Random Thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past

As a huge fan of the X-Men: Days of Future Past comics, I was excited for and scared of the X-Men: Days of Future Past movie. Obviously the movie was going to change the source material — some of the changes were for Hollywood reasons, some of the changes worked, and some of them will make millions of fanboys cry out in terror. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It certainly has problems, but it’s fun enough that I can see myself watching it dozens of times on cable. Here are some random thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Turn on your spoiler shields, please.)

Ch-ch-ch-changes: Going into the movie, I knew that things were going to be rearranged to feature Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence. They’re the two biggest stars in the X-Men movie franchise, so naturally the plot was altered to give them as much screen time as possible. Some purists will be annoyed that Wolverine was sent back in time instead of Kitty Pryde. While I love me some Ellen Page, I knew that wasn’t going to happen in Days of Future Past. The kids (and ladies) love Hugh Jackman.

One major change that bothered me was Kitty Pryde’s newfound TiVo powers. For some reason, Days of Future Past Kitty has the incredibly convenient superpower to transfer someone’s consciousness to the past. The scene where the future X-Men’s TiVo tactics are explained is pretty bad, topped of by the even worse idea that Wolverine can survive a multi-decade rewind because of his copout vaunted healing factor.

X-Men Days of Future Past Mystique

The ’70s Ruled: The movie alternates between a Dystopian 2023 and a completely awesome 1973. It was fun seeing bell bottoms, afros, garish polyester patterns, waterbeds, analog meters, reel-to-reel audio, etc. I’m pretty sure that the making of Days of Future Past caused a temporary shortage of polyester. As someone that has always been fascinated by the ’70s (disco, drugs, casual sex!), I loved the past scenes of this movie.

The Future Sucks: All nerd movies portray the future as dark and awful. Days of Future Past carries on that fine tradition. The bad news is that the future sucks for the X-Men and humanity in general. The good news is that the fight scenes are pretty sweet. Bishop, Storm, Colossus, Warpath, Sunspot, Iceman, and Blink don’t have a lot to do as far as advancing the narrative, but they’re featured in some awesome action sequences.

On a side note, I was totally embarrassed that I immediately recognized the actor that played Warpath as one of the werewolves from the Twilight movies. Oh well, at least I can admit it.

Hot X-Chicks: I’m always down with watching Jennifer Lawrence in body paint. In fact, one of my dream jobs is to work as the guy that applies her body paint and prosthetics. She’s a beautiful woman, but you already knew that.

I was pleasantly surprised by how cool Fan Bingbing looked as Blink. I’ve always loved this character. I don’t recall if Bingbing had any lines, but she made for an adorable real-life Blink and Days of Future Past made fun use of her powers.

Anna Paquin is in the movie for like 32 seconds and I would have loved more Ellen Page, but I’m totally not going to complain about hot Jennifer Lawrence and sexy Fan Bingbing. Whether it’s the past or the future, the X-Men have some hot chicks.

X-Men Days of Future Past Blink

Excellent Use of Music: This movie will definitely win Academy Awards for “Best Use of Roberta Flack,” “Best Use of Jim Croce,” and “Best Use of the Theme From Sanford & Son.” I’m not sure if these awards actually exist, but they should.

Quicksilver Didn’t Suck: Going into Days of Future past, lots of fanboys were hating on the movie’s version of Quicksilver. Based off of stills from the set, he looked like crap. While he reminded me more of DC Comics’ Impulse than Marvel’s Pietro Maximoff, Quicksilver had a great scene that will make many moviegoers happy. Yeah, I could have done without the flippant line about his parentage, but his fight scene was very, very cool.

Tyrion Hates Mutants: Although I loved Peter Dinklage in The Station Agent¬†before Game of Thrones came out, it’s hard to see him as anyone else but Tyrion Lannister. In Days of Future Past, he plays Bolivar Trask, creator of the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots. While I kept waiting for him to bust out an overly affected British accent, I appreciated his performance. The writing he had to work with was poor; the character was written as a paper-thin antagonist (i.e. science dick), but Dinklage manages to give Trask some depth.

Magneto’s a Dick: In the comics, many writers have portrayed Professor X and Magneto as the mutant equivalents of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively. In X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past, I’m pretty sure that being the master of magnetism is Magneto’s secondary mutation. It seems like his answer to everything is, “I know, I’ll be a dick!” While it’s clear that he cares about his fellow mutants more than anything else, his actions lack thought and his plans generally suck. Then again, I’m happy that he did what he did to RFK Stadium. That place is a toilet.

