X-men: Days of Future Past is the 7th entry in the X-men film franchise, and is also an adaptation of the classic 1981 comic book story. Predating Terminator, the original story had a dystopian future where robot mutant hunting Sentinels took over the world. Kitty Pryde travels back in time to the then present day to try to prevent this future. (At the time this future took place in 2013). The specific event she was to stop was the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by Mystique.
The film adaptation is mostly similar, except it’s Wolverine that goes back in time. Kitty Pryde can apparently send the conscious of a person back in time (along with her powers to phase through solid objects) a few days or weeks into the past. The plan initially is to send Charles Xavier back to his past self in 1973, which is stated to be 50 years in the past. However, it is feared that such a journey could snap the mind, so Wolverine is chosen since his mind could snap back due to his healing power. Senator Kelly was in the first X-men movie, and was killed. So for this story he must prevent the assassination of Robert Trask, who built the Sentinels. The Sentinels ability to adapt to mutant powers is linked to Mystique which was cool.
I’ve said in other blogs how I never liked the idea of these films set in the near future. This is the first time we get a suggested specific date. 50 years past 1973 would be 2023, which as I’ve said before, makes Magneto around 100 years old in these movies. From what we know of First Class Xavier wouldn’t be much younger.
Much has been made of Quicksilver being in this movie, and how he’ll also be in Avengers with his sister Scarlet Witch, which of course is in a different film universe in a different studio. In this film his sister is alluded to, and it’s hinted that Magneto is his father. Regarding Magneto he is tied into the JFK assassination, but not the way you’d expect.
Mystique’s powers always bothered me a bit. Changing her appearance is one thing, but she can mimic other people’s clothes? Plus she’s apparently walking around naked all the time, the cold never bothers her? Also she seems to be able to transform into a midget with no problems at all.
When it comes down to it this movie just didn’t grab me. It was kind of boring in a way. At first the dark future looked pretty good, but some of the set pieces just looked weird. SPOILERS here but I thought the end was a lot to believe. The mutants win, the Sentinels are never built, and people accept the mutants. It’s a lot to believe those things happened given the destruction in the third act during which the president was almost killed. As usual there’s good character bits between Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique, but by this point it’s not enough.
One thing it does is attempt to fix/make up for X-men the Last Stand. SPOILERS again but the events of that movie are pretty much erased, as the end sees Cyclops and Jean Grey alive and well. Again Cyclops gets the short end of the stick as the movie plays it off as “YAY Jean Grey’s alive! Oh yeah, Cyclops is too.” Wolverine Origins is foreshadowed, we’ll see how that plays out, since as of 1973 Logan doesn’t have his steel claws yet. I just thought of this now as I’m writing, that while X-men 3 is undone, the ending of that leads into the excellent The Wolverine from 2013. That sucks.
And that’s the thing about this Days of Future Past movie. It’s not a great movie, but while not a horrible movie it’s a bad sequel. I’m not one of those fans that think the movies must be exactly like the comics, far from it, but this franchise’s own consistency is way off. In the beginning of DOFP, Xavier is alive. How is that? Will Wolverine still get his metal claws? Will the government really never build Sentinels after all the mess the public saw? There’s numerous other things I didn’t even think of that are listed here and here.
If Fox studios would have had the foresight 15 years ago they could have made an X-men film universe from the ground up in the style of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Personally I think the first trilogy should have led to Days of Future past, and from there they could have made numerous spinoffs, prequels, and sequels.
The previous two X-men films, The Wolverine, and First Class, were superb. Here’s to hoping whatever follows is decent.