“… undoes all of the sins of its predecessors.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a continuation of the ever-so-popular X-Men: First Class. Well, only in a sense. It is more realistically the movie where the now dead “original” X-Men franchise (with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) gets to cross over with the “new and full of life” X-Men franchise that was started in X-Men: First Class. The movie starts off with everyone you know and love dying extremely horrible deaths but its okay because Kitty Pryde knows how to time travel (in a sense). In order to prevent everyone dying an extremely horrible death, Wolverine gets sent back in time (by Kitty Pryde) and has to unite the now disbanded X-Men to stop the events that lead to an all out war (which would lead to everyone dying horrible deaths; do you get it yet?).
Unfortunately, for those who haven’t seen the movie this review will have spoilers in it. This is because I would like to talk about specific portions of the movie in detail (well, however detailed I can be). If you just want to know if you should see this movie then yes, I would recommend it because it is pretty great.
So like I said, everyone is dead. This leads me into the first problem I had with the movie and that is exposition. Now you are probably thinking to yourself: “The entire beginning of the movie is exposition explaining why everything has gone to shit”, to which I would reply “you’re right, but then Wolverine goes back in time and we are left not knowing what the fuck is happening”. That’s right, the movie starts off and everything is really shitty (despite X-Men: The Last Stand not being a post-apocalyptic world) but Sir Patrick Stewart is there to explain everything. This is fine until we are sent back in time and it is revealed that even though only 10 years has passed since the “happy” ending of First Class: Xavier can walk again, the school is now a run-down shithole with no students, Beast isn’t Beast anymore, Magneto is in prison, Mystique is now replacing Magneto by killing every single person she comes across, and every character from the previous movie (except for those just mentioned as well as Havoc who was in ‘Nam) is dead. And to top it all off, we have no Sir Patrick Stewart to save us this time. So the movie continues and we get to see some positives. For one Beast doesn’t look like he had a bad experience with plastic surgeon anymore, and secondly Mystique is “fixed” (appearance-wise). Now during X-Men: First Class Mystique didn’t look bad (apart from being a fucking hypocrite), but she didn’t look ‘right’ if that makes sense. The best way for me to explain it is that she look a little fat in the face. I’m not insulting the way women look or anything, I’m just saying tat her face was a little too wide for her body which made her look weird to me. This is “fixed” in Days of Future Past by completely removing the face scales from Mystique. I will admit that the makeup looks better in this movie (Although she does look more like a member of the Blue Man group), but it bothered me that they changed an important feature of Mystique. I mean, where the fuck did her face scales go? Is she changing herself a little bit to not have face scales? If that’s the case, then why is she still blue? it just doesn’t make sense. Now back to what makes me angry about Days of Future Past and that is character motivation. Everything is going swimmingly; Xavier is on board with the plan, we get introduced to Quicksilver (who proceeds to have the best scene in any X-Men movie), Magneto is on board, Magneto and Xavier make up, everything is hunky-dory. And then, Magneto decides “Fuck this, I should be murdering everyone”. WHY?! It didn’t fit the character that was being portrayed in the movie. Were the writers afraid that the audience would become too attached to Magneto and forget that he is a bad guy? It just doesn’t make sense. He starts his rampage by trying to kill Mystique. This part makes sense and fits the character. He then elevates his motives to picking up an entire baseball stadium, killing hundreds of people, and then trying to kill the President while broadcasting it on television. WHAT THE FUCK?! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?! And then fucking Mystique was no better, trying to kill everyone that has been spared by Magneto. Even after listening to Charles explain why killing dudes isn’t going to help Mutants, she still kills everyone until she suddenly doesn’t, and this is supposed to mark a turning point in the character? It seems to me like she was just activated by a switch to kill motherfuckers, and then the switch was turned off. I want to take a moment and talk about the acting in this movie before I get too far away from it. I enjoyed everyone in the movie, but again McAvoy and Fassbender stole the show as Xavier and Magneto. Even though Magneto’s motivations were all over the fucking place, the scenes between him and Xavier in the plane were spectacular. And McAvoy did an amazing job at playing a man who is ultimately broken and trying to pick up the pieces of his life. And the scene between Stewart and McAvoy, where old Xavier meets young Xavier, is such an amazing moment for the characters and I could really feel the emotion form McAvoy. Another thing I want to quickly mention was the cool use of camera techniques, the main one being the ‘8mm’ view to give the movie a homemade feel. I really enjoyed it the first couple of times because it was really inventive and immersive, but then it kind of got old. Anyway, now I want to talk about why I love this movie so much: It fixed everything. When Wolverine wakes up in present day, and that same song is playing on the radio, and he goes downstairs and everyone is hanging out and is happy; let me tell you I can barely contain my excitement just thinking about it. That ending sequence makes the entire movie worth it. I can sit here and talk about how shitty X-Men 3 was (and it was pretty shitty), but even just the look on Wolverine’s face says it all. He did it. No one died. Everyone is happy. Everything is the way it should be.
Overall X-Men: Days of Future Past is the X-Men movie that undoes all of the sins of its predecessors. Sure, it has its problems but it is a real fun movie to watch, and it (hopefully) marks a turning point in the X-Men franchise.
I give X-Men: Days of Future Past an A