By Jacob Sutton @Tsutaun
Possible Spoiler Alert, I may have watched more clips than you have, I might ruin something for you…
So I am 32 years old, and when I was a kid the X-men cartoon was the highlight of my Saturday mornings. That cartoon got me into comic books for a while and it was a perfect time to be a kid exploring these stories and the artwork and the history within these comics. I spent every dollar I could talk my parents out of on those comics. My favorite cartoon episodes were the ones based on the Days of Future Past comic story-line and my favorite character was Bishop. So, my comic of choice was "The Uncanny X-men" because it had Bishop on the "Gold" team as its focus. From there on in, I was all about Bishop, Archangel (at the time), Storm, Colossus, Iceman and Jean Gray. I read every new print and even started backtracking all the way to Bishop's first appearance… I was hooked.
This film, Days of Future Past, for me, has been a 20+ year wait. It has everything I want in a comic book movie based on what I loved as a kid and teen. It has Bishop, Iceman, Storm and Colossus (most of my Gold team) battling it out in the future with the Sentinels. It has the mixture of the DOFP (Days of Future Past) story from both the comics and the cartoon (Kitty Pride in the comics, Bishop in the cartoon.) It has the dystopian future that makes for any good movie, which the comics explored in this DOFP story and also in the "Age of Apocalypse" series, another of my favorites which I hear may be the focus of the next post-Wolverine X-men movie. I will reference AoA more later, because I think it is obvious with the likeness of the dystopian future and characters in this movie that they are preparing us for a AoA movie. If you want a good read, go get the AoA collection from your bookstore. It's dense, rich, well done and fun. You will thank me later. One character you will see being portrayed in this DOFP film is the Sunspot that is much closer to AoA Sunspot than the regular, with the whole human-torch effect. The normal Sunspot was more like a charred blackness.
Okay so this movie I am obviously excited about and it is true that I have watched every clip and trailer out there a few times and may have possibly ruined some of the surprise for myself. But I don't care. This will be one of those films I will watch over and over again for the rest of my life because it is so all-encompassing of what entertains me dating back all the way to my childhood. I trust that Singer won’t ruin it, and from what is out there so far, it looks like he nailed it.
Now for my thoughts on what we will see in this story. First off, kudos to Fox for the willingness to cast a million mutants in this film. Hopefully it doesn't come off like the Iron Man 3 finale, where we get a few seconds of all the Mark suits before literally blowing their load all over the screen.
From what I see in the trailer, they will carry the future-dystopian timeline throughout the movie as a parallel storyline. I believe they will pull this off by having to protect Wolverine while they time travel him back to the 70's, maybe even like an "Inception" time lapse where a minute in the future is a few days in the past. It appears like Iceman is working for Magneto. Trailer #1 shows Magneto and Iceman rescuing Rogue from something, maybe a mutant prison? I have read that they cut all the Rogue scenes, which I am fine with. I think Paquin does a terrible Rogue and we were given way to strong a dose of her in X1 and X2. Kitty is a better character and Page a much better actress, let's focus on her instead, Fox. We see in Trailer #1 a heartfelt reunion of Kitty with sad eyes looking up at Iceman, which again suggests time apart while he's been with Magneto. We hear Xavier ask "what is the last thing you remember?", which leads me to think that the past was altered because he also says "I had a glimpse into the past" maybe seeing his alternate timeline that would be better off restored and him dead? Next statement "You're going to have to do for me what I once did for you" may be a suggestion to Wolverine to go back in time and show 70's Xavier the future-past of future Xavier much like Xavier showed Wolvie his past at the end of X1. This is clearly a mission-briefing because next Magneto tells Wolverine that he will need him as well, to end this war before it begins.
Magneto blends his people with Storm and Wolverine's remaining X-Men to send Wolverine into the past. Why Wolverine and not Kitty as it was in the comics or not Bishop as it was in the cartoon? Answer: Hugh Jackman. People love him and he sells tickets. So, we see in the trailers the X-Men getting attacked by future sentinels who have abilities that mimic, well, Mimic (mutant who absorbs and assumes the power of mutants around him) and the X-Men are getting their collective asses kicked. These Sentinels also mimic the comic's future sentinel Nimrod in that they shape shift. I think this is better that all the Sentinels are equal rather than a Terminator-like idea that we see in the comics that Nimrod is a product of the sentinels in order to better fight the mutants (T-1000). Side note, with Marvel having been around so very long and having explored so many ideas prior to entering into Hollywood, many of their ideas have already been taken by other franchises. So although they seem to be ripping off Terminator or the Matrix Revolutions, you need to remember they probably did it first in print.
