender this time around. Also who proves fairly ineffective this movie was Wolverine. I’ve found that I like my Wolverine able to absolutely wreck people and things. His declawing in this movie made him have as little purpose (which he even kinda admits in this movie) when he was needed. He couldn’t even take a sentinel, and was defeated by Magneto with literally one hand. Both of these parts are unfortunate, but they for sure didn’t ruin the move in any way.
Quicksilver Could Have Saved the Entire Movie: We Needed More of Him
I’m almost positive EVERYONE agrees that the Quicksilver scene in Days of Future Past was in their top 3 moments of the entire movie. He was seen as pretty much overpowered, stopping bullets, adjusting bodily gestures, and having time to mess around in the matter of 2 seconds. Now how could that NOT help in the coming conflicts? Quicksilver was initially bashed and ridiculed when his costume was revealed, and now he’s definitely not to be made fun of, when he made such a significant and fun mini arc in the movie. He was unfortunately benched, so we couldn’t get any more of his wit, boyish fun, and awesome powers. I’m pretty ready to see how Aaron Johnson handles the character in the next movie and it will be fun contrasting how the characters were developed.
The Sentinels Were Brutal, Cringeworthy Brutal
During the beginning and ending sequences, the Sentinel raids were some of the high points of the action in this movie. Similar to Days of Future Past, the intermutant fighting sequences were saved for very few and specific scenes, allowing a lot of the dialogue and actions of characters make the movie exciting and engaging. The Sentinel raids were some of the funnest and well choreographed mutant power showcases. At least they were fun until they started losing. And when they started losing, things got incredibly brutal. Colossus got torn in half. Bobby the Iceman was decapitated. Storm was thrown off the cliff. Blink was triple penetrated [the death kind, not the gross kind you heathens]. Native American mutant had his head literally disintegrated off. Bishop was literally overcharged into an exploding battery. We were meant to see how brutal these deaths were and the no-mercy directive of the Sentinels. It was definitely a sequence that reminded us that good guys die too, and that they don’t die as merciful as a decent into a deep and sightless pit, imprisoned or thrown into the ocean, which are the fates of some of the X-Men’s previous enemies.
That Freaking Ending
What can I saw about the ending. In the ending, we see Wolverine walk around Xavier’s school, in perfect condition, seeing characters who we’ve seen die in the span of 5 movies walk around as if nothing happened. In a way X-Men Days of Future Past rebooted itself within the movie. While some could see it as a waste of time, the entire previous five movies: X-Men, X2, The Last Stand, and both individual Wolverine movies were probably negated in this new timeline. This opens up the opportunity of an entirely new franchise starring some of the original characters [like I joyfully listed above] to be at the helm of the action once more. And Bryan Singer confirms that X-Men Apocalypse will be a disaster movie like non have seen before. I am personally very excited to see what comes of it and even if Michael Fassbender or James McAvoy even return.
Overall X-Men Days of Future Past was probably one of my favorite superhero movies of all time, as I enjoyed every ounce of it. The scope of what they were aiming for, the emotional baggage that came with it, and the prospect of what is to come from the repercussions of the ending make Days of Future Past one of the must see movies of the year if you enjoy a good time.