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The Best & Worst Of ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

The Best & Worst Of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Well, knock us down with a feather. We’d been positively fearing “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” from afar. It had a been a while since the franchise peaked, and on paper, the giant cast list seemed to promise another “X-Men: The Last Stand“-style mess at best. Plus director Bryan Singer‘s last film, “Jack The Giant Slayer,” was by some distance the worst of his career, and early marketing materials made it look like ‘DOFP’ had a tiny scope that belied its budget (the second most expensive in Fox’s history, after “Avatar“), and made it seem like some kind of mid-’90s vision of the future.

And yet, the film turned out to be a pleasant surprise, as you’ll know from our review. One of Singer’s best films, and the best X-Men movie since 2003’s “X2: X-Men United,” it’s one that manages to be remarkably coherent and entertaining, given the potential pitfalls involved. That said, it’s far from perfect. As is usually the case with these summer tentpoles, there’s plenty of bad in with the good. So, as such, we’ve done our traditional post-mortem on the movie in detail: you can take a look, but be aware there are heavy spoilers if you haven’t yet seen the movie. And you can let us know what you thought about the film in the comments section.

The Best

Quicksilver, Especially In The Pentagon Sequence
Evan Peters has impressed us for some time now as one of the regulars of the “American Horror Story” troupe, and he is given a gift in this role here. By far the wittiest and most fun of any of the mutants this time out, his Quicksilver is cartoony and extraordinarily useful, of course, while constantly displaying terrific timing both comic and dramatic. And that all comes to a head in what is probably the film’s best stand-alone scene, in which the X-Men, having freed Magneto, now face a whole brigade of guards who open fire. Not just one of the best uses of extreme slomo/bullet-time we’ve seen in forever, and definitively the best use of Jim Croce‘s “Time in a Bottle,” Quicksilver’s mischief comes through in how he solves the situation: through the casual tiny deflection of a few bullets, a couple of pantsings, and a “stop punching yourself” sight gag. It’s not only a joy to watch him work, the payoff when we go back to normal speed is hilarious. One thing though—we guess he has to play Jim Croce extra slow to make it sound right to him?

James McAvoy
While Michael Fassbender gets to be all flinty and hunt Nazis in ‘First Class’ and therefore stole a lot of the “OMFG he so cool” oxygen, we’ve always flown the flag for the reboot really being James McAvoy’s picture. And he’s even better second time out. By far the most conflicted character (Mystique comes close), here Charles Xavier, of all of them, is the most ambivalent and shaded of the X-Men, especially as Wolverine plays the all-out good-guy hero. Building the stakes for Prof X who we know will evolve into a creature of Patrick Stewart-levels of compassion and wisdom is a tricky business, but it really works here, as we see him ruining himself from the inside out, prey to gnawing doubt and guilt (though we could have done without Beast’s explanation of Xavier really losing it because Vietnam). Xavier’s adoption of the merciful position as regards the human vs. mutant battle is given texture and context, an active, costly choice, of which he is not at all sure. And McAvoy sells every shade of light and dark, turning in by far the film’s most emotive and emotionally engaging performance, in a character more usually portrayed as a brain on wheels.

The Script
We have to confess, we’ve always lumped Simon Kinberg in with the Kurtzman & Orcis of the world: a young screenwriter who seemingly came from nowhere to become a big-deal writer and producer, who’s generally stayed within franchise territory, and whose credits (“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Jumper,” “This Means War“) don’t really instill much in the way of confidence. But credit to Kinberg (and the likely additional uncredited script doctors, though the credited scribe likely did the heavy lifting when it comes to structure)—what looked like a potential clusterfuck of an overstuffed cast and time travel plotting is relatively coherent and very watchable. Sure, there are incoherences and inconsistencies, but Kinberg makes the wise decision to keep most of the mutant cameos to a minimum, use the old-school cast of Stewart and McKellen et al. fairly sparingly, and focus up on Wolverine and the ‘First Class’ gang, and even the latter group have pretty much been pared down to the most interesting one: Charles, Erik, Mystique and Beast. Even the actual time-travel mechanics (likely inspired by J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Trek“) make some sense. This was a difficult job, make no mistake, especially as the project came together quite quickly, so hats off to Kinberg for pulling it off the most part.

The Tone Doesn’t Get Too Grim
We love Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, but for a while, we almost wish they didn’t exist, if only because of the few years of Nolan-ized blockbusters that followed: dark, grim, and unrelentingly allergic to fun, which is what summer escapist tentpoles are meant to be. But things have been improving this year. Both “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Godzilla” have combined heavy stakes with actually being enjoyable, and without slipping into dourness, and ‘Days Of Future Past’ continues the trend. Singer and co. might overstep the bounds a little bit at the very beginning, but for the most part, the grim future setting is leavened both by making the action fun (the inventive deaths for the anonymous future-mutants help), and by the lighter tone of the 1970s sequences. Some characters have heavier issues than ever before—Charles’ drinking, Mystique’s quest for revenge—but it’s balanced nicely by characters like Wolverine and Quicksilver, who aren’t taking matters too seriously. The X-Men’s great benefit is that they can have a more serious subtext at work in a way that, say, Thor doesn’t, but Singer also remembers, perhaps even more successfully than with “X2,” that the audience are here to have a good time.

Not Drowning In CGI
Last time Bryan Singer made an X-Men movie, it was eleven years ago, and the modern superhero movie was still somewhat in its infancy. But things have escalated fast, and even a relatively grounded entry in the genre like ‘The Winter Soldier’ climaxes with a host of exploding into pixels, to say nothing of the city-trashing that ends “Man Of Steel.” There’s spectacle in ‘Days Of Future Past,’ certainly, with waves of sentinels and Magneto’s stadium-lifting parlor trick. But it’s used sparingly, and in general Singer keeps the action focused on the characters battling it out. Indeed, in both of those examples, he still manages to keep things contained: the future mutants only ever battle a few Sentinels at a time, while at the climax, so many filmmakers would have had the robots rampaging through D.C., but Singer actually uses the stadium as a way to hone in the action (perhaps learning a lesson from the “keep them contained” climax of “The Avengers“). There’s still a ton of CGi in the film, but it’s used smartly, and almost always mixed in with live-action elements, preventing it from ever descending into the video-gamey vibe that so many of these films do. It’s something we hope they remember moving forward with the sequel.

