Ror Reviews: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Bryan Singer returns to the X-Men franchise with a loose adaptation of the classic '80s comic arc from Chris Claremont and John Byrne. It currently sits at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes..but are the critics overpraising? Click on for my take.

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 5/21/2014
I love the X-Men movies. Not all of them of course -- though I'd argue that the likes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Last Stand have a bit more going for them than many give them credit for -- but overall I love the cinematic universe that Fox has created for some of my favorite comic book characters.

Not something you hear very often, I know!

I realize many purists will think I'm crazy, and I'll admit that I've found some of the changes made in adaptation to be unnecessary, and even outright baffling -- but at the end of the day I think they've produced some damn fine movies, with excellent casts, and strong scripts. Isn't that the most important thing?



With Days Of Future Past Bryan Singer returns to the genre he helped define (don't like the man? Okay. Don't agree with that statement? Do some research) and arguably delivers the strongest entry in the X-franchise yet. Matthew Vaughn did a great job with First Class too though, and while this does work as a direct continuation, it also manages to bridge the gap between the earlier films in a way that should please most fans.

One of the most surprising things about DOFP is how simple the story actually is. Once you wrap your head around the time travel stuff (holes can be poked if you think about it too much..like ANY movie using that plot device) it basically boils down to a battle for the soul of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), with Xavier (James McCavoy) as the angel on one shoulder, and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) as the devil on the other. See, it was actually something Mystique did in in 1973 which led to the hellish future we find ourselves in at the start of the movie, so Professor X (Patrick Stewart) thinks that if Logan (Hugh Jackman) can prevent her from carrying out the deed, that the unstoppable Sentinels won't be created and that future will be averted. Logan enlists the help of the younger versions of Xavier, Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Magneto -- but unfortunately for all concerned, the ever devious Mr. Lensherr has his own agenda.

The X-Men have endured for so long for good reason. I love most of the Marvel flicks (not trying to start a flame war, just using them as an example) but they're not really known for dealing in shades of grey when it comes to their characters, and they're simply less interesting as a result. Here our main protagonists are a noble, but ruthless killing machine and (at least in this movie) a snarky, apathetic junky. Then there's Mystique, who still clings on to her humanity but is willing to let it slip away in her pursuit of justice. And Magneto; not an inherently evil man, but a man prepared to commit evil acts to ensure the survival of his race. Not exactly The Avengers.

Make no mistake about it; although this movie features some great action scenes, it is at its heart a character based sci-fi drama, brought to life by a cast at the absolute top of their game. It's a four-hander, with McCavoy stealing it and Jackman clawing at his heels all the way. Fassbender and Lawrence are also as predictably solid as ever, though they didn't get quite enough screen time for my liking -- which brings us to the movie's biggest problems: In a film so jam-packed with characters, some are bound to get the short end of the stick, but the new Mutants in the future timeline really suffer. As great as it is to have the likes of Bishop, Warpath and Sunspot etc on screen, they get barely a full line of dialogue between them. I guess they are really only there to instigate some of those awesome action set pieces I mentioned..but not even a few exchanges before they power up? By the same token, Havok, Toad and a few other nameless mutants appear once in a sequence set in the past before vanishing from the story.

But, there is one character who only makes a fleeting appearance and still emerges as probably the highlight of the whole movie. We all made fun of his costume, but trust me when I tell you that Evan Peters' Quicksilver is a joy. The scene in which he breaks Magneto out of the Pentagon had the crowd I saw it with clapping and cheering -- something I've never actually witnessed during a film before. You may all think it's a foregone conclusion that Aaron Taylor-Johnson's version of the character will outdo him in Avengers: AOU, but after seeing Godzilla I'm not so sure!

Another highlight is simply the tone and structure of the film as a whole. Singer injects quite a bit of humor, but not so much as to detract from the drama, and at the same time he never allows things to get too bleak either. There's some dark stuff (particularly in the future scenes) but ultimately this is a hopeful tale, with themes and a message that resonate without ever seeming forced upon us.

