After my LitFlix of Amazing Spider-Man 2 yesterday, I wanted a bit of time before writing my next one on X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, I have a lot to say about this movie (well, I had a lot to say about Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well…) and so I am breaking it up into three posts. So consider this my X-Men: Days of Future Past week! I have X-Men related posts queued up all week on our Tumblr as well, so check them out!
Despite having a lot of known characters used again, there were a lot of new characters in the film as well. While they weren’t exactly pivotal to the plot, they were phenomenal additions, given a chance to use their powers, to have great scenes, and made for a really fun summer blockbuster.
So between these known characters and new ones, there were a number used really well – and a number that weren’t. Here are some of my thoughts on all the mutants! (Spoilers!)
Sunspot was a small part. I think his purpose was to be an opposite for Iceman – to show the Sentinels adapting to fire, just as well as they adapted to ice. Not much to say here – solidly on fire! Good it wasn’t Pyro, I suppose – it would have been wrong to have him on fire.
However, the opposite of Sunspot, Iceman – now there’s a mutant! Omega-level, in the comics. He reaches a point where he realizes he has so much more power than just becoming ice, able to make ice clones, and practically impossible to kill – as he can turn his body completely into ice, and so killing one form is not enough.
They used none of these powers in the movie. He just shot rays of ice. He was also often left as the last line of defense, and really, it would have been amazing for him to have been creating clones, freezing whole rooms, as the last mutant left. They even introduced the idea of the “levels” of mutants, so tapping into this idea would have worked. And I would have loved it.
So, I loved early on that it’s Bishop that they are sending back in time, even if only a little. It is so in keeping with his character – he spends so much time time-traveling and dimension hopping. Far more than is fair, given that’s not even his power.
No, his power is to absorb and redirect power. He’s actually very similar to Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class. So like Sebastian Shaw, in fact, that he should have been very hard to kill by energy beams, like he was in the film. He should have exploded with energy – and survived. The thing to kill him would have been the physical hits, which there were plenty of in the death scenes. Swords and tearing people apart. This would have been a more appropriate death for him.
Also, this reminded us of the death of Darwin in First Class. There’s another character who should have lived through what he was hit with. It sounds like his powers have even allowed him to do things like teleport and phase through time, all to survive. It would be great for him to suddenly appear in one of these films… but he shouldn’t have been able to have been overpowered by energy either.
Here’s the opposite problem from Bishop. Colossus is pretty well impervious to physical harm. They use this to great effect, throwing him through portals at a Sentinel. I loved it.
But he got a wrong sort of death as well. They tore him apart? What? No. However, I would have believed that he could be overloaded with energy. Much like they juxtaposed Iceman and Sunspot, I would have juxtaposed Bishop – pure energy – and Colossus – pure physical. Bishop should have died a physical death, and Colossus an energy one.
And hey, Warpath was there too! The closest they come to really talking about him or showing much was saying that he could see the Sentinels coming. But… because of superpowers? Or just because he was the one looking? I dunno.
And hey, Storm was there too! Which was good. She was one of the last survivors in the comic, so it was good for her to be there. She’s powerful. They use her well to wreck the Sentinels’ planes, to do large, ridiculous nature stuff.
Like Storm, Magneto was epically powerful, like he needed to be and is in the comics. He does awesome things in the future. He does awesome things in the past. Stadium! So good.
The path that Xavier takes in this movie, meanwhile, reminds me of Jean Grey. It was often her plot that she could not hold in all of her telepathy, that she fought and dealt with hearing all the voices of the world, fought the madness. This becomes Charles’ fight, in the past.
They don’t touch the one question left with Xavier – how he is alive and in his normal form in the future. I know they wanted Patrick Stewart. I’m cool with that. But we watched him die, watched him wake back up in another body in X-Men: The Last Stand. It might have been nice to nod at this, to do some scene showing us that Xavier is projecting the image of his old self, something like that. Ah well.
I completely believe the tinkering that they work into the plot, of Hank McCoy playing with genetics, developing a serum for mutant power that he uses on Charles. This works for me. It not only fits Beast in the comics – it fits the other movies, as well. In The Last Stand, Beast shows up and is looking into the mutant cure. In First Class, Beast is playing with Mystique’s DNA and working on a cure for the physical signs of mutation. This is completely in keeping with what they have done with him in the movies, and worked in the plot.
Mystique’s DNA leading to adaptable Sentinels! I like the idea. I don’t think that’s one from the comics, certainly not the original Days of Future Past plot, but it’s good. It plays on the First Class experiments from Beast, and how it made him into his blue self.
She was the lead villain in the Days of Future Past comics… though she also had the Brotherhood. I almost thought she would again when she was saving mutants early on, but no, she was alone. Which was still pretty darn great – she didn’t necessarily need anyone else.
Alright, we’re down to the show-stealers. Quicksilver. Maybe it’s because we didn’t expect much from him – the look as we were seeing it before the film was so… blah. The silver looked so fake. The outfit looked ridiculous.
And I was expecting him to be in the future.
The fact that he was in the past, and was actually pretty much the only new mutant we encounter in the past, gave him a lot of screen time that was all his own. And that was before he started using his powers – and then he really was on his own. There’s no one who could keep up, and he proved it. It makes me excited for the next film, and to see more of his sister, who they quietly show us watching the news with him as things fall apart.
But first, we’ll see them both in Avengers: Age of Ultron! Can they live up?
And then there’s my personal favorite: Blink. As I’ve mentioned before, teleportation is the superpower I would want if I could pick. Although super-speed is pretty great too. So that means that visually, I was in love with this movie.
Did you ever play Portal and say, gee, this game is alright? Do you find yourself saying “you’re going to have to fling yourself?” (I do). Blink functions like a massive, high-stakes game of Portal, throwing people to and fro – friend and foe. The teamwork she displays, the understanding of tactics and her team’s powers – amazing. She is regularly one of the last ones standing, because she is so hard to get to. That, and she saves a bunch of other people.
So good. So well done. I want to see the movie again maybe just to watch her fight scenes.
There’s a lot to be said about Shadowcat. So much so that she gets her own blog post, and discussion besides in the LitFlix. Nonetheless, let me mention one thing really quick. Where did she get time travel or telepathic powers???
I actually expected the reason they were including Blink in the film was that she could be the conduit to the past. In the comics it is Rachel Grey, Phoenix, who sends them back. Of course, both of her parents died in The Last Stand, so that rules her out. Who else could they have used?
If they wanted to stick with telepathic power doing it – which, for moving a consciousness back in time in their own mind, makes sense still – what about an older Emma Frost? That would have been a fun connection from First Class.
Or there’s doing it with technology – bring in Forge! Of course, if they’re really working on an X-Force movie, he’ll show up there – potentially sending Cable back in time?
Or there’s magic. For that, you could use Magik. Now there would have been an easy character to work in. Colossus’ younger sister. Introduce her that way. New mutant, new powers, it works.
Why Kitty? I’ll consider this more on Friday!