Jennifer Lawrence
On the one hand, we imagine Jennifer Lawrence probably regrets signing on to “X-Men: First Class”—she’s got to balance the lengthy shooting schedule with her other, even bigger franchise, “The Hunger Games,” while also trying to fit in more awards-friendly work, and photobombing people on red carpets. Plus it means lord-knows-how-many-hours in the make-up chair before she can even get in front of a camera. On the other, we can’t imagine anyone we’d rather see playing the part. Mystique/Raven’s role here is both beefed up (she’s literally the most important mutant in history), and weirdly wasted (see below), but Lawrence kills it, both with a ninja-like physicality that bridges the gap between her younger turn in the first film and Rebecca Romijn‘s equivalent in the present day, and with her ever-present ability to take an emotional beat and knock it out of the floated-by-Magneto park. From an ability, with Fassbender, to suggest years of sexual history, to her terrifying revenge face, and absolute hurt when her colleagues turn on her, Lawrence continues to be a delight to watch in these films. Word’s starting spreading about a possible Mystique spin-off, no doubt as an attempt to keep Lawrence interested in the franchise, but for once, that doesn’t sound like the worst idea as the character has gone from a second string villain in the originals to an integral part of the series going forward.

“Worst”/So-So

We’ll admit, this movie generally does more right than it does wrong, but while we’re here deconstructing it…

Quicksilver’s Hasty Exit
Not a huge dealbreaker or anything, but we admit, it’s kind of amusing that Quicksilver’s powers are so amazing, he can literally run circles around all problems. So, breaking Magneto out of the Pentagon? No problem. But wouldn’t it have been just a little handy to keep him around for say… every other problem, obstacle and conflict for the rest of the movie? Sure, the X-Men send him home because he’s a kid, but it seems silly especially when everyone’s under a “do-or-die” threat of changing the course of history and time. Maybe it would’ve been worth the risk to include the kid after all? And yes, the filmmakers say he’ll be back for “X-Men: Apocalypse,” but good luck with that because you’ve already established a character that can basically defeat anyone with his speed.

We Miss Logan/Wolverine’s Reluctant Hero Status.
Almost devoid of quippiness and shorn of most of the gruffness that makes the character so eternally endearing, here Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine is probably the blandest we’ve seen him be. In fact in some scenes in which the dramatic tension really lies between Magneto and Prof X, he’s pretty much the fifth wheel; a hairy guy photobombing in the background. Embarking on a dangerous mission, for which he immediately volunteers, and tasked with recruiting Xavier and others to his cause, Wolverine here has little internal conflict, bar a sudden Stryker flashback which only happens at one narratively convenient moment in order to incapacitate him. We understand the oft-mentioned parallels between his role now and Xavier’s own in his life (there’s a lot of you-saved-me, no-you-saved-me stuff going on), its just a shame the screenwriters felt they couldn’t salvage any of Wolverine’s famous reluctance to play hero this time. It’s not a dealbreaker and it’s not like we don’t get enough Wolverine elsewhere, but along with the mystery of Prof X’s coming back to life ,we wonder what has happened in the intervening years to turn Wolverine into, essentially, GI Joe.

Some Questionable Digital Photography
Since “The Usual Suspects,” Bryan Singer has never made a film without longtime director of photographer Newton Thomas Sigel, and you can see why. Their work together has traditionally been strong, and when he’s on top form, like with “Three Kings” or “Drive,” Sigel makes a good case for being among the best in the world. But we have to say, on the basis of both “Jack The Giant Slayer” and this, it might be time for a parting of the ways. ‘DOFP’ is certainly more attractive than ‘Jack,’ which managed to be both gaudy and … brown, but the near-future scenes are so dimly lit for the most part that they come off as feeling a bit cheap. But worst of all are some of the interior action sequences, which have that sort of Michael Mann-circa-“Collateral” early digital photography vibe to them. That’s fine, and even exciting, if it were 2004, but it feels amateurish and cheap when in a $200 million movie in 2014. The problem, it appears, is that the film was shot in HFR technology, presumably at the point at which people believed Peter Jackson that it was the future, but then the film wasn’t mastered or released in the format. That means that certain sequences in the film look like they come from a Canadian SyFy drama rather than a legitimate tentpole.

Mystique & Magneto’s Motivations
So the time travel, to some degree or other, actually makes a kind of logical sense, but it’s a shame that the motivations of the characters don’t always do the same. In particular, Michael Fassbender‘s Magneto and Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique are pretty muddy in terms of the actions they perform, and the reasons behind them, enough so that it starts to threaten to break the movie. Mystique is clearly on a revenge mission against Peter Dinklage‘s Bolivar Trask, but we only ever see her in vengeful assassin mode, with the reasons given thanks to some blurry autopsy photos of Jason Flemyng and Zoe Kravitz. And because you never quite believe why she’s on such a mission (even after she’s been told the potential consequences), it makes her relenting at the end, failing to pull the trigger on Trask amid the chaos, and instead helping to bring down Erik, feel entirely unconvincing and unearned (why does she start listening to Charles only now?). Though she’s positively transparent compared to Magneto who has broken out of prison, swiftly convinced that they have to stop Mystique to prevent mutant extinction, tries to kill her, then tries to talk her out of it, and then decides to pull off a show of force in front of the entire world, the exact thing that would surely convince the world that the mutants are a giant threat (indeed, it’s a little puzzling that they wouldn’t push ahead with an exterminate-the-mutants plan after one of them DROPS A FOOTBALL STADIUM ON THE WHITE HOUSE AND TRIES TO KILL THE PRESIDENT). In theory, it’s in the spirit of the character, with Magneto always looking out for a chance to get one over on humanity, but the I’ll-help-you-until-I-try-to-kill-them reversal is already familiar from “X2,” and Fassbender’s more nuanced turn makes the megalomania seem very sudden.

The Real Threat Is Somewhat Vague
Question, for a thousand points: who is the villain in “X-Men: Days Of Future Past?” Is it Bolivar Trask, who has a fear of mutants for some reason and wants to exterminate them, but only poses an intellectual threat and who our heroes spend the movie trying to save? Is it Mystique, who’s technically the antagonist, in that the heroes are trying to stop her, but is still sympathetic? Is it Magneto, who remembers he’s evil in the last thirty minutes? It’s not really any of the above. In theory, it’s whoever is controlling the Sentinels in the future, but we’re never given any details of them bar the “worst of humanity.” It doesn’t have to be Peter Dinklage in old age make-up, but some kind of human face behind this beyond just robots dropping out of airships (or hell, even a hint that the Sentinels went rogue and turned on everyone) would help give a human face to the threat that the mutants face. Or at least, give a reason to how the world ended up ruins.

Beast Is Lame
Sorry about this one, we really are, because Nicholas Hoult is an actor we really like and we think he’s pretty perfectly cast. It’s just that Beast, as always, when he blues-up, looks like a Smurfy Teen Wolf and he’s hampered here even further by being basically a big blue lapdog/enabler for Prof X. With his only interiority coming via occasional moony eyes made over Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique and one scene where he makes a (really obvious) breakthrough based on watching the television news, mostly all he does is repeat exposition, go to turn the power back on and fail to lift things off Prof X. Oh, and occasionally fly a plane. Made of metal. Containing Magneto.

The WTF?

Post-Credits Sequence
OK, shoot us, but we had no idea who that was, and furthermore thought it was a girl (who looked slightly like Saoirse Ronan at one point). Of course, we’ve subsequently discovered that it is in fact a mutant called Apocalypse who one presumes will play a central role in the next X-Men film, given that it’s called “X-Men: Apocalypse.” What else? Oh yes he appears to be building a pyramid in Ancient Egypt (or on the “Stargate” planet), so we can conclude two things: 1. he’s either very very old, or there’s more time travel jiggery pokery going on (we hope not) and 2. the Egyptians weren’t that smart after all and needed supernatural aid to build the pyramids. Ha! Dumbasses.

Holocaust References In Opening
Remember how we said the tone managed to mostly not become too grim? There was a reason we said ‘mostly,’ because the opening scenes showing off the mass-murder of mutants and humans leaves a pretty sour taste in the mouth. The movies have never been shy about the parallels: both the first movie and ‘First Class’ open up with Magneto at an actual concentration camp, which felt like a mission statement from Singer that at least in the original, this isn’t going to be campy, this is something with real world implications. And while there’s a level of tastelessness at work there, Singer mostly made it work. Here, though, there’s something especially grim about the mountains of charred corpses we pan through as Patrick Stewart dumps the backstory: the imagery explicitly references war crimes and the Holocaust, and in a way that feels particularly uneasy for the start of a comic book movie like this. Some might not find a difference between this and the first film, but it just felt much cheaper here to us.

How Is Professor X Alive Again?
We’ll leave it to bigger geeks than us to obsess over all the very many continuity issues that the ever-problematic time travel aspect throws up (where’s Doc Brown with his “alternate timeline” blackboard diagram when you need him?) because very few of them actually inhibited our enjoyment of the film while we were watching it. With the exception of this one, which seems kind of a whopper. So, at the end of ‘X3’ (which otherwise seems to be roughly canon, judging by the mutants still alive in the Sentinel future of ‘Days of Future Past’), Jean Grey kills Prof X, or at least obliterates his body. The epilogue strongly hints that he has at the last moment transferred his consciousness to another body, which we don’t see. And, well, daft, obviously but fine. But why would he look like himself in the Sentinel future then? One theory mooted  was that he transferred himself into the body of his never-before-mentioned identical twin brother which well, oh my fucking God. But even that gigantic leap doesn’t explain why future Professor Bob Xavier (or whatever his name is) would be in a wheelchair.

Mystique’s Magic Blood
OK, after “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and now this, the next person who uses “magic blood” as a plot device gets a Colossus-sized slap. The bad guys need Mystique to perfect his Sentinels so that they can replicate mutant powers (in fact, it’s genius scientist Bolivar Trask who asks to capture her, except in the original timeline, he’s already dead by the time that she’s caught and experimented on). As it turns out, all it needs is her blood to experiment on, which is handily pulled off the pavement after she’s shot in Paris, in a very dubious bit of science. But not as dubious as the way that Mystique can replicate people’s appearances, but not their powers, and yet they use her blood to give the Sentinels mutant powers. Like we said, Kinberg’s script is reasonably tight and logical, but this might be the biggest gaping hole in the middle of it.

Wolverine Drowns Then Lives?
Perhaps one of the worst elements of the X-Men’ movie series has been Wolverine’s “healing powers.” What made sense in the comics, a mutant who can heal faster than the average person made sorta sense, in the movies became ridiculous. Wolverine has instant healing problems to the point that if you cut off his arm, these movies would practically think it logical that one arm would grow back immediately. So forget that Wolverine can get shot and then the bullet will fly out because he’s instantly healed—you’ve lived with that fallacy for like six movies. But in ‘Days Of Future Past’ Wolverine drowns. When you drown, that means you die. The powers are not immortality and healing that will take you back from the dead. When you die, that’s it. You can’t heal drowning. But in Singer’s movie, Wolverine is found by General Stryker so he can follow in the continuity of doing experiments on Logan and giving him adamantium claws (let’s forget that Logan has adamantium claws in the future of ‘DOFP’ that isn’t explained either, like he’d undergo that process voluntarily?). In most movies this would be a laughable deal-breaker, but in a super hero movie of this type where nothing’s really grounded, not even gigantic baseball stadiums, we suppose you just gotta let it go and laugh.

