One of my favorite story lines in any comic ever is Days of Future Past from the Uncanny X-Men series. It was my first comic book, and it got me hooked. I loved Kitty, I loved the time-travel, and I loved how there was no solid answer on whether her trip to the past was successful.
I also managed to really enjoy the Days of Future Past movie, which is barely similar to the Days of Future Past comic. Like, there are sentinels, time travel, and an assassination. That’s basically the extent of the similarities.
Which, come to think of it, is probably why I enjoyed the movie. It really didn’t seem like they were failing to make DoFP right–it was so close to being a completely different story that I didn’t have a problem with it. Sure, I was annoyed that they traded in my favorite member of the X-Men for more Wolverine. But Hugh Jackman has so much fun in that role that I can’t stay mad about it when I’m actually watching it.
I was also annoyed in pre-production when I found out Wolverine was going back to the 70s. In the comic, Kitty travels from the future to the present. Once again, though, I had so much fun seeing the First Class cast in action again that I didn’t stay annoyed.
When they began showing character photos and stills, I was completely disgusted with the Quicksilver character design. Oddly, his scenes managed to be my favorite parts of the movie. Even the hair managed to grow on me. A little.
What I’m trying to say it this: I went into X-Men: Days of Future Past with low expectations. I wasn’t set on hating it–I was pretty sure it would at least be good, if not great or excellent or amazing. I knew that there would be some things I would enjoy. I was cautiously excited to see Bishop, Blink, and Warpath in action. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were supposed to be together the entire time, and I can’t help but love those two. There would be enough action to at least keep me interested.
I ended up liking the movie a lot, though. It might be because I have long been able to separate the X-Men movies from the X-Men comics. it might be because I didn’t think it was going to be amazing, so I was able to enjoy it for what it was. I think, though, that it’s actually because DoFP is an entertaining movie in and of itself. It’s definitely not perfect, but I enjoyed it more than any comic book movie I’ve seen since Avengers (Sorry, Batman. I feel so disloyal).
There are a few issues in the film itself, though, that doesn’t have anything to do with the differences between the comic (or characters) and the movie. Warning: some of these are (minor) spoilers.
- There is way too much exposition for the first half of the movie. Also, most of the “extra” characters only spout Legolas lines.
- Kitty says that whenever she sends someone into the past, the only one who remembers the changed future is the person who was sent back. So…how does she know she can send someone’s consciousness back into their younger bodies?
- Iceman’s ice beard was just silly.
- I love Peter Dinkledge, and he plays Bolivar Trask very well…but the character is boring. Trask just isn’t compelling—and with the strong antagonists we’ve seen in comic book movies, it’s an embarrassingly obvious shortcoming in the film.
- I’m pretty sure Brian Singer hates Storm. She’s one of the greatest X-Men characters, and just woefully under-utilized in all the films.
The best part of the movie, though? And here is a SUPER SPOILER:
It retcons X-Men: The Last Stand. To be completely honest, if DoFP managed to do that while otherwise being a horrible movie, I still would have loved it.
TL;DR: Days of Future Past managed to work around a lot of the apprehension I had going into it. It was witty, full of action, and fun–everything you’d want in a summer blockbuster. I’d definitely go see it again–and I’ve already seen it twice.