X-Men : Days of Future Past (2014)

After the amazing X-Men First Class when they announced a second film with the First Class cast I was very extremely happy. When we found out that the original cast was joining the cast of First Class I was somewhat worried.

Did the film work or did it turn into another Wolverine movie?

I’m not going to lie. I hated the movie. Out of all the X-Men movies this one is probably going down as my joint worst.

The beginning was confusing, only by knowing who was in the movie and being a fan of the comics did I understand who anyone was, it was all a bit muddled and it didn’t get much better.

The concept is a good one but I feel trying to put the time lines of the original trilogy, the Wolverine movies and the First Class universe into sync just didn’t work.

Lets start with the biggest problem.

For a start too much time had elapsed between both Last Stand and Days of Future Past and First Class and Days of Future Past. There were a few questions that were never going to be answered, like how did the characters of Last Stand get to where they were and also what happened to the quite positive looking ending of First Class. I know that we had vague answers to these questions and ultimately the ending of Last Stand and the journey to the beginning of Days of Future Past doesn’t matter anymore seeing we have now rewritten that history anyway. But it would have been nicer to have seen something of what happened instead of long and (in the end) boring fight scenes between X-Men and Sentinels.

I guess it isn’t really a problem but because I want to moan about it I’ll do it now. Why does it always have to be Wolverine? I know they wrote a reason into the story why it had to be him and only him but I’m sick of it always being Wolverine, I’d much prefer it if they’d found a way to send Kitty or Peter or Bobby back. It wasn’t much of a problem, I know Wolverine is the most popular X-Man and I know that Jackman’s Wolverine is mega popular, it isn’t really much of a complaint other then it would have been nice if someone else got to go back.

Then we get to the First Class cast. As amazing as they are acting wise (because they still were amazing as a cast) what happened to the characters makes no sense. Beast is now just a blue Hulk and the magical serum that has turned him into a blue Hulk has helped Xavier to walk but at the cost of his powers.

I am not joking. At all.

By the time we learnt what happened to the First Class mutants the film had a horrible taste of being a set up to just undo the events of Last Stand.

Banshee was amazing and he’s dead.

Azazel is dead.

Even Emma Frost is dead.

We’ve seen autopsy photos of them and had Magneto scream it on a plane at Xavier…. We’ve lost some interesting characters but hey we’ve got Famke Janssen Jean Gray back with the underused and forgotten (and now brought back from a premature death when I still think he should have been the main focus of Last Stand, but brought back to be forgotten again) Cyclops played by the rather brilliant James Marsden.

I mean honestly. I thought X-Men Apocalypse (or whatever it’ll be called) was going to be a First Class story but the way they’ve gone I’ll be totally surprised if it isn’t full of the original cast. It wouldn’t be so annoying if it wasn’t for the fact I just loved the First Class mutants and the new direction the franchise looked like it was going.

Taking away the small amount that really annoyed me and looking at the story as a whole then?

I will stick with the opinion that the opening was lame, it was a cool enough action sequence that outlined what the whole film was about, but it was confusing and just one big action montage. It introduced some interesting mutants but seemed more set on saying “look at these cool mutants and what they can do but we won’t really tell you anything about them, in fact if you don’t listen carefully you won’t even hear their names let alone who they are or what their powers truly do.”

Again this isn’t a terrible thing but it seemed such a waste to have brought in Blink, Bishop and Sunspot and not done anything with them. And it isn’t even a certainty that any other film will have any of them in it. I did enjoy seeing them though.

The main story when Wolverine finally gets back to the past is interesting. I’m not sure I enjoyed the way they wrote Mystique, I was hoping they’d have toughened her up a little bit from the first movie but she was still very raw and very young, but the actual story around the four remaining First Class mutants was very interesting.

I do feel that the warmth and fun of First Class has been stripped away though. The First Class story wasn’t the most uplifting, it was quite heavy and dark in itself, but it was coated in this warm and light feel. Seeing mutants learning about their abilities together knowing what might be happening in the future, it was just nice and light. It felt a very different film from the first one and more in line with the original movies.

Peter Dinklage was underused as Boliver Trask. I really would have liked to see more of him but he was really only ever used when he was in meetings and giving the “I told you so” speeches. He’d be an interesting character to bring back in later movies, Dinklage is a great actor and should have been used a lot more but we seemed to have to go back to the Last Stand cast more often then I would have liked.

The addition of Quicksilver was the best part of the whole movie, he brought a lot of humour to the film. Again underused, he could have stayed with the main cast the whole of the film, it makes me even more interested in seeing what the MCU is going to do with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. This Quicksilver would have been perfect with the First Class set up, its a shame they went in a different direction.

For me it was obvious what the outcome of the film was going to be, but even with the feeling of disappointment come the end I couldn’t help but feel excited to think that Cyclops was back. Yes, I was a fan of Marsden’s Cyclops and felt that they really could have done so much more with him.

I’m still not really talking about the movie though am I?

I think this is down to the fact the story felt for me unimportant. We always knew that the future was going to be changed, there was no real feel of danger, and that is usually OK as long as the story getting from point A to B interests us. The story was less about getting to point B and more about Xavier’s depression and once again how he became the man he was. The horrible fact is that the first movie still did this better then this movie, so we’ve now seen it twice in the span of two movies and it wasn’t as good as the first one.

Too much of the story was left to dialogue, there was too much being told things were happening and not enough of things actually happening. The main plot was to stop Mystique from killing Trask, and they did that, but there was no real attempt of stopping her.

The thing I think I was most excited about is that it really felt like a statement of what they want to do going forward, unfortunately it seems to be away from First Class and back to what it used to be.

In no way is this a movie people should not watch but I don’t think it stands up next to First Class. It is very muddled and confusing. Not one of the better X-Men films.

The worrying this is that it seems that a lot of people really enjoyed it, so probably shows how out of touch I am with the world.

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