Never Underuse Peter Dinklage
There was so much to like about Peter Dinklage as the villain Trask (we were particularly impressed that there’s not one reference or allusion made to his height in the whole film) that our main issue here is that he’s just not in it enough, and when he is, he’s underused. Wouldn’t some actual interaction between him and Mystique, the mutant he so covets and who so loathes him, have been a ripe dramatic opportunity? Instead it’s just her pointing a gun at him and not shooting. And in their first shared scene where she impersonates the Vietnamese official, Trask gets to escape peril by, um, walking out of the door into the hallway while everyone’s distracted. The character is awesomely styled in those ’70s duds and haircut, and Dinklage invests him with way more charisma than he should have given what’s written for him, so why not give him more to do?

Why Does Magneto Lift The Stadium?
Part and parcel of not really understanding Magneto’s motivation in the last third of the film there’s his somewhat baffling decision that the best way to go about showing the world what mutants can do is by dumping a stadium onto the White House, thereby creating a sort of fortress. Fine, if he wanted to exclude the world, but he doesn’t actually, he wants the cameras to record his coup and for the message to get out as widely as possible. The stadium sequence is impressive, but why not tear apart the White House from the inside? Or start hurling all of D.C.’s cars one by one through its windows? Or any of a million other things you could do with his power that aren’t lifting and flying across a city with a stadium. And we can’t really forget how much the geeks moaned about the silliness of Magneto moving the Golden Gate Bridge in X3—can a whole football stadium, while he’s also controlling the sentinels and presumably deflecting helicopters and fighter jets and whatnot, really get a pass?

The Complaints Of Retconning
If everyone hates Brett Ratner’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and part of the filmmaker’s aims in ‘DOFP’ were to wipe out that continuity, why would audiences complain that Singer’s latest essentially undoes everything in ‘The Last Stand’? Look, we understand that when things don’t make sense, it can be annoying, but wiping out that film is probably not the worst thing that’s ever happened to the series. Sure, there are problems with that, such as Wolverine’s consciousness jumping back in time to a “newfound” present where everyone is alive and how would that make sense? But the end of the movie is such a mess of continuity and time that it’s certainly best to just let it live and not get too caught up in it all. Otherwise your brain will break (or the flaws will just seem too evident).

Thoughts? Your favorite or least favorite moments of the movie? Weigh in below.

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Comments

sea

What

Sean

What

Spiros

A) How is Mystique so important for the future of the sentinels and nothing like that has been mentioned in the first 2 or 3 movies?
B and more important) Do the creators/screenwriters read anything about the X-Men universe before deciding who to include in each Movie?
How is that possible that Cyclops is mid 30’s in 2000 and his younger brother Havok is a teen in the 60’s? They have the same surname and no one gives a damn. Although, in the final scenes, Quicksilver is seen with his mother in the background watching about Magneto in the TV, holding his sister. So, we have a 17 years old boy holding his 7 years old TWIN SISTER.

Mary X

I didn't enjoy the film as much as First Class because of pretty much all of what was on the WTF List and Worst List. Nice article by the way.

This is what confused me at the very end:
—> I was thinking in terms of the next film, so please know my questions are in concern for the follow up film as well. <—

–Logan's death–
So we all agree that him drowning should have killed him (permanently. just thought I'd add that) But like… was that Mystique on the boat posing as the doc who would give him adamantium??? (referring to the eyes that made it look like it was really Mystique in disguise. And if it wasn't her, why bring attention to the eyes like that since we know that is really Mystique's thing to do. And we know it's the doc because when Logan saw him he practically fainted) Like why would she do that to Logan? Was she gonna save him? Did she have plans for him? WTF?

When Logan goes back to the "present" at the end of the film, we never see his adamantium claws… Which made me more confused because is this some sort of secret? But why? What would have been cooler than for Logan to open his claws? Would have been like counting toes after a baby is born. Make sure everything is what it should be for his body.

Just… the little things.

I really wish the story was better in this film. A part of me thinks that they made it so that the old and new magnetos and xaviers could meet. I felt that obviousness when I saw that Frask (who I think had potential to being a villain poster boy in the film, but really was this curious guy that was shy and wanted to kill mutants for really no real reason…) was just like there for no reason other than to die/not die and sway the president in his time of distress. It would have really been cool if he actually met Mystique. I agree with that.

They needed more explanation, not more of Sentinel robots killing things in the beginning. I didn't enjoy being thrown into the plot like that when I really needed more proof about who the real bad guy was. Were the robots evolving? Who built them? "Random scientists that took over Frask's work" didn't convince me… I just sat in my seat for two hours confused about the real reason why Frask is a main guy. He didn't harbor much hatred for mutants nor did the mutant-dystopian future really capture a sense of hatred— "lets just have the robots kill mutants" didn't seem like a valid thing if there was no clear laws or people behind it. (the real villains) I guess they didn't want a repeat plot from the first three X-Men films huh? But that's what happened! Just none of the filler was shown… :(

I loved the acting. Top knotch actors. I loved the action, and suspense. But the story just wasn't right.

Storm Grey

This was not a great movie by any means. It was largely sloppy and ONLY came together during the last third or so of the film. Aside from Lawrence (who I still don't really buy as Mystique, but since she's young and 'in training' I use that to give her deficiencies as the character a pass for the most part) the actors aren't the problem.

I'm glad they kept one of the writers from The Last Stand, but it was obvious to me that they were missing the other writer that must have brought more of the excitement and cohesion to X3. Yes, count me as one of the proposed few who actually loved that film because, despite the fanboy whining, it worked. People were upset because Xavier died, but I thought it was a bold move that was executed (pardon the pun) brilliantly. The Phoenix hated him for locking her up and she got her revenge. Now, obviously, if he were dead and gone for good that would have been a bad thing, but it was very carefully shown that his twin brother was being cared for by Moira (who is a known love interest for Charles).

The reason why they don't plainly state that it's his twin brother is because they wanted the death of Prof. X to have some weight, and I think it did (so much so, that fans raged out of the theater obviously without seeing the end credits scene that showed he was back–Moira even exclaims "Charles!"–It's hard to miss that if you're paying attention.) Anyone who thinks Xavier transferring his consciousness to his brothers identical shell is a cheesy plot device, then I'd say where have you been this entire franchise. These are mutants that do all sorts of weird things. Professor X is someone who can stop time, get into anyone's head and control them (unless they wear a special helmet), supposedly hear all of the voices from every single person's mind in the world, and yet transferring his consciousness is where some people want to get their panties in a bunch?? Odd. I'd contribute him still being in a wheelchair to atrophied muscles. His brother spent, what, 70 years as a vegetable? So, I'm guessing he didn't just jump right out of bed when he woke up in his brother's body.

Anyway, with the timeline mix-around, that seems to be nothing to be concerned about now anyway. The Phoenix was never set free, and Jean is the same as she was in X2 by the end of DoFP. Oh, and she didn't really "die" in X3 the same way she didn't really "die" in X2. There's a reason why her alter-ego is called "The Phoenix." We also don't really know that Scott died because it happened off-camera, leaving the door cracked for him to come back. It's a classic way to have a death without having a death. So, again, I still don't get the hate thrown at X3 for the "deaths." The Last Stand was far better written and well-thought-out than Days by far, but Days did have a terrific ending, and so that's what I'm guessing people floated out of the theater focused on.

And in getting back to Days, I don't agree completely with the best of/worst of list here, but I do agree with some of it. So, I'll list what I think was best and worst about Days: This isn't posting, so I may have to do this in 2 posts.

LJones

["Jean and Cyclops are alive 'cause young Xavier saw in Wolverine's memories what was gonna happen to them so he change that and save the . . ."]

This is your explanation?

Rosie

I believe that Simon Kinsberg's script is probably the biggest problem with this movie. I was surprised at the number of bloopers I had encountered, while watching it.

lou

Horrible x-men movie, no explanation of how Xavier comes back from being discinergrated, there was no nimrod, sentinels looked like the robot from the Day the earth stood still, Bishop was suppose to go back in time through a time portal, not wolverine, and the time portal is not kitty's hands, This should've been called Mystique's Redemption, and when the hell is Hugh Jackman going to man up and where the real wolverine uniform, Rogue dates gambit not iceman, and when did kitty get time travel as a power, how is Cyclops and jean grey alive, ridiculous, there was so many unanswered questions and stupid Hollywood changes. There was a couple of things I liked, Magneto was awesome as always and finally there bringing the x-men's villain, Apocalypse. Being a big huge x-men fan, this was just another disappointing bust just like x-men 3 and this time it was by bryan Singer, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE

Ron

Regarding post scene…. You clearly need to resaerch on Apolocalpse…. It was obvious when I saw it … And includiong the 4 horsemen in the background at the end (that usually everyone misses)

Andre

The fact that they wonder about the extent of wolverine's healing factor is laughable to say the least……Please note that while extreme, he has survived being torn in half, being dismembered and even an autopsy…..surviving a bit of waterlog isn't that hard for him

dude

The Beast still looks like crap and they need to get past the Logan/Xavier/Magneto lovefest and look at some of the other X-Men for once

george

listen this movie was overated and confusing the first 10 minutes were great when battling the sentinels im a big fan the xmen read the comic books when i was a kid a little disapointing

Anonymous

The author/authors of this article clearly missed a lot in this movie, nor are they apparently at all familiar with any other form of X-Men mythos beyond the movies. The whole section of not knowing who Apocalypse was supposed to be, thinking that Quicksilver's speed somehow makes him unbeatable, and most importantly that they failed to grasp that it is Mystique that retrieves Wolverine, and not Stryker pretty much shoots the credibility of the article and the writers to nothing in this instance.

Connor Row Jarvis

I loved this movie I'm glad they brought back the subtle under tones of Erik/Charles that they had in first class even the actors young and old love Cherik which ultimately made me love the movie even more, I also loved the no Azazel/Mystique hints or any thing SOOOO glad about that.

Susan

I agree with Ray Im very confused as to how Prof x is alive in this movie and also how has magnito got his powers back he was turned mormal in the xmen 3 movie.

James

Was no one else slightly mystified as to how, in 1973, there was the technology available to make not just giant flying robots, but giant flying robots made entirely of plastic components? I get that it's a different universe or whatever, but then why was all the other technology (cameras, tvs, etc) constrained to 70s standards?

And then even disregarding what Trask eventually got up to, they have ALREADY developed the technology to electronically detect mutants in 1973… wouldn't that be put to use in the 27 years leading up to X-1?

Jeremy

My only issue was the ending: how are scott and jean alive? Hell i thought it was Rachael Summers…
And why were the fourhorsemen in the background in the post credits scene?

KittyKat

It wasn't Mystique's magic blood that gave Sentinels the ability to use the powers of other mutants, though. Trask Industried had been experimenting on and detaining mutants for a while; they used whatever the mutants had that was useful, incorporating those abilities into the Sentinels themselves. Have you watched the trailer and wondered why Rogue was there, but not in the movie? In the original script, the writers had planned to have this part where Professor X and Magneto had to get Rogue out of a facility where the baddies (I agree with you here, we don't know for sure who the 'bad guys' are) had imprisoned her. It was from her that the Sentinels got their power-absorption, and not from Mystique. Aside from this, I think your post was wonderful, and I agree with it completely:)

Carlos Stephens

Regarding your "we wonder what has happened in the intervening years to turn Wolverine into, essentially, GI Joe " beef: the whole war that wiped out most of his friends and humanity along with it for which he was sent back to the past to prevent, maybe? I think the 4,000 X-Men related movies prior established that Wolverine's the reluctant hero, and they've all gradually lead him to the conclusion that was reached in the most recent "The Wolverine"; when saying goodbye to his Japanese girlfriend, he says he's leaving her to go back to where the action is because he's "a warrior", in so many words. Your argument is now invalid. The movie rocked.