About a Beast: Adult Nicholas Hoult weirds me out. He’ll always be the kid from¬†About a Boy to me.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past, despite its problems. I wouldn’t say it’s a great superhero film, but it’s good fun. Compared to the comics, it’s a bit dumber and not quite as grim, though it certainly has some dark moments. As far as 2014 superhero movies go, it’s better than Spider-Man 2 and not as good as Captain America 2. It’s one of those flawed movies that I’ll happily watch several times when it’s in rotation on cable.

Having said that, I can see some comics purists hating this movie. Some of the flaws are dismissible, but there are some comics fans that won’t stand for the drastic changes to the source material. When you combine those changes with the movie’s other problems, the film won’t stand a chance with some hardcore comics fans. Those guys and gals can complain all they want and I get it, but I’ll happily watching Days of Future Past again and again in the hopefully-not-Sentinel-dominated future.

Author: RPadTV

http://www.RPad.TV

14 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past”

  1. Really enjoyed this movie. I do think that if you weren’t up on the events of the prior movies or had seen the animated series then the story might have been too nebulous.

    Agree with your points above for the same reasons. He movie gets extra points for using Jim Croce in 2014.

    I thought Sentinel design was very good. I’d have liked to see more Wolverine and Magneto action in this movie. He and Magneto are my favorite x-men series characters.

    I thought they spent too much time “healing” Xavier. It slowed the story down too much at times. I’d have also liked more discussion on how their actions would alter the timeline. I think more time in the new future would help better set up for the Apocalypse movie.

  2. This movie brings the franchise around but it didn’t answer the one question I had since the movie was announced. How is Professor X still alive????!!!!? Other than that it was a good movie. The best xmen movie to date. While I did have some issues I was okay with them and quicksilver wasn’t as goofy as stills made him appear. I can’t wait to see this movie again

      1. Yeah, that really doesn’t explain anything!!!! Anyways this is a great opportunity for them to go the new Star Trek movie path and make another bringing the xmen together movie

      2. That doesn’t look like the plan, but you already knew that. What did you think of the post-credit scene? Is that dude going to specialize in nerd movies? Ha!

      3. I thought it was cool but I hear that Singer and the writer already said he’s not going to be in the AoA movie; they’re going with different actors

  3. I really loved this movie! It’s one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen and I might even pick it over Winter Soldier — maybe not as compelling, but more entertaining than Cap’s second movie. I know it has its faults, but DOFP has a lot of balls for being the first comic book movie to really embrace comic book-style storytelling and just flow, without doing things just for the sake of CGI showcases or exposition. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much after years of disappointment after Last Stand (though First Class was OK), and had my doubts about how they’d juggle all these characters. So you can imagine how happy I am that my favorite comic book franchise finally has a cool movie again.

    This should be a wake-up call for Marvel Studios. Before this movie, many had just been hoping that the film rights would just revert to Marvel because Fox was destroying our favorite characters, but boy, did Fox and Bryan Singer show that they can go toe-to-toe with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Can’t wait for X-Men: Apocalypse. And can’t wait to see how Joss Whedon will up the ante in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    By the way, agree with you that movie Quicksilver was more like Impulse haha! That’s what was running through my mind, even though he was awesome.

    1. Good stuff, Joey! Now they just need to make movie Cyclops as cool as he has been in the comics for the last few year. Ha!

  4. It was a very good movie and while it isn’t in their plan to have two separate franchises, it would be very cool to see movies featuring the First Class cast and the Singer Core cast.

  5. I’m not exactly sure what the hell I watched last Saturday, but it was “Days of Future Past” as much as Tang is “fresh, squeezed orange juice.” As a DoFP story goes, it sucks ass! The only thing this movie shares with its namesake is some characters, past and future sentinels and time traveling through your mind. Everything else is completely different. Iceman dies! Twice?! WTF?! For that alone, the movie deserves all my scorn.

