This post contains spoilers for the new X-Men movie, Days of Future Past.
I am a semi-devoted X-Men fan. My brother and I religiously watched the cartoons on television in the 1990’s. I have seen the prior X-Men films in this franchise, all except the most recent Wolverine spin-off because even I have my limits. But that’s just the thing. I feel like X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer is also only semi-devoted to these films. Otherwise, there would have been more narrative consistency within the movie.
Overall, I thought the movie was very entertaining and everything I expected it to be. Beloved characters kept dying, but because of the traveling-through-time nature of the flick, none of the deaths stuck. In fact, it was rather entertaining to watch creative ways for mutants to be killed, such as Iceman’s head being cut off and smashed or Colossus being ripped apart. To be honest, the futuristic Sentinels were some scary foes.
But I had no problems with the back and forth nature of the story line or deaths being canceled out by another move through consciousness. My main beef with Days of Future Past is the one death that should have took: Professor Xavier.
Everyone remembers X-Men: The Last Stand for four things: Cyclops getting killed, Wolverine killing Jean Grey, Magneto moving the Golden Gate Bridge and Professor X being killed.
Singer directed Days of Future Past, taking into account the fact that Cyclops and Jean were dead. They had a warm comeback at the very end once Wolverine saved the day. Jean was also featured in Wolverine’s flashback memories. These things happened in the universes of both films. You know what didn’t? The Professor dying. Why was he even alive in this movie? It doesn’t add up and was not addressed at any point in the film.
For all the convoluted plot points and drama going on, it is the basic inconsistencies that drive fans crazy. I can understand that Mystique not shooting Trask will change the future, sure. I take that to be true even though what Erik did, showcasing his powers to humanity, seems much more impactful (in a negative way) than Mystique having killed that man in the first place. Nevertheless, we take this as the case because it happened that way.
But when the film deliberately ignores facets of the story that already transpired, it’s much more frustrating.
This misstep left me a bit squeamish, but fortunately did not take away from the many awesome things the film did right.
– Erik, AKA Young Magneto, was far and away the most imposing figure of the movie. Michael Fassbender’s acting was the perfect blend of thinking he’s too talented for this role and thinking this role is too fun to turn down. He made Erik seem above everybody else, just as the character should be.
– Quicksilver stole the show in his scenes. They were tremendously fun.
– The future fight scenes were also a thing of beauty, even if the arc of that plot was lacking in depth and detail. (I’d go see another movie right now of the time frame between the past and future when the sentinels kept improving and the Professor and Magneto finally teamed up.)
While X-Men: First Class is a better movie, Days of Future Past had all the elements a viewer would want from the superhero action genre, even if it wasn’t perfectly linear in its delivery.
Now let’s just hope this mysterious mutant who was foreshadowed during the end credits teaser is simply capable of moving very specific types of pyramid blocks and nothing else. Otherwise, the X-Men might have some trouble on their hands next time out.