Junyasayhow

In ALL of these terrible Xmen movies the only even semi descent moments have been the nightcralwer scene in the beginning of the 2nd movie (AND EVEN THEN you can see hes GOT BOOTS ON one second and not the next), and the magneto as a child in the first one…apart from a few other things like Fastbender as magneto and Stewart as prof X (and Mckellen though hes too frail) there is absolutely nothing about these movies that would make them something I wouldn't expect to see on the Sci-fi channel right next to Sharknado. The action is totally something that should be in a broadway musical and the CGI all though the better part of the movies, is still pretty lame and only shown in short intervals because all of the budget is spent on getting big names like Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, or Halle Berry to play a lame, too tall, non agile, untrained, bar room brawling, skinny jean wearing Wolverine. Or a rubber big foreheaded non sexual organ having mystique. Or a corny can't figure out if she has an accent or not, turning to put her white contacts in and do cheesy wire work Storm. I hope there's a reboot (as in all new cast, director, writer) in the very near future.

Brandon

Loved the film. Confused about this film erasing a previous film.

One HUGE Gripe… Don't bring a strong "future" character from the X Men Saga like BISHOP without giving him the proper presence within the story. Use someone less relevant.

matthew ritch

You are all stupid. Watch this film and the other in the franchise again. This time: PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!!!!

Josh

Singer wastes too many characters. Rogue, Cyclopse, Storm, BISHOP, etc….. I liked it a lot but Winter Soldier is superior due to a better defined villain and evil plan.

FSchmertz

You missed the fact that the "Stryker" that fished Wolverine out of the river was actually Mystique.

The reviving from drowning thing doesn't bother me as much as "how does he get the adamantium if he never gets grabbed by the REAL Stryker?

And does this mean there will be a Wolverine/Mystique tie-in in some kind of standalone movie?

robthom

Twas a fine movie.
Out of all the Superhero movies post 2000 Singer has done the best job IMO.

Singer isn't the greatest director,
all his movies have flaws going back to usual suspects.
But I had way more problems with thor, avengers, ironman, winter soldier, spiderman, darkknight, etc.
And those are the other most celebrated in the genre,
not to even mention the flat out stinkers.

Singer seems to try harder and care more about the artistry of things where other directors seem more concerned with packaging a product.

Ryan

I loved everything you hated about the movie. So do many people I know.

Ignacio balbuena

(let’s forget that Logan has adamantium claws in the future of ‘DOFP’ that isn’t explained either, like he’d undergo that process voluntarily?).

Well, in the dystopian future he has his metal claws because that's the future of the original trilogy timeline, and wolverine origins, so he has his claws because stryker gave them to him.

In the fixed future he doesn't show his claws, and since it's mystique who finds him, NOT the actual stryker, we can assume he didn't get the adamantium job.

The writers should a. Pay more attention b. Actually know about the x men storylines, if not for the comics, at least for the 90s cartoon, which was the bomb. The movie is still quite a mess though.

Mark S.

@BMAN – why does Magneto need to make any sort of "speech?" It would seem overly scripted. I think Magneto's turn on Raven is COMPLETELY in character and there's no need for explanation.

His fighting Charles (and others) on the beach in Last Stand showed that he has no problem with some mutants dying if it results in the greater good (i.e. showing off mutant power/superiority over humans).

Bman

Just a couple of reactions:

– Wolverine's role: I like where he is now, it shows that they are letting that character develop instead of just playing the same notes over and over again. Wolverine moving from reluctant hero/teammate to the tough-love teacher/leader is an arc that character has followed for years.

– I don't think the Magneto turn was out of no where, it just needed another scene of him saying something like "they will never stop. You think this changes anything yadda yadda" Really surprising that the creative team dropped the ball there, that is kind of slam-dunk, easy speech to write for that character.

– The points about the holocaust imagery being a bad thing kind of hurts your credibility when it comes to critiquing an X film. You even say it yourself, "the X-men can have a more serious sub-text than say Thor." X-Men comics/shows have always dealt with segregation/slavery/genocide between mutants and humans, it's really what drives the franchise. To eliminate it from the movie would be bad taste and effectively "de-claw" one of the things that makes it great and unique.

steines

Actually they retconned X1,2, and 3. The end scene with Wolverine and everyone still alive was part of an alternate of the first time line shown in DoFP. Meaning, what was changed for the Wolverine that went back in time upon his return to his timeline. Saving Trask means that the First Class future split off from that timeline at that point and their future is wide open and anything can be done from this point. The alternate timeline now allows them to erase the mistakes from the past and recast characters and make them younger, such as Cyclops, Jean Grey, etc.

Mark S.

This article is absolutely terrible. I'm not expecting you to read 50 years of X-Men history, but FFS know the film series you are reviewing!

Bob Xavier? Is that some joke that I'm not clued in on?

Also – did you miss that "Stryker's" eyes glowed when Wolverine was rescued? That was supposed to let the audience know it was OBVIOUSLY Mystique, not Stryker. And since we never saw Logan's claws in the present, it's not clear if he ends up going through Weapon X project or not in the new timeline.

Lobbo

Lawrence's performance was stilted and uninteresting. The writing made her part worthwhile.

Murphy

I enjoy these articles, but sometimes the writers' tones can be so frustratingly condescending that the nitpicking becomes thoughtless and mean-spirited. Granted, I've written Best/Worst articles for my film blog as well and it's a fun way to deconstruct, for sure, however, there're always a few things that find their ways onto these lists that I don't think the writers remember correctly.

Majorly here, we never see Wolverine's claws in the "fixed future." He wakef up and sees everybody alive again and then encounters Charles in his study. No claws are seen…at all. Combined with the Mystique-is-Stryker final image (which I also think you guys missed as it is never mentioned), I think this makes for an interesting Apocalypse set-up, especially with Jackman being the only original cast member signed on to the 1980's-set storyline. Not showing Wolvy's claws in the future opens up possibilities for the storyline. I'm sure they'll find a way to get the metal claws back, but it's be fascinating for the Weapon X ordeal to go down very differently in the movie continuity. Again, doubt they'll go that route, but the option is there.

