After months of teasing us with the Ovary Crushing Press Junket of Doom, X-Men: Days of Future Past hit theaters this past holiday weekend. And Kim and I dedicated our inaugural trip to Manhattan’s fanciest movie house for the second installment of this reboot. Reserved seats, cushy recliners, and a Coke Freestyle machine? What better way to settle in for 2+ hours of McFassy?
Though our theater was full, we didn’t experience any of the bad behavior we’ve come to expect from city audiences. Maybe it’s because everyone was so comfortably blissed out in their armchairs that they didn’t feel the need to fidget, text, or talk. But though our flails were perhaps more muted than usual, they were still there. You know we can’t resist a big summer sci-fi blockbuster with flirty men and powerful ladies. And so, here are all the parts of X-Men: Days of Future Past that made us go to pieces.
The future is bleak, but at least Ellen Page is there.
The film kicks off with a vision of our dystopian future should Professor X’s plan not work out – the days of future present, if you will. It’s a chance to show off those terrifyingly adaptable Sentinels, introduce some new characters (Blink is EVERYTHING, as is Fan BingBing’s red carpet realness), and bring some mutants from the Ratner canon back into our lives. Iceman! Storm! Kitty Pryde!
In the comics, it’s Kitty Pryde who’s sent back to the past, not Logan. And though it’s worth discussing that choice, it’s not a shock that Wolverine would play the more significant role. The franchise has a lot of eggs in that basket. Still, Ellen Page is always fun to see, even when her part mostly consists of performing X-Reiki on Hugh Jackman’s comatose form.
Hugh Jackman wants you to know that he went to the gym. A lot.
Logan wakes up in the ’70s next to a pretty young thing, and all we could do was fervently whisper, “Veins. VEINS.” I don’t know what Jackman does before these movies, but it looks like he’s inside out. Does that make sense? Anyway, he swings his legs to the floor and stands up – our fingers are crossed. The camera pans up to his shoulders. Disappointed sigh. And then: miraculously, magnanimously, a wide shot.
It’s better when not a blurry iPhone bootleg, I swear. I’ll speak for Kim and say that the super-jacked are generally not our types. But one half-second butt shot and we both became Tina Belcher.
And now a baby Hugh from Someone Like You, for scale. Don’t bother watching that movie. Just look at this gif. Trust me.
Quicksilver and Jim Croce
Some Marvel crossover blah-be-de-blah business makes it possible for Quicksilver to appear in this movie and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. But after the character’s indelible debut in DOFP, the Avengers version has got his work cut out for him. Your move, Aaron Taylor Johnson.
Evan Peters can do a delightful cocky bastard smile; Quicksilver is a little shit. And his scenes offered some much-needed relief from the bleak opening sequence and the reveal of strung out, hopeless Charles. I applaud whoever came up with scoring Quicksilver’s Pentagon stunt with Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” and all the various powerful people who let it through. That’s exactly the kind of cheeky joke that can either fall flat or take the scene from okay to unforgettable. Luckily, the gamble paid off. Totally delightful.
What could Michael Fassbender possibly do if he weren’t an actor? Could he be a mailman? A taxi driver? The only other occupation that could possibly work out for someone this handsome is fireman. Now you’re picturing that. You are welcome.
Kim and I have already divided McFassy/Cherik up between us, just to speed things along. Fassy is hers, and I think everyone around us knew it based on the incomprehensible noises she’d make when he was on screen. Let’s also take a moment to appreciate his take on Magneto’s sense of spectacle. What a drama queen. I love him.
INTENSITY. BETRAYAL. FORGIVENESS. Just MAKE OUT, already. (Quicksilver is thinking the same thing in the gif above and you know it.)
This reboot works largely because it’s laid Cherik as the foundation for all of its storytelling. They’re human emotions – something to for us to latch onto. (Whose absence explains why were were all floating around untethered through X-3.) There weren’t enough one-on-one Charles and Erik moments for my taste, but their fraught friendship remains the throughline, even when they’re physically apart.
Cherik feelings were running high throughout the chess scene on the plane. Erik offers the game as a peace offering. Charles is still harboring deep-seated resentment. And then they have it out in a soul-crushing fight about who abandoned who. The drugs, the isolation, the anger – it’s all because they missed each other. I’ll be okay about this by the time the third film comes out, roughly.
Sidenote: Logan’s “Are you gonna pick all that shit up?” line after Erik’s freakout is just one more example of why Wolverine works best in small doses as a part of the ensemble and really doesn’t need any more solo movies, thank you very much.
And finally, the joys of Cherik are only trumped by the ecstasy that is McFassy. I’ve given up sleep in exchange for trolling their Tumblr tag. I only want this press tour to end when filming for Apocalypse starts. Never be apart again, boys.
Mystique kicks all of the ass.
Equal praise for J. Law and her stunt double for a Raven/Mystique as stunning, conflicted, and fearsome as she should be. We particularly enjoyed that moment when she pinned a dude’s neck to a wall with just her foot and then leisurely read his mail.
Unfortunately, we were cheated out of a J.Law/Fassy sex scene. Don’t bring it up if you’re not going to give it to us. That’s just mean.
Peter Dinklage continues to be a boss.
First of all, Bolivar Trask is average height in the comics and his stature is never even brought up in this movie. Sometimes Hollywood isn’t the worst.
Trask is pretty much your mustache-twisting, I’ll-get-you-mutants villain, but Dinklage is forever an asset to everything he’s in. We geeked out over the scene where Mystique takes his form and breaks into his office, shedding a tear as she looks at autopsy photos of her friends in his vault. When his secretary barges in, she steps out as Trask still with a single tear running down her/his face. What is it with this movie and single tears? Don’t they know they are my Kryptonite?
Speaking of tears: James McAvoy.
Professor X is usually such a stoic presence; I love the Singer movies for showing us so many sides of him. Swinging Charles, complimenting coeds on their “very grooooovy mutations”; wise, moulder-of-young-minds Charles, and this one. Shall we call him the Shell of Charles or is that too real?
Oh, this is a summer comic book movie? Too bad, cause James McAvoy is going to crush it to pieces with his talent. No one reminded him to phone it in. I wept through most of that first Cerebro scene, while Kim was willing that one stubborn tear of his to fall. He’s absolutely one of the best actors of our generation and looks amazing even when he’s supposed to be looking like shit. Top 5, forever and ever.
“Retcon it! Retcon it all!” – Bryan Singer, probably.
I admit that I’d been spoiled on the two major character shockers at the end of DOFP, but it didn’t make Jean and Scott’s reappearance any less affecting. I’m a total sucker for Logan/Jean, mostly because Hugh totally sells that dumbstruck face so well. And Famke was looking ethereal as always; though the layers upon layers of filters helped.
Logan’s walk through the school, filled as it was with old friends from the Ratner movies, read as big “FU” to structure and the constraints of linear storytelling. We can have two casts in one movie. We can resurrect characters with wibby-wobbly-timey-wimey-ness. We can go on pretending that X-3 never happened. And the awkward threesome of Logan/Jean/Scott can live on. Retconning ain’t all bad.
The post-credits scene.
Sand! Horses! That guy is grey! Is it even a guy? Why don’t I read the comics?
That’s what got us going about DOFP, readers. What about you? As always, we look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments!