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

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist May 27, 2014 at 2:42PM

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.
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X-Men: Days Of Future Past

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.

X-Men Days Of Future Past

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.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

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.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

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?

X-Men Days Of Future Past

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?

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

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.


This article is related to: X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Simon Kinberg, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Features, Feature


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