Also, this is obviously as personal tick, but as a massive fan of Jennifer Lawrence, I don't think she's Mystique whatsoever. Rebecca Romijn is Mystique, and JLawr doesn't do anything with her performance that makes me believe that she'll grow up into that version of Mystique. Lawrence isn't ruthless enough, Romijn had a strange sarcastically evil vibe to her, which made sense. Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen through and through, the fact that she remains a huge part of this ensemble is just luck. But yes, I'm sure she hates her shooting schedule.

Honestly, I loved this film to no end. Just before you write these articles you gotta check some facts because you might be nitpicking things that aren't actually existant problems or have defined answers (i.e. Apocalypse's post-credits scene).

EMErdelac

The one and only thing I couldn't accept – why could Kitty Pryde cause peoples' consciousness to travel back in time with no explanation?? All she could ever was phase through solid objects. Wha'happened??

xmen fangirl

I'd said it before and I'll say it again xmen days of future past was James mcavoy's movie , he owned every scene and xmen first class was michael fassbender's movie he owned every scene in that. so I wonder who's own the next one the apocalypse.

monahawk

My girlfriend fell asleep for about 1 minute and was convinced she had missed about half an hour because when she woke up magneto had suddenly turned evil again… I think wolverine drowning was definitely a missed opportunity because in the comics he has a fear of the ocean and drowning is one way he can definitely die… I liked the fact that this Wolverine had kind of moved on and accepted the mantle of hero, particularly because it is hinted that in the seventies he was into some gangster stuff. The best acting happens between Charles and Logan I think and all of the acting is great really… Quicksilver is definitely the highlight… It is pretty funny that this was to be an opportunity to "fix the continuity", I guess the method of fixing was "complete mash up"…great fun altogether and I actually really wanted it to continue at the end of the picture!!

Alex

I am so confused… Professor X died in x men the last stand..yes in this new film he's alive in 1973 because that's the past, but doesn't explain why in the future (present time at beginning of the film after the x men last stand) why the professor is alive? he died.. or I must of missed something..

X2 Is Not Good

"Roughly canon."

Actually the movie goes out of its way to clarify that it considers X3 canon. There's flashback scenes from X3 as well as an appearance from Kelsey Grammer as older Beast. Not to mention, Logan's reaction when he sees both Jean and Scott alive. That's exactly why it's puzzling that they then decide to not explain how Professor X is still alive in the original future timeline.

Also people really need to stop being soft about this and that being "too grim." The holocaust and prejudice in general are at the fundamental core of X-Men. Just like the concentration camp scene in the original movie is about the only representative aspect of the source material's true potential to be gripping.

JOHN

The Sentinels use Rogue's power – not Mystique – to mimic mutant's powers. This was cut from the film but is supposed to be on the BluRay.

Jeff

Stryker is a Major, not a General in this movie. This review was obviously written by someone who has never read the comics, let alone closely followed the movie franchise.

heath

Xavier is alive because the future is different from 1973 on. Presumably, somethings would be be very similar, but not the same.

Wolverine had admantium claws in the future because he had already gone through the weapon x program. Stryker found wolverine regardless of the past or present. This time it was probably a little earlier.

The I had is same with any ensemble cast. Character development took a back seat.

Quicksilver and his sister, interestingly enough are so far the only characters to crossover the studio lines. They will be in the next Avengers movie also. Just not played by the same people and sadly with different back stories.

jacob

Didn't any one watch the the last stand, see the post credits scene in it and u will see that professor X has transferred his brain to another comatose patient, which was his twin brother

Sam

RE: Why Does Magneto Lift The Stadium?

I think Magneto did not pick the stadium for no reason as the stadium he lifted in the movie is JFK stadium. If you recall in the movie earlier, Magneto was explaining his fail attempt to rescue JFK from being assassinated and that JFK was one of their own. My theory is that the government found out JFK is a mutant and thus a threat, therefore ordered him to be assassinated. Magneto found out about it and attempt to stop it but obviously failed. His use of stadium to corner the White House is obviously symbolic and trying to remind the politicians that they are responsible for JFK's death. Also, since the sentinal program is broadcast internationally, maybe he is trying to use that opportunity to hint the world that the government is the one who murdered JFK but not him. After watching the movie and going back to the promotional material released previously about the Bent Bullet , I don't Magneto's choice of stadium is random.

me

How is xavier still alive? When in X-men the last stand he got killed by gene?!

I Am That Guy

He lifts the stadium so he can fly higher, as he needs metal to 'levitate, having the stadium surround him which enables him to fly higher, he also drops it so no police e.c.t. can intervene with what he plans to do next.

Main issue on here is Quicksilver is Magneto's son (the reference of his mum knowing someone with this power once gave a nod to this) I am guessing Magento doesn't know about his son, but the ages of the characters here seem to blurr this point.

Also there is no indication of Mystique having a child (but Azazel is dead) and Mystique and Azazel have a child (also known as NightCrawler)

Crawdad

"But even that gigantic leap doesn't explain why future Professor Bob Xavier (or whatever his name is)"

Really? Or whatever his name is? They continually call him Charles in literally every X-Men movie there is, including repeatedly in the one you're writing about.

Andy Pants

You're complaints are dumb, wrong and contradictory. How is Wolverine able to use his healing power to prevent him from drowning? He didn't drown, he was pulled out of the water before drowning. Why didn't they have Quicksilver solve every problem in the rest of the movie? Firstly, because there would be no film and secondly, because he had no reason to care whether Peter Dinklages character died or not. He only helped break out Magneto out of the Pentagon, because he thought it would be fun to break into the most secure building in the United States. You also complain about Xavier being alive, then acknowledge that X-3 was ret-conned out of existence. He died in X-3 and the events of that movie never took place, you don't really need this question answered do you? This is what articles are now I suppose. Writing a bunch of stupid and obviously wrong things in order to get comments and page clicks.

If you want an explanation for the current continuity here it is. The events of X-men 1 and 2 still took place, but Beast never continued his research into the anti-mutant serum. Therefore the anti-mutant serum that was the catalyst for all of the events in X-3 could never be developed. The only real issue here is Jean Gray, who must have survived the end of X-2 somehow.