If you're not a fan of Fox's (and maybe more importantly, Singer's) approach to these characters and this world then I don't think Days Of Future Past will do much to change your opinion. But if you're already invested then this is unmissable. Powerful, funny, exciting, and signifying a new beginning for the younger cast while (possibly) serving as a fitting swansong for the originals. DOFP clocks in at just over 2 hours, and I'd have happily sat there for 2 more. Bring on Apocalypse.

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481 Comments
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SuperSam - 5/21/2014, 8:10 PM
Excellent review! I cannot contain my hype!
DrDoom - 5/21/2014, 8:11 PM
Eh, most of the the Fox-Men movies are garbage so I would definitely consider this overpraise.
LexHairFight - 5/21/2014, 8:11 PM
I'm excited. Not always the biggest fan of this interpretation, but it's not enough to dissuade me.
SuperCat - 5/21/2014, 8:12 PM
Whoa! Five stars?! f*ck. Gotta see this.
YoungThanos - 5/21/2014, 8:12 PM
Yeah, and crack addicts love crack.

How about that GOTG trailer...
BatManHeisenberg - 5/21/2014, 8:12 PM
[frick] yeah! Watching it on friday after school! So excited!
DrDoom - 5/21/2014, 8:13 PM
Even if it's a good movie, which is definitely a possibility, it's still not the real X-Men.
AXE - 5/21/2014, 8:13 PM
can't wait to finally watch this!
Tainted87 - 5/21/2014, 8:13 PM
I have a feeling I'll agree, especially on Evan Peters. I like him a lot more than Aaron Taylor Johnson, and even if the character is done more justice in the Avengers movie, casting is key to me.

I'll be seeing this Friday night.
TheAbaryMan369 - 5/21/2014, 8:14 PM
Whoa, five stars. Great review. I've heard before that Quicksilver was surprisingly great in this movie. I hope he turns out pretty good, although I believe Joss could come up with a great action sequence for the guy.
SuperCat - 5/21/2014, 8:14 PM
SuperSam - 5/21/2014, 8:14 PM
Quicksilver's the new Nightcrawler! Eat crow haters...

ShelfPorn - 5/21/2014, 8:15 PM
The Sentinels look like crap. Make decent Sentinels and this movie would have been awesome. They sucked. They sucked hard. They look fake, and they don't look like Sentinels. It's like Silver Samurai in The Wolverine, they ruined an otherwise good movie for me. 0-:-(
DrunkenNukem - 5/21/2014, 8:15 PM
damn...5 stars???...ror gave this 5 stars??

looks like im going to the theater in 2 days
Pox - 5/21/2014, 8:15 PM
Stopped reading after "I love the X-men movies."

I keed, I keed.

Although I'm not running out to get in line to see it this weekend, I'll probably catch it somewhere down the road...if only just to see Blink.
CapFan79 - 5/21/2014, 8:15 PM
Does Kelsey Grammar cameo!??!!
MeatyButt - 5/21/2014, 8:17 PM
We can all decide tomorrow for are selves-bring it on!!!!!
JamesMan - 5/21/2014, 8:17 PM
Oh the FoX-Men haters are gonna love this!

BlindJustice - 5/21/2014, 8:17 PM
Screw it, the FOX X-Universe is just a 'What If?' universe anyways. I'll support it if only because it's a CBM and I like Hugh as Wolvie.
AlexanderLykins - 5/21/2014, 8:17 PM
I'm going to see it tomorrow night! It'll probably be a decent movie.
sKeemAn - 5/21/2014, 8:18 PM
Very nice review. 5 stars is a tad surprising. I guess in an X-men movie you can't help but have some mutants appear for only a scene or 2.
MercwithMouth - 5/21/2014, 8:18 PM
Awesome review Ror! Between you and McNyagano, we got the best reviewers in the business.

From the looks of reviews, word of mouth, and BO tracking, this movie can do no wrong. But hey, at least we got YoungThanos trolling around...yawn.
Tainted87 - 5/21/2014, 8:18 PM
@ShelfPorn
Should they look real?
blackandyellow - 5/21/2014, 8:19 PM
Sounds awesome. Nice review, ror.
KingPatel - 5/21/2014, 8:19 PM
Excellent review. Can't wait for tomorrow!
blackandyellow - 5/21/2014, 8:19 PM
It'd be cool if Ror got quoted in another critics' commercial.
Nomis - 5/21/2014, 8:20 PM
Respectfully Ror....my "purist" X-men, fanatic loving heart, of almost 40 years will never allow me support one of these films.

These series of movies will never be seen as X-Men films to me, due to the abortion in chronology and the appearance of characters from the source material that Singer and company have done in these films.
MercwithMouth - 5/21/2014, 8:20 PM
@BlindJustice

All CBM's are a "What If" universe.
JamesMan - 5/21/2014, 8:21 PM
"But if you're already invested then this is unmissable. Powerful, funny, exciting, and signifying a new beginning for the younger cast while (possibly) serving as a fitting swansong for the originals."

OptimusPrimeTime - 5/21/2014, 8:21 PM
What happens to Sean Bean?
TheSonicScrew - 5/21/2014, 8:22 PM
****SPOILERS KINDA****





I did massively enjoy how it basically wipes out X-Men 3 and everything but the first 5 minutes or so of Origins. GOOD.

Also the end-credits scene?! Nice....setting things up well for Apocalypse




****SPOILERS KINDA****
ComicFan523 - 5/21/2014, 8:22 PM
I've liked what Fox has done with the X Men, I'll definitely be checking this out soon.
Mercwitham0uth - 5/21/2014, 8:24 PM
Meh. FoX-Men won't be getting my money. I'll pirate it when it's available. That is if I'm bored enough.
WinterAvenger - 5/21/2014, 8:25 PM
YES YES I CANT WAIT
I always trust your reviews and in Ror we trust!
Shamo - 5/21/2014, 8:28 PM
Lol @ the marvel studio fanboys who are butthurt. Great review, will be seeing it tommorow.
SauronsBANE - 5/21/2014, 8:29 PM
Great review, ror! Literally EVERY review I've read so far and everything I hear from people who've seen DoFP have one thing in common...they keep praising that scene with Quicksilver! I'm ridiculously curious to see what that's all about, especially because I assumed they threw that character into the movie as an afterthought to stick it to Marvel Studios.

I loved First Class, and enjoyed the original trilogy for the most part, so I absolutely can't wait to see this. I'm especially looking forward to the fact that it seems Raven, Charles, and Erik seem to be the heart of the movie...much like First Class. It's slightly worrying that Lawrence doesn't seem to get enough screentime, but we'll see.

My expectations have been through the roof, I've been sold on this film for a while now, and I just hope it delivers. Judging by everything I've read so far, it will. Awesome.
YoungThanos - 5/21/2014, 8:30 PM
DrDoom - 5/21/2014, 8:13 PM
"Even if it's a good movie, which is definitely a possibility, it's still not the real X-Men."

What Doom said....Now bring on "Fox-men: She-pocalypse" I guess.....jackasses.
Areo - 5/21/2014, 8:30 PM
Excellent review Ror. This only solidifies my resolve to enjoy this film. Seeing it Friday afternoon.
THEQuailman - 5/21/2014, 8:32 PM
Always enjoy reading your reviewes Ror. Seeing it tomorrow!
MortalAsgardian - 5/21/2014, 8:34 PM
Saw it last night, and man, I was really smiling before the credits rolled. I was expecting a different ending, an ending similar to the comics where I thought I would be shedding some tears for the guys in the future. Singer did try to fix the continuity error alright but not all were fixed. Either way, as a Marvel fan who reads the comics and watches the MCU, Sony and Fox Marvel films, I can say that this can be one of the best X-Men film to date.
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