Plot: In order to stop a horrific chain of events happening, Wolverine’s conscious is sent back in time to his 1970s conscious to avert the incident that starts it.
Production: Bryan Singer directed this, I thought he did a very good job (in the film overall). Directing-wise, it’s very plain, in that he doesn’t use the whole frame, all the information is shot dead centre. Which works out great for anyone wanting to zoom in and watch the film without black bars.
Thoughts on the film:
• As they present the premise, I couldn’t help thinking we’ve hit the end of history itself; there are no original ideas, stories are just re-toolings of other stories. That’s not the worse, but it made me a little sad. The plot is sending someone back in time to stop Mystique killing a scientist. That’s basically Terminator 1. The sentinels are massive grey robot deelies whose face opens up to fire a beam (see Thor 1), and turn shiny and alter their arms into stabbing things (i.e the T-1000). The same logic plotholes are available here!! You don’t need to go back to that day, but why not when Mistique was a baby? Much easier!
• A very interesting part is seeing Quicksilver, who through shared rights, can appear in both Marvel and FOX film productions. Here he’s played by Evan Peters (Kit in American horror Story), whilst in Marvel’s the Avengers he’s played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (along with Scarlet Witch). The trade-off is that Marvel can’t refer to them as mutants, nor make any allusions to Magneto being their father.
• Quicksilver has the coolest part of the film. His gimmick is that he’s lightning fast (actually probably faster than that), and as a teenager he uses his ability to steal things. For most of it he just whizzes around in a transparent haze, but there’s one scene where agents open fire on our heroes, and we see time from his perspective, in a completely CG slow-motion sequence where he plucks bullets out the air, moves baddies’ arms and tastes food that’s falling, it’s great.
• The version we saw was the “Rogue Cut” which had a short enough sub-plot of Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) getting tired and going to retrieve Anna Pacquin (Rogue) to take over. It’s completely ham-fisted and unneccessary (“I know where she is! Why didn’t you tell us? It’s too heavily guarded. Ah jaysus let’s go get her, in and out in 4 minutes. Grand.”). You know it’s a deleted scene as the money shot at the end just reverts to Ellen Page.
• I LOVE the security precautions of detaining Magneto; specifically the non-metallic guns and bullets. I wonder if this helped the rating stay down as they rarely fire proper guns.
• Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is still gorgeous. She’s obviously unsure, alone and lost, so I was surprised about how poorly Magneto and Charles fared in talking them into helping them out (initially anyway).
• With most of his students drafted in the Vietnam war, and his school shut down, Charles mopes around his building with Hank. He now dresses like The Dude. His gimmick is that he has a serum that can suppress his power and cure his legs; and it’s portrayed like a drug that he shoots up.
• Blink is played by pretty chinese girl Fan Bingbing. Her gimmick is creating portals and some of the ways she uses it to fight (and gain momentum for a falling teammate) is straight out of Valve’s Portal series. Awesome! There’s no cake though.
• Peter Dinklebot is the scientist target. He creates these Sentinels which track, adapt and murder mutants en masse. Uniting humankind against the threat of mutants, and making them extinct, has quite the political allegory (e.g. uniting Germany in the 30s). He does a decent job but it’s hard to shake of his Game of Thrones character, and his bushy moustache looks hilarious. I loved how he presented the detector (which looks like a baby monitor) in a Army Generals’ roundtable and it perks up – there’s a mutant in the room!
• Halle Barry is unfortunately present in the movie as Storm. She did not need to be there in her maybe 2 minutes of screen time. She was pregnant to they had to cut her back.
• YEAH! Nixon is president! He generally plays a slimy, self-centred, spineless goon. It’s very enjoyable – Nixon is the best president to have in any film or TV show. I love Futurama’s Nixon best. Arrrooooo! Shoot him in the back! While he’s not looking!
• The 70s vibe is generally understated, the decor, clothes and tech look fine for the most part. They do make a few “it’s the 70s” obvious bits like Hank locking on to “all 3 channels”, but they do a commendable job with it.
• They do explain two big mysteries of the world (“who shot JFK”, “who created the pyramids”) and I wasn’t a fan of the first one. I didn’t think it was clever, just avoid it! The second one did look pretty cool.
• The film isn’t particularly smart, and it doesn’t think that much of it’s audience (like repeatedly showing yellow-shock eyes to let you know that’s Mystique)
• Also, thank God, they didn’t have the Juggernaut in the film! He was in early drafts and it would’ve been horrific. Another bullet dodged.
• Magneto has a lot of cool stunts, like dragging Mystique closer to him via pulling the bullet in her leg, ingenious use of smaller metal filaments to wrap around the joints to control Sentinels and uprooting an entire stadium up into the air. And his accent isn’t this horrible Irish/German mash-up! It’s all coming up Milhouse.
• I enjoyed how they retconned X-Men 3 by putting Jean back in this alternative present. The less about X3 the better!
Overall an enjoyable film, the theatrical edit is a tighter affair. If you haven’t seen it, watch it! Always a fun time with the X-Men. I’d rate DOFP as the 3rd best X-Men film (after First Class and X-Men 2 respectively).