JayJay

The one about the real threat being not clear, I have a feeling it is not human at all but Bastion who controls the sentinels in the future parts, possibly a nod from the filmmakers, considering he is part sentinel and part human I believe, it is open to debate.
On another note, I disagree with the cameos being kept to a minimum, as I got tired of both casts quite frankly, I wanted to see the new characters play a bigger role than a 1 minute cameo, like Bishop, Blink, Sunspot and Colossus as well as Rogue who barely got 10 seconds!
I know an actors namesake gets them far but to sacrifice main characters from the comic to cater for sub-par characters from the comic being played by Emmy-award winning actors feels kinda cheap to be honest cough*Mystique*, but still it would of been nice to see other unappreciated characters play a more fulfilling role, it's the reason why the Quicksilver character was so highly praised by critics and as the highlight of the movie by many including myself…

CJJ

What?? The script was a positive?! The dialogue was so often hammy and the film wasn't remotely as tight as X-Men 2 and First Class.

BShuck

The movie itself was decent though not spectacular. The end credit sceen however, which I knew about before hand and really was looking forward to the whole time anyway, didnt disappoint and was the best part (though only slightly above Quicksilver's sceen) of the whole film. Bring on Apocolypse!

Josef

The holocaust imagery at the beginning comes from the actual comic story that the film is based on, the mutants are branded and herded into internment camps.

Magneto's display of power at the end was to show them that the sentinels could be turned against humans by mutants and at the end of the day if he could end them all if they dared attack him with sill robots.

Mystique listens to Charles because as we see in the scene where she is tazed she seemed pretty certain that he saw her as a lost cause. That was where we saw him appeal to her humanity.

Harlow

before writing an article and putting wtf on the end credits scene…do some comic research.

420

I agree if you're going to write an article about a move based on a comic book, it would help to research the comics also. Writers are getting lazy, these days….

The movie storyline really drags on for about 90 min after all the action at the beginning, we get the most amazing scene in the movie with Quicksilver, then after that a boring snooze fest full of superhero drama, and they say The last stand was aweful….

JD

"the time travel methods, most likely inspired by JJ Abrams' STAR TREK"…..Uh, no, they were most likely inspired by the classic X-Men storyline this was adapted from.

Him

"It doesn't have to be Peter Dinklage in old age make-up" well no, it couldn't be, because HE'S DEAD, KILLED BY MYSTIQUE, which is the whole point of the time travel plot!

tristan eldritch

I don't buy some of the criticisms. For example, making Xavier the reluctant hero rather than Wolverine struck me as one of the things the film did right. Wolverine's conflicts and angst have been done to death at this point, and there is logically no reason why future Wolverine would still be conflicted anyway. As to Mystique and Magneto's motivations, the film is slightly awkward in terms of stretching what was one assassination attempt in the original comic book into two, but the characters motivations remain sensible enough. The point is that Magneto and the X-Men try to prevent the dark future by preventing the assassination of Trask, but it blows up in their faces – that future winds up appearing even more certain because of the fiasco at the Paris Peace Accord. So now Mystique wants to kill Trask because she believes that's the only way to stop the future Sentinel program, and Magneto, feeling Trask's death alone won't be enough, falls back on his normal stance of preemptive war against humanity as the only solution. The reason Mystique listens to Charles at the end is made perfectly clear – it's because for the first time in her relationship with him and Erik, one of them gives her the autonomy and respect to make her own choice. These motivations are at least more plausible than, say, Bane and Marion Cotillard Wasted as a Plot Device in The Dark Knight Rises. How is Professor X alive again? Who fu$king cares? They wanted him back, and didn't feel like losing out on Stewart for the sake of respecting the continuity of a shit sandwich like The Last Stand. Why does Magneto lift the stadium? To intimidate humanity with a impressive display of mutant power – and because it looked cool. As for the big retcon, that was just Singer's way of reclaiming a cinematic world he'd created from several years worth of lousy corporate mishandling. All in all, despite some flaws, DOFP was an excellent popcorn film – it has the light on its feet, pure entertainment vibe of The Avengers, just with a richer story, better direction, and cooler characters and performances.

triguous

Worst: No Aaron Stanford as Pyro cameo in the new future of DOFP. That character, as well as Stanford's performance, highlight X2.

The Tribe

Worst: the costumes. Why does some of the X-Men look like characters from the cheap 90's/early 00's tv-series The Tribe (just google it).

bapi

Wolverine was found by Mystique – Stryker. ;)

Slen

DOFP not only retconned the shitty Ratner film. It retconned the good X-Men movies too. So I get why some would say its cheap. It's almost like a reboot.

Emperor Zerg Rush

Also, leaving out the fact that they've completely repackaged Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat into what is essentially a Rachel Summers character is forgiven, considering that knowledge relies on being a filthy nerd.

Emperor Zerg Rush

Wolverine drowning is actually something that's been addressed in the comics. Not to say it makes any more sense logically, but considering the source material isn't really known for having one foot in reality a little suspension of disbelief can be afforded.

The thing is though is that the comics seem to be split on how drowning would actually handle Wolverine. In the X-Men comics, most of the characters theorize that drowning and cutting off the oxygen flow to brain for a long enough period of time is enough to put an end to him.

While in other comics, this was attempted and it was shown that his healing factor kicked in and drew in oxygen via his skin which in turn kept him alive long enough to recover.

As well, just to add – he's had most of his face blown off after taking a shotgun blast point-blank from the Punisher and still lived.

Robert G

Okay if you get people to write articles on the X-men then get them to do some research first.
Apocalypse can easily be found, there will be no time travel as he is the first and oldest 'mutant'.
You may have noticed some other characters around him these are his horsemen. Also the pyramids being built were not by him but rather 'Ship' an sentient space craft. The 'how is Xavier alive' is more complicated and is quite lengthy.

On another note Raven is very very important to the Canon and is Rogues adoptive mother and uses her to take Ms Marvels powers.

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