X-Men Apocalypse has been out for a while, doing ok, I saw it, so it makes sense to talk about…the movie that came out before it! No, not Deadpool, I’m talking about chronologically, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Yeah I know the movie timeline is screwed up, sue me. And don’t worry I’ll get to Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse soon.
2015 saw the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut, the designation of which being that Rogue’s role in the movie is restored as originally filmed and not cut out and put in near the ending for a couple of seconds like the theatrical release did. I sorta get why it was cut out, because the movie was already good without it, but at the same time it takes away what was originally promised. And honestly, I’m getting sick of movies doing that stuff. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did that, and it was a jumbled mess, sure the extended cut kinda brought more positive reception by restoring scenes already cut, but as seen by Spidey’s rebooted appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was too little, too late. Other movies are guilty of this too, but there’s something especially apparent about it in this case with these mvoies in particular. Don’t get me wrong, DOFP was already an awesome movie, it’s just that if anyone was paying attention, the initial trailers for the movie showed that Rogue was gonna be in it, probably having a sizable role amidst all the other characters crammed in it, and yet when the theatrical release happened, there was only one scene of her, nothing more, not even any friggin lines. I guess it’s like when you see a movie like Alien, Aliens, or The Lord of the Rings trilogy, you feel like you got a fulfilling experience, with the running time, action, characters, story, and everything else that made it great, then some time later when it’s out on home media, there’s a special edition or something, and there’s more scenes that add more to the story, give it more context than before, it makes you wonder why it was cut out, but at the same time it’s more icing on the cake, adding more good stuff to something that’s already good. Of course, sometimes the opposite effect can happen too, as done with the Star Wars movies and their special editions, though to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, this can be from a certain point of view. Here, though, in the case of this movie, ASM 2, and others, it was already revealed from the get-go what was gonna be in it, and yet when it came out in theaters, a big chunk of it was cut out. There are probably a bunch of reasons why this happens, but the general idea is that the studios tend to think that the audiences wouldn’t have interest in what was originally promised, so they change it in a cynical attempt to appease the masses, which ends up hurting the movie. DOFP was already fine on its own, but the damage was already done with ASM 2, and while the extended cut did kinda help the movie, it was too late given the Sony email hack, the mixed reception to the theatrical release, resulting in having to share the Spider-Man film rights with Marvel in order for the character to appear in the MCU and be rebooted again. Deadpool didn’t suffer from this, probably thankfully due to Ryan Reynolds and others shielding it from any attempts by Fox to repeat what they did before, yet that same kind of protection apparently wasn’t applied to X-Men: Apocalypse, okay as that movie was, and especially Fan4stic, which as I’ve ranted about before, and the public reports about the troubling production, was a piece of shit.
So what can I say about this version of the film? Well, I am a bit annoyed that it came out a year after the theatrical release. I get why the ASM 2 extended cut came out not too long after the theatrical version, in order to repair the damage done and sweep it under the rug, but DOFP was already a hit. I’m guessing this was done in order to maintain excitement for Apocalypse, a year before it’s release, or some weird attempt to provide hype for Fan4stic, both of which are produced by Fox, not that it helped that garbage movie in any way. Aside from Rogue’s role being restored in the film, in which there’s a subplot about Magneto, Professor X, and Iceman going to the besieged X-Mansion to save her and have her absorb Shadowcat’s powers to maintain Wolverine’s presence in the past, which does make more sense than Kitty keep doing it despite her bleeding out by Wolverine freaking out and accidentally slashing her (though to be fair why didn’t they just keep him restrained to begin with since they clearly showed Magneto doing it IMMEDIATELY AFTER she was slashed? oh wait it’s to add more tension, duh). Iceman’s death before the timeline is changed near the end of the movie is also done differently, with him sacrificing himself against the Sentinels while Rogue is being rescued, which also lends credence to how the Sentinels were able to find the X-Men for the final battle at the great wall of China (and I just realized TWO YEARS after this movie came out that this movie also falls under the running joke of how some studios are trying to appease China in order to gain access to the Chinese box office, not just with the casting of Chinese actress Fan Bingbing as Blink, who was awesome in this movie btw, but also having the majority of the future timeline and a major fight scene take place at a historic Chinese location; fucking WOW) by the Sentinels initially chasing the X-Jet but being fended off, yet an arm was still attached, and they were able to track it down. There’s even some scenes that present a different take on how Professor X was able to track down Mystique. There is the original scene of Professor X using Cerebro, but he wasn’t able to figure it out by looking at her flight ticket like in the theatrical version. Instead, Mystique goes to the X-Mansion, she and Beast almost get their “blue freak” on (that means they almost have sex if you didn’t get it, seriously what’s with this romance thing between Beast and Mystique? can’t believe I’m saying this it feels more tacked on and unnecessary than the romance between Black Widow and Hulk, though there is worse, such as Olicity), and she sabotages Cerebro, leaving Professor X, Beast, and Wolverine to figure out on their own that she’s going to Washington, D.C., by watching the news. It’s actually pretty clever and gives the characters, and the movie, to think more outside the box, rather than things just “simply happening”.
There are also more scenes and dialogue for the new characters in the movie like Warpath, Blink, Sunspot, Bishop, and characters that have appeared in previous movies like Storm, so that the movie feels a bit more like an ensemble, kinda like X-Men: First Class, and not just a movie that boasts an ensemble cast, but seems to revolve more around a select group of 3-4 characters and cramming a bunch of others in like other X-Men movies have done rather giving a particular amount of focus to each and every character, no matter how many. It’s not much more than what was originally presented, but at least there’s more characterization and development. I know that there are some characters in movies like these that may not get a lot of focus in comparison to certain other characters, but think of it like this: when Captain America: Civil War aka “Avengers 3”, named after a SINGLE character, feels more like an actual ensemble movie in comparison to X-Men: Apocalypse, the movie about a TEAM of characters that boasts an ensemble cast, then there is something wrong, showing that Marvel/Disney clearly knows how to do Marvel stuff than Fox ever will, so who knows if and/or when the X-Men and FF will go back to Marvel so they could be given more justice.
The X-Men movies over the years have gone back and forth from being heavy sci-fi films with subtext and dark tones to more traditional and colorful superhero team movies. DOFP, in my opinion, is able to balance these two ideas somewhat. Sure, it kinda repeats some of the stuff done with the other movies, but at the same time it is able to be a compelling story with high stakes, especially given the classic storyline it’s based on, as well as sorta expanding on it and the high stakes involved, making it more epic and emotionally compelling. Heck it’s because of the more emotional stuff that it almost makes me cry, but in a good way. The Rogue Cut adds more to it, giving what was originally promised in previews and press releases, while at the same time making something that was already good even better. Hopefully the same can be said for future movies like this, in which just release the movie as originally made and not cut stuff out and put back in for the home media version to fix. [Remembering X-Men: Apocalypse] Oh wait. Never mind.