    When the hell did Kitty get these made-up powers of Francis Gray? When did Sentinels become organic and with absolutely no metal (even in the 70’s, really)? Midget Bolivar Trask? Striker just happens to be around, but not Senator Kelly. The first three X-men movies become negated by the plot alone, yet is somehow tied into the alternate present continuity?! Gha! This movie is all over the place. It’s as if someone took a shotgun to several X-men novels and film and made a movie using the bits and pieces that were found lying all over the place.

    While the post-credit scene should have excited me, the only thing that came to my head is: “Gee, how are they going to fuck up Age of Apocalypse now?”

    -M

    P.S: The movie was probably fine if you’ve never read the original Days of Future Past and completely ignore X-Men 1 through 3 (even though it comes to play in a big way during the epilogue).

    1. O.K. I feel the need to elaborate a bit. For the record; I think the movie was fine as a straight-up action movie. It had a coherent plot, character depth, and paced itself well.

      What I didn’t like is that they called this “Days of Future Past” because it wasn’t. To relate it to people whom haven’t read the graphic novel: Imagine 20 years from now going to the theater to see a movie called “Cinderella.” But when you see the movie, it’s about one of Cinderella’s wicked step-sisters going out on a quest to find a mystical crystal sword buried deep in some ancient ruins in order to impress the prince and get him to marry her. The sword is guarded by ghost ninjas who are on fire. If she doesn’t get to the crystal sword to the prince by midnight, it will turn to glass. Also, there’s a pumpkin that turns into a carriage somewhere in there.

      Your first reaction would be: “This is not Cinderella!” and that would be the correct reaction. When you have expectations about what a story should be, going in to see something so radically different that shares the same name would not go over well with you. This is how I feel. They should have named this movie “X-Men: Sentinel Rising” or just “X-Men First Class 2” since it was pretty much a continuation of First Class. (Singer never had a problem numbering his X-Men movies. I wonder why this is taboo now.)

      For those of you who say that it’s not realistic to do a direct translation from a 30-year-old story, I say; “fine.” I wasn’t expecting something exactly like DoFP. I don’t mind people taking a few artistic liberties here and there so that it would “work” for the big screen, but this movie isn’t just a few tweaks, it’s a complete revision. To these critics I point out the DC animated movie: “The Dark Knight Returns parts 1 & 2.” This two-part-er stuck extremely close to the source material while still taking a few artistic liberties to fill in a few blanks or gaps between scenes. There were even some scenes that were more fleshed out than in Miller’s book. And you know what? I enjoyed the animated movie more than I did the graphic novel. It can be done. Granted, to really do a proper DoFP, you may need two long movies, but that is fine. Lord of the Rings is three super-long movies that tell one story and it worked out great.

      In my opinion, FOX needs to either stick a lot closer to the source material or just come up with their own random X-stories loosely based on bits and pieces of material they graft from the decades of comics. If you are going to do the latter, then don’t call it the same name as an existing story just because you are going to pull three elements from it. If some of you cynics out there think that this type of franken-story is what gave us X-Men 3, you are correct, but I will counter that movie with “The Dark Knight” which also pulled bits and pieces from different Batman graphic novels and the results of that was fantastic.

      My point is that both these methods can work if done right. I know I was warned before watching this movie, but I have to reiterate it because I didn’t take the warning seriously (because I didn’t think it would be THAT bad). If you have read the Days of Future Past graphic novel, do not expect to see any of that on screen. For those of you whom have not read it, count yourselves lucky as this movie is probably awesome going in blind.

      -M

      1. Seriously. I would have been satisfied with even the briefest of explanations such as secondary mutation, evolution of powers or just plain, old “I was touched by the Phoenix” cop outs.

        I mean, c’mon, they couldn’t have just introduced Rachel Summers for the movie as a new character? And even if they couldn’t have (because Scott and Jean “died” in X3, but they really didn’t somehow in an “alternate” present), wouldn’t it have made much more sense for Xavier to do the mind-Tivo thing? You could easily just say something like; yeah, his powers evolve in the future and allow him to do that, but at great risk to losing his mind, blah, blah, blah. No X-Men work of fiction that I have seen or read EVER in my entire life even remotely had any type of psychic or mind powers for Kitty. Pryde’s powers have ALWAYS been physical.

        This completely arbitrary use/assignment of powers angers and confuses me. Why bother with any semblance of continuity if you’re going to put all these characters, story lines and powers into a blender only to have whatever results sucked out of a Wolverine-shaped straw?

        -M

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