Pros & Cons of *X-Men: Days of Future Past*

Alright, so, as promised, I managed to squeeze X-Men: Days of Future Past into my TV/movie viewing schedule and put together a few notes on what I did and didn’t like about it. Some of the comments I made re X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class still apply here, of course. I probably should’ve said this in the other posts, too, but if you haven’t seen the movie(s) in question, consider this a SPOILER ALERT. (Duh!) Anyway, nothing profound, here, and I’m sure others have made similar observations and asked similar questions. Just my two cents…

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men - Days of Future Past posterPros:

1) Old-style Sentinels! (Well, not quite the classic style with the big heads, but close.)
2) Bishop! (Not perfect, but I like the character and liked seeing him make an appearance. Good use of his powers, too.)
3) Blink! (I don’t remember the character being Asian, but not a big deal. Great use of her powers, too!)
4) Sunspot! (Not bad.)
5) Warpath! (Not nearly big enough, but still, a fair protrayal.)
6) Quicksilver! (Great use of his powers in the prison-escape. One of the best scenes!)
7) Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask! (The fact that the comic version is not a little person was not a big deal, since his height/size wasn’t really integral to the character. But, although I don’t remember any mention of his size in the movie, the fact that someone with an unusual physical appearance was lobbying to imprison/control people with another type of “abnormality” is somewhat ironic.)
8) Return of (young and “old”) Hank, Kitty, Peter, Bobby, and Ororo! (I thought the uses of their respective powers were great, as were the F/X in general, although Ororo’s white-eyes-to-the-sky effect still bugs me.)
9) Young Stryker! (Not that I have a particular love for the character, but it’s a nice connection to the other movies and Wolverine in particular.)
10) Tough, buff Logan with wry sense of humor.

Cons:

1) Future Sentinels! (I realize their adaptive morphing abilities were integral to the plot, but I didn’t like it. Or the new look. In another storyline, they might’ve been cool. But, I wanted to see Logan et al. fighting the classic-style Sentinels. Maybe they could have had a final showdown with Nimrod. (Look him up, if you aren’t familiar.))
2) Quicksilver (His behavior was totally different than the haughty Pietro Maximoff from the comics, and he didn’t really look like him, which was all disappointing.)
3) Mystique rescued those mutants from the Army (well, really from Stryker and Trask Industries), but then we didn’t see them again. Couldn’t she have used them in her efforts to kill Trask and stop the Sentinel program? (I guess she is just used to working alone, at that point.)
4) Mystique morphing back to her regular self in full public view. Even assuming no one saw her transform, I don’t think there were many (any?) women in fatigues in Saigon back then, so she would sort of stick out.
5) Logan’s butt. (I didn’t need to see that.)
6) Logan trying to tell the thugs that he was a time-traveler. That was just stupid.
7) Sooo many departures from the original “Days of Future Past” story….

Questions/Problems:

1) Why didn’t they take Quicksilver with them to Paris? He has an amazingly useful mutant ability, which he just proved his “skill” and creativity in using for both offense and defense. But, they basically say, “Thanks, kid. Now, go home. Your mama needs you.” WHAT?! The only thing I can think of is that the writers had some other ideas (re action scenes and/or interaction between certain characters) that they really wanted to keep and knew that including Quicksilver would greatly change the dynamic. Mystique would never know what hit her! (Of course, that would have cut down on the action & suspense and shortened the movie by several minutes.)
2) Since when does Kitty have the power to send a person’s mind back in time? (And how can she keep that up — mentally and physically — for hours on end?!) At first, I thought maybe it was a secondary mutation I wasn’t aware of, not having kept up with the X-Men comics for a few years. But, Marvel’s wiki page says nothing about it, so I assume it was made up for the MCU.
3) Why send Logan to 1973 and not earlier? Assuming we don’t want our heroes to simply kill Trask, why not go back to a time before his Sentinel program was so far along, maybe even before he thought of it, and make sure the program never got any further, maybe by ruining Trask’s rep in Washington or redirecting his early career interests?
4) From the last, pre-credits scene, are we supposed to think that Mystique (posing as Stryker) took Logan to… where? For what? Will that be revealed in a subsequent movie?

Ideas for / Comments re the sequel:

1) It will be quite interesting to see more of how things have developed in the new timeline. What we briefly saw at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past confirmed that Scott and Jean were alive and still teaching(?) at Xavier’s School, as is Logan. Bobby and Rogue were dating, and Kitty and Peter (my favorite couple) were co-teaching a class. Ororo is there, too. But, I am curious to see what other familiar mutants may be at the school, what changes may have been made to the buildings or grounds, what other tech might be available, what relationships have developed, etc. For example, I would really like to see a big, fully-functional Danger Room, and not that lame version from X-Men: The Last Stand. Also, I’d still like to see evidence of a Moira/Charles relationship — though, Charles is quite a bit older in the movie version, but a May-December romance could still work.

Apocalypse

Apocalypse

2) I was kind of hoping that they wouldn’t bring back Scott and Jean for X-Men: Apocalypse. I like them in the comics but find them boring (and miscast) in the movies. On the other hand, younger actors have been cast for them, so maybe something can be done to improve on that.
3) Since Scott, Jean, Ororo, and the just-announced Kurt (i.e., Nightcrawler) will be younger in the next movie, does this mean there will be more time travel? Or, will something happen to them to de-age them? Will they only be seen in someone else’s dreams or memories? Flashbacks? Or,…? Time-travel again would be too soon, so I’m betting it’s something else.
4) I recently saw that the alien A.I. spaceship, “Ship”, will likely play a part in Apocalypse’s big-screen story. That’s good. I realize that a nearly 5000-year-old En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse has a lot of history that can’t be delved into, but I really hope they stick to his comic origins & backstory as much as possible and are able to give a telescoped account. References to Rama-Tut, the Celestials, and Mr. Sinister would be nice. At the very least, I hope they make him look pretty darn close to the “Apocalypse” form he uses in most of his modern-day dealings.
5) As much as I love Wolverine, I get tired of him getting so much of the spotlight. It would be nice to see the action/heroism divided more equally among the X-mutants. It is a team film, after all….

I have mixed feelings about the writers/producers trying to adapt a story from the comics, especially a classic like “Days of Future Past”. On the one hand, it’s a way of paying tribute to a great story. On the other hand, traditionalist that I am, I would have preferred that the story stuck even closer — in terms of plot points, characters, and visuals — to the original. But, I suppose I can understand some of the changes, especially given the other ways the MCU differs from the primary comics version. As it was, the re-worked plot was OK, but with the usual questionable actions, motives, “logic”, etc., that find their way into big action movies. Regardless, I still enjoyed the film a lot. Now, I await the next installment, X-Men: Apocalypse, with a mix of anticipation and dread.

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