Deveining Brett Ratner: A Review of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’
In the past eight hours since I left the theater, I’ve put way too much thought into X-Men: Days of Future Past which is something you never, ever want to do with an X-Men movie because, holy shit, do these things fall apart under the slightest bit of scrutiny. As for what I’ve been thinking about, it’s not so much the events of the movie – Although, I do have some significant issues with those which I’ll expand on through the power of dick jokes. – but how this movie is being absorbed into our current comic book movie climate, and how unprecedented it is to almost entirely be made for one sole purpose and that purpose only: Wiping X-Men: The Last Stand out of existence. I’m not even joking. If someone asked me to describe the plot of this movie in one sentence, it’d be, “Fuck you, Brett Ratner.”
WARNING: This review contains spoilers even though I assure you there are no major twists in this movie, and not a single thing that happens matters anyway because everything that did happen didn’t happen. Confused yet? Good. I just took your wallet.
For this review I’m going to forgo my usual The Shit That Shat approach and mostly touch on the major reactions I’m seeing across the blogosphere. After that, I’m going to send my consciousness back through time and stop myself from using the word “blogosphere,” so if you still see it there, tell Ellen Page she eats buckets of dicks and to get me outta here.
“IT REVITALIZES THE X-MEN FRANCHISE!”
Here’s a little tidbit everyone who’s saying this seems to be purposefully forgetting: The last two X-Men movies (prior to DoFP) have actually been pretty fucking good. X-Men: First Class was a goddamn breath of fresh air thanks to Matthew Vaughn pulling the franchise out of the black spandex crapfest of the “not too distant future” and giving us James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender’s younger, more interesting Professor X and Magneto set against the Cuban Missile Crisis. And The Wolverine was shockingly badass for a movie coming off the shit-heels of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. All that Days of Future Past managed to do was remind me how much I enjoyed the dynamic between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender before cramming all the bloated baggage of The X-Men Trilogy between them. The only thing it managed to improve upon from First Class is not making every word out of Jennifer Lawrence’s mouth absolutely awful. Granted, they did it by making her the central McGuffin of the movie because thanks to the magic of contracts Fox is sitting on Oscar winner Katniss Everdeen now and will make her do more shit than just go, “I’m mutant and proud!” while standing naked in the kitchen. In fairness though, you have to appreciate action scenes that are almost exclusively naked blue JLaw butt. You’d just assume Bryan Singer would CGI a boys high school swim meet over it.
“HOLY SHIT, THAT QUICKSILVER PRISON BREAK SCENE!”
No arguments here. For a character the Internet was ready to instantly hate thanks to looking like Kid Vid from the Burger King Kids Club, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver was surprisingly awesome and the Magneto prison escape scene is easily the best action sequence in any of the X-Men movies.
Until you ask yourself some questions.
1. How the hell was Magneto even arrested in the first place? Not once is this explained which would’ve kind of been nice considering in First Class we saw him stop an entire naval fleet’s worth of missiles, and in Days of Future Past he fucking lifts a baseball stadium – the whole stadium – in the air and flies it over the White House all while controlling the most advanced robotics anyone had ever seen at that point. We know Professor X didn’t do it because he’s moping around using the Legacy Virus – *dusts off nerd shoulders* – like a heroin junkie, and he’s the only person who can stop him provided, as the movie itself points out, he doesn’t have his helmet. Which he did!
2. As Quicksilver starts to do his speed shit – which, again, was awesome and is the only reason I don’t (entirely) regret seeing DoFP in a theater – he puts on his headphones and the audience is led to believe he’s listening to music the whole time he’s zipping around prison guards and rearranging at a speed that makes bullets look like they’re moving through the air like molasses. Which brings me to my point: Wouldn’t his Walkman also be operating at the same speed? Because I’m pretty sure it would and the only thing he would’ve heard is 1/100th of a note. YOU LOSE, UNNECESSARY STYLISTIC FLAIR.
3. So the main characters and the audience have clearly seen that Quicksilver is insanely useful. Literally moreso than any other character in the film. So what do they do to him? Send him home to his mom even though he just stopped an entire room full of armed guards like it was goddamn nothing. It’s like the writers realized the whole movie would be over in five minutes with him around, so they completely wrote him out of the script not even ten seconds after the most memorable scene in the entire film. It makes all the heroes look like complete idiots.
“So we’re definitely keeping Speed Kid around and knocking this shit out by lunch, right?”
“Eh, he’s kind of annoying.”
“Fair enough. Beast! Let’s go fuck everything up.” – Literally what happens
“IT’S AS MUCH FUN AS THE AVENGERS!“
Okay, Bryan Singer himself would like everyone to knock that shit off because it’s comparing apples to oranges. The Avengers is an entirely different animal – and, yes, one that is way more fun – but for the most part, the X-Men movies have always been more of a philosophical, heady affair. You go into them expecting action, but not on the level of Disney/Marvel movies right now which are straight owning that department. And that’s perfectly fine. That said, Days of Future Past moves at a much slower pace than any of its predecessors. (Save the Quicksilver scene, it’s the kind of movie I would’ve preferred watching at home where some shithead in the front row wasn’t checking Facebook on his iPhone every five minutes and shining it directly in my eyes. In an ideal world, this person died in a dick fire.) Which is understandable because it’s more concerned with exploring characters’ relationships with each other. Except unfortunately for two hours and 14 minutes those relationships are the same old recycled shit we’ve seen over and over again in these films:
“I say we live peacefully with the humans.”
“And I say we throw metal shit at their dicks.”
“Wow, that’s violently opposite of what I want. Let’s play chess!”
“HAHA, JANUARY JONES’ CHARACTER IS DEAD BEFORE THE MOVIE EVEN STARTS!”
Okay, maybe only I said that. That may have just been me.
Look, long story short, X-Men: Days of Future Past is entertaining, but not enough that I’d tell anyone to rush right out and see it. It’s light years beyond the trilogy and prequel it mercifully retconned out of existence (along with the events of The Wolverine which happened after The Last Stand), but outside of the Quicksilver prison break scene and Wolverine’s first few moments in the past – Easily Hugh Jackman’s most natural owning of the character yet. – it was mostly just another CGI rigmarole with way too many mutants and no resonance whatsoever. Right out of the gate, the movie lets you know that nothing that happens to the characters in the future matters, so who cares when they get horrifically burnt and stabbed to fuck and back? And the ending hammers it home even further that the entire point to everything you just sat through was to pretend Brett Ratner never happened. It waves that shrimp dick right in your face. And, honestly, I would’ve been fine if that’s how the franchise ended because it was a mildly entertaining atonement for its past sins albeit while completely shitting all over the far more interesting groundwork Matthew Vaughn laid down. Sure, the horribly teased X-Men: Apocalypse is supposed to center around James McAvoy’s new X-Men team in the 80s and have much more Quicksilver, but at this point, I’m completely worn out with this shit.
Until the trailer hits, and I turn into an Alzheimer’s patient. See you bitches then!
Photo: 20th Century Fox