Back to the trailers: we see Storm will die immediately. We see my boy Colossus get rocked to the ground and a sentinel turning to steel. We see Sunspot not making an impact because his sentinel has turned to fire who then grabs Iceman out of his slide by his throat. These future mutant-busting sentinels clearly have decades of improvements that make them mutant proof. We see Blink (another big AoA character) doing her thing, porting people around. We see Warpath… with his …. knife. Good luck with that, Warpath. In a clip on IMDB we see Bishop's power has been changed for the film. In the comics, he carries guns, because he is a bounty hunter who traveled back in time to capture the asshole Fitzroy and Bish's power is to absorb another Mutants power and blast it out through his hands at his target. In this clip, we see him ask Sunspot for a charge and it filters through him and into his big gun. Would have preferred conventional weapons and the handblast, but I think I get this change. They needed to do it to quickly explain his ability and move on because he is not a huge part of this film (he will be in the next movie, maybe? I mean, he HATES Gambit and we all just heard they are bringing in Channing Tatum in as Gambit for the Apocalypse movie…. so….). Back to future X-Men getting offed by the super sentinels. We see everyone fighting and Bishop running away with Kitty. Are they headed to warn Magneto and Prof X? Why would they not just 'blink' over there? I guess she is busy. So they are headed, I think, to Wolverine because it looks like Kitty's power is what will send him back in time and we have Magneto, Xavier and Wolverine doing the mind-time-travel thing with what looks like a small girls hands around Wolverine's temples. I think they will drop in bits and parts of that future to the end of the film while the team defends them and gets killed off.
The 70's time line may go something like this. Magneto running amuck attacking Washington D.C., which I think should be funny to us nerds: Marvel characters destroying DC. Nice zinger, Singer. You notice Mystique all over the world rescuing Mutants maybe? In the third trailer, it appears she may be recruiting back the X-Men on the behest of Wolverine, at all costs. She breaks Havok out of the Army, which we see has Toad and maybe Plague and Famine (Apocalypse prep again?). We also see her kicking ass in China in a meeting with Bolivar Trask who is selling a mutant detector device to the Chinese (IMDB clip). We see her jumping out a window in Paris. Magneto apparently catches up to her in China and captures her. So here's what I think. I think the movie starts out following these two down their "darker path" and Xavier sitting it all out on the sidelines, which brings Trask a lot of Sentinel business and propels us to the dystopian future beginning with the sentinels turning on humans in DC leading to the destruction of the city and symbolically the USA. Then they'll introduce the future storyline, then send Wolvie back to the 70's to reset the past. Three timelines, really two but will feel like three. There has to be some explanation of how the timeline is changed which prompts Trask to build the sentinels and prevent the X1, X2, X3 stories from happening. I have not worked that reason out, but it will have to be there.
Is that Professor X walking around? How the hell is that happening and why is Hank McCoy not all blue? Well, Xavier tells Magneto in his private jet that he is undergoing treatment for his legs that causes him to lose his mutant power (IMDB clip). Quick explanation from the writers which allows McAvoy to be out of the chair for a while. He is also shown in the wheelchair which must be after Wolverine asks him to use his powers again. Hank is using whatever Xavier is on, which would be an easy explanation as to why Nick Holt gets to avoid the make-up chair for a few scenes. Magneto mentions in this clip also all that he has lost and lists out Angel, Azazel, Emma and Banshee, then says "we were supposed to protect them", so that accounts for the rest of the First Class. They dead. And he tells Xavier that he abandoned them all. That is just more of the rift between these two fantastic characters. This scene is powerful and I'm looking forward to the rest of the conversation. Wolverine succeeds in getting the band back together and I believe Mystique is already out there collecting mutants for the team.
Before this scene Xavier has to break Magneto out of the Pentagon prison. Which he uses Quicksilver (Magneto's son in the comics) to do this. Quicksilver will also appear in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Different actor, different time-line but same damned character. Just go with it when it happens. "Age of Ultron" may prevent the "Age of Apocalypse" but we will still see an Apocalypse story. Xavier, Wolverine and Beast recruit Quicksilver prior to the breakout. And before they recruit him, Wolverine has to talk Beast and Xavier into the whole scheme. Forgive me working backward but that's the easiest way for me with so many timelines.
How Mystique, Havok, Toad and that side of the story matters is not disclosed in the trailers. Thank you for not telling us the entire story and saving something for the movie experience, Fox. I would guess they all come together in the end to save the day with Xavier and Magneto. In the comics and the cartoon, Mystique leads her own little band of mutants for a bit and has her own agenda. Maybe her antics while Magneto is locked up is what sets in motion the horrible future? She is somewhat of an assassin and if she kills Senator Kelly or another big political figure that would allow for the anti-mutant sentiment to take over and set up the Sentinel takeover. Stopping her (Magneto dragging her around in China) may prevent the future.
Another way may be Xavier in the White House. Unfortunately, I think we may see a little repetition (besides the Magneto prison break), because in one trailer we see McAvoy talking to someone with people frozen in the background and in another trailer we see President Nixon. I bet he has a talk with Tricky Dick and convinces him not to contract with Trask and all of his anti-mutant tech. I hope I am wrong.
However it shakes out, I think this will be a damned good flick and will be rewatchable for many years to come. It should also set up nicely an Apocalypse story that we all will also enjoy. En Sabah Nur coming up next!
Tune in this weekend to read Rant9's Review of the movie!