So there’s this movie out, a pretty unknown and minor character set in the Marvel universe called X-Men Days of Future Past. It’s got most of the people from the the trilogy and First Class. Now on to the spoilers.
My biggest problem with this movie is completely insoluble; I hate the Days of Future Past story line. Time travel in whatever its manifold forms is always about someones regret, personal, national or in this case as a member of a species. In this case the narrative shape that the took bends the universe into shapes that would make even a circus freak cringe. To my memory, Bishop is more than just decoration and kinda the whole storyline should revolve around him. He actually traveled back physically. In this Old Wolverine is psychically shoved through time from the far future very dark days of the Sentinel War into his 1973 brain.
The excuse is that only he can survive the mental trauma of going that far back. And here’s where this version departs from what most fans know. He wakes up and sets about convincing Beast, Professor X, Magneto and the unnamed Quicksilver to do What Must Be Done. Shockingly there is drama involved, and one of the best scenes involves a very period song.
The entire story line both in the comics and subsequent forms is an excuse to retcon the X-Men timeline (which doesn’t always sync with other Marvel titles) in major ways. In this case Bishop’s powers are tweaked, his role shrinks to a pinhead in favor of the universes best known and possibly best loved character Wolverine, which is largely a Hollywood copout. Bishop is interesting, but here he gets less time than Cerebro.
Bishop isn’t the only one who gets shunted aside. As far as screen time Storm gets less of it than Iceman or Colossus, Rogue I don’t even think gets to speak, and none of the interesting mutants who should have been around in 73 are even brought up, much less brought into the story.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of anything that obliterates the abomination that was XMen 3, but all we see or hear of Jean Grey and Cyclops is about a minute at the end of the film.
I really wanted and expected to hate this film. The original DoFP storyline is hinky, this one is only better in the name recognition sense. Yet for all that I didn’t like about it, its god damn fun. The period song scene happens fairly early and if you don’t laugh even once during it it may be time to admit you don’t have a sense of humor. The recasting of most everyone from the trilogy and first class worked well, Peter Dinklage proved he could play more than just an imp, and Mark Camacho as Tricky Dick was a great bit of work.
As long as you aren’t (somehow) hung up on the belief that a movie should be a one to one translation of its primogenitor its well worth a watch. I won’t say its as good as Avengers or the Iron Man movies, but I’ve certainly spent time I enjoyed a lot less in a movie theater.
In the final equation for all its faults, this is a good flick.