Seeing as we had a longer weekend just gone with the bank holiday, I decided to go see X-Men: Days of Future Past.
I was genuinely really excited about this as I loved First Class. It was a really decent ‘prequel / reboot’ to the X-Men series and the cast is fantastic especially Michael Fassbender with the Argentinian bar scene being a particular highlight of First Class for me. And to think that DoFP would keep this stellar cast from First Class but also add the legendary cast from the previous 3 films It sounded like it would be an incredible film.
So let’s start with the premise then, WARNING from here just in case the title wasn’t obvious, There WILL be spoilers!
We see a futuristic world and see mutants taking shelter from ‘Sentinels’, a few fights break out and then the base where these mutants were fighting sentinels and sheltering just suddenly appears empty and everyone disappears. Basically they travel through time erasing any trace that they were at this shelter in order to live longer and avoid sentinels. The X-Men (original cast) find these time traveling mutants and convince them to use this time travel capability to send Wolverine back in time to stop an assassination from taking place which kicked off the sentinel program. The idea being that this assassination doesn’t take place, therefore the world doesn’t revolt against mutants causing the creation on these sentinels and mutants can live in peace. The catches are that the assassination is carried out by Mystique after the events of First Class and that all history from that point will be re-written and different and only Wolverine will be able to remember anything.
Okay then onto the film and thoughts…
One of the major reasons I liked First Class was that it tried to incorporate events that the X-men were involved in with real things that happened in history. Plus the time era it self was incredibly awesome and tense with the missile crisis and the uncomfortable relationship between various nations. Throwing the X-men into this as part of the momentous historic events was awesome. Fortunately DoFP does this again and major historic events are again combined with the presence of mutants, the biggy being the assassination of JFK being aided by Magneto ‘bending’ the bullet on course. They also cast Richard Nixon who actually had main speaking roles in the film, and did a good job with this.
So in terms of the setting In the past I did enjoy this. I tried to stay spoiler free of this film and before seeing it had always assumed that the fuss that they’d made of having the old cast and the new cast in the same film would mean that somehow Old Xavier and Magneto would be time travelling with Wolverine and the other X-Men. I know that this would of raised questions of time travel and the possibility of it but come on it’s a movie and doesn’t have to make that much sense. They did have a brief scene where Xavier portrayed by James Mcavoy meets Sir Patrick Stewarts Xavier via James portrayal reading Wolverines mind. But it wasn’t the time traveling meeting I had in mind.
Unfortunately though for me (I’m in the minority though) this film felt like it was a forced film to retcon the clusterfuck that is the X-Men Universe continuity issues. It felt like it was a glamoured way to re-boot the series without asking us to forget the previous X-Men installments. While we’ll always remember X1 to 3 and Origins Wolverine, this film to me felt like it was made to make us remember the previous films existed, but now pretend that they didn’t happen due to the results of DoFP. It also raises a few questions now in that, previously we knew Striker experimented on Wolverine and gave him his adamitium, but at the end of DoFP we see Mystique portray Striker and take Wolverines body away, So does that mean that she’ll continue to portray Striker and do these experiments on Wolverine herself or does she give him over to someone else that does the changes on Wolverine.
The series definitely needed to go elsewhere and address the numerous continuity issues, So in that case the film was a success. But I’d of liked to see the film continue on from First Class, perhaps ignoring the original cast and treating First Class as a reboot and start to a new series itself. Wolverine will almost certainly always be portrayed by Hugh Jackman, So he’d feature in any future installments.
It was an interesting film in that it also introduced a ‘Mutant’ that will also be appearing in the next Avengers film although played by a different actor and not classified as a ‘Mutant’ but ‘gifted’. If this sounds confusing to you, then here’s a small bit of info to help… FOX owns X-men franchise rights and the term ‘Mutant’, Disney owns Marvel Studios and Avengers characters rights, but cannot reference or use the word ‘Mutant’ (apparently) Somehow both FOX and Disney/Marvel can lay claim to the character of QuickSilver and both have opted to use him in their films. So Quicksilver featured in X-Men DoFP as a young character and portrayed in a comedic light, At the end of Captain America: Winter Soldier we got a glimpse of their version of him, and I assume he’ll be a more serious character in their arc. Hope that doesn’t confuse you… right?
Anyway Quicksilver in X-Men was a great addition to the movie, the scenes which he featured ended up being some of my favourites oddly enough. At first seeing pictures of him I was dubious that Fox had let the ball drop here and assumed I’d not like him and prefer the Disney/Marvel version of him, but gladly I was wrong and really enjoyed his appearances in this film.
It was an entertaining film, and Michael Fassbender and James Mcavoy were both incredible in it. But I just couldn’t shake off the fact feeling that it was a movie created with every intention of re-writing the history of the X-Men film franchise, rather than a notable sequel to the amazing First Class. It seemed to be a move by Fox to attempt to rival Marvels incredibly established cinematic universe.
On the plus side though, the end of credits teaser looked rather interesting.