Deveining Brett Ratner: A Review of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

May 23rd, 2014 // 48 Comments
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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!

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  1. Stryfe

    This was leagues above First Class, which had far too much praised heaped upon it.

  2. KInbrielle

    Did you see it in 3D?

  3. No mention of Dinklage? WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL FISH?

  4. Every time a move even a little bit messes with time travel, my expectations automatically are reduced by half. And then by half again with Nixon impersonators.

    • Dox

      Time travel as a storytelling vehicle is way over used. Its basically one of those ideas that sounds great when you’re high and talking about it on the couch, but plays out horribly on screen.
      Unless you rigidly set the rules for time travel (alternate time lines, paradox, etc.) beforehand, all you really wind up doing is leaving the group feeling vaguely unsatisfied as if the entire thing didn’t really freaking matter at all and you just watched a 2 hour visual masturbation video dressed up in prose.

      • There’s also the “if I’m going back in time to prevent dah-dah-dah, why don’t I go back and stop Hitler while I’m at it” fallacy. #Godwin’sLaw

      • The only good time travel anything was Quantum Leap.

      • malaka

        while i mostly agree with these points, star trek 4 and back to the future are still some of my favorite movies.

        also, there’s less to gripe over when its traveling into the future;
        say via cryogenics like demolition man or futurama.
        at least that sort of thing is theoretically possible.

      • Nope:

        Somewhere in Time
        The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything
        Time After Time
        The Time Machine
        Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
        Back To the Future
        Terminator 1 and 2
        12 Monkeys
        Safety Not Guaranteed
        Planet of the Apes
        Peggy Sue Got Married
        Time Bandits!!!!!!

        And that’s just off the top of my head. I guess you don’t watch many movies?

  5. Nutter Butter

    Whats’ a moreso?

  6. An outraged review devoted to discussion of whether Jamie Lannister may or may not have fictitiously raped his lover and the mother of his three children…yet not one mention in this review of the pedophile/kidnapper/rapist director of the film. Is it just gay teen rape over which you and Hollywood are seemingly nonplussed?

  7. Is there enough Iceman and Colossus kicking ass to make it worth seeing in the theater, or do they die in the first 10 minutes?

  8. Oh and Fish, in case you hadn’t seen, Gamma Squad says Edgar Wright has left the Ant Man movie. I am now much less interested.

  9. I hate the inevitable asshole in the front texting or checking Facebook incessantly. There are always 1-2, and they have no idea how to: a) dim their screen or b) unplug for an hour. or two.

    • Dox

      I have to give my theatre credit. They make an announcement prior to the previews, and then patrol the theatre. Get busted with your phone out, and they toss you out without a refund.
      It was more amusing to watch the guy three rows in front of me get dragged out kicking and screaming by security than it was to see xmen.

      Bunch of narcissist facebooking assholes.

      • One thing I love about the cinema in the UK vs the USA is that the UK doesn’t tolerate narcissistic phone texting/web surfing/etc in the film. Turn off your “mobile” or get out.

        I’ve demanded refunds when audience members interfered with my movie-going experience.

        Pet peeve: People who talk on their phones during the movie to narrate it to someone who’s not in the theatre. What, your friend couldn’t afford a ticket or are you a volunteer narrator for the blind?

      • I’m quite pleased to hear all of this sensible theater policing. and re: Veronika, I’ve actually had one step worse–someone on their phone explaining to their friend that “I’m in a theater, watching a movie”. No, ass-juice, you’re not. You’re ignoring a movie, narrating the emptiness of your existence, and actively hindering others from enjoying the small minor pleasures of life with your self-absorbed solipsistic verbal life-blogging. Never have I been more tempted to smack the back of a strangers’ head.

  10. Swearin

    I think all that backstory about what Magneto had been up to in the last 10+ years was tied into that “Bent Bullet” viral campaign. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that putting important character or plot details on a website or ancillary medium sponsored by the studios is ALWAYS a good idea and not at all fucking over your audience who already have a low tolerability for your cross-promotional shenanigans

  11. MZ MIZRY

    they forgot to addess/fix the problem in x-3 that bill duke was not exactly a very convincing peter dinklage.

  12. Bringbackbabalu

    Ummm, first class was one of the worst movies i have ever seen…they had the fucking Baconator as the bad guy, and The Wolverine…is sooo bad, soooo much worse than the Origins Wolverine…sounds like with everything, you are just as clueless tool that doesn’t know what he is talking about. Why even write they terrible reviews?

  13. watertigernyc

    Um, were Walkmen even around in 1973? (Hint: No, they weren’t.)

  14. Jenn

    Days of Future Past, was good, if a little convoluted and messy like most time-travel actioners. The mutants movies and the characters are always a little preachy because of ‘the message’. Wolverine is my fave, besides the bad guys, because the other heroes are so self righteous.
    XMen 1st Class was better than the others because there was no Jean Freakin Grey. Ugh. Famke is a poor choice for an awful character who is basically the female version of Xavier, with some extra powers thrown in because… PMS? I dunno.
    Unfortunately, Comics(books/movies) are like Soap Operas, nobody ever stays dead. There’s always the Apocalypse to look forward to.

    • Bite your tongue about my beautiful Jean grey and the radiant Famke Jansen. The only thing wrong with Jean in the movies is the lack of a 10 minute long spread-leg telekinetic masturbation scene.

  15. DiegoAD

    I enjoyed the movie, I’ve been a fan of the comics sin the mid-80s, I’ve spent thelat several years collecting/catching up on all the major past TPBs and/or new releases. Havins said all that, pardon my ignorance when I ask where you got the idea that what Charles was using was the Legacy Virus? I mean, if it was explicitly said, it must’ve been said in that one moment I checked my phone (with the brightness turned all the way down, of course).

  16. Days of Future Past course corrected their timeline and the events of X-Men 3, thus also hopefully erasing Brett Ratner from existence.

  17. Eric

    Also, in Origins, a silver-haired Striker gets Logan and Creed from Vietnam, while working independently. Yet in DoFP, Striker is a young guy at the end of Vietnam, working for Trask, and Logan is in New York. That is just one of a hundred continuity problems throughout the series.

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