X-Men: Days of Future Past – A Mind Blowing Take on the Original Comic

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Erik Lehnsherr (Young Magneto), played by Michael Fassbender, wields his powers. ©Marvel ©Twentieth Century Fox

Mutants, time travel, and giant robots come together this summer to bring new life to the 1980’s X-Men comic story “Days of Future Past.” Bryan Singer directs this latest X-Men film bringing back some of the cast from both the original trilogy and X-Men: First Class. Let me start by saying that this movie is more inspired by the comic rather than based on it. Both stories are astonishing, but also could not be more different. Characters, events, and even the time periods are all moved around and changed throughout the film.

It all started in 1981 when the creative team of Chris Claremont, John Byrne, and Terry Austin released issues 141 and 142 of The Uncanny X-Men. The story was titled “Days of Future Past” and was set to span over the two issues. The comic starts out in the future year of 2013 (the future when the comic was released). An older Kitty Pryde, now going by the name of Kate, lives in a world where mutants are kept in internment camps which are similar to the concentration camps during the Holocaust. America is now run by Sentinels that discriminate against mutants.

As the mutant population dwindles down, Kate must join together with Rachel Summers, Franklin Richards, Wolverine, Colossus, Magneto, and Storm for one last chance to save mutantkind. Their plan is to have Rachel use her telepathic powers to send Kate’s consciousness back in time to her younger self to prevent the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly, Professor Xavier, and Moira MacTaggert.

This is what caused mass mutant hysteria and brought about the future that Kate lives in. Kate’s mind is then sent to her younger self in 1980. There she gathers the X-Men together to help her keep her future from ever happening. They go to Washington, DC where a hearing takes place dealing with mutants. This is where Mystique and her Brotherhood of Mutants plan their attack. Once in Washington, the X-Men try to keep humans out of harm’s way as the Brotherhood strikes on the hearing.

After saving Professor X and Moira MacTaggert the X-Men realize that the Senator is missing, and so is Kate. Meanwhile one of the Brotherhood members, Destiny, has the Senator in a room and is about to shoot him. Kate jumps in the way saving his life. By doing this the future is changed and her mind instantly goes back to where it belongs. The apocalyptic future run by Sentinels is prevented, or at least postponed, for the time being.

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Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) powers her way through a top secret military installation. ©Marvel ©Twentieth Century Fox

The film itself, although straying very far from the comic, was breathtaking to say the least. In this adaptation the future is controlled by “super” Sentinels that can adapt to any mutant’s powers and are virtually unstoppable. The mutant team in the future is very different than the comic counterpart. In this story, Kitty is the one that has the power to send people back in time and they decide to send X-Men’s poster boy, Wolverine. Their reasoning being that he is the only one that has a healing power. In their eyes, his mind will be able to heal as fast as it is being torn apart since he is being sent back an enormous leap in time.

I am more fond of the reasoning in the comic behind sending Kate back, though. In the comic it is because she is the newest member of the X-Men in the past and is the only one that has not been trained yet against a psychic attack. However, with the film timeline being different, Kitty would not be alive in 1973 when the past takes place. In the past, Wolverine’s mission is to stop Mystique from killing Boliver Trask who is the creator of the Sentinel Program. His death leads to the capture of Mystique and experimentation on her.

The DNA they gather from Mystique gives them what they need to create the Sentinels that can adapt to mutant powers in the future. To stop this Wolverine must bring together Charles Xavier, Beast, and Magneto. Magneto is unfortunately in prison at this time for allegedly shooting President JFK. Wolverine recruits Quicksilver for help since Magneto is being kept below the Pentagon.

When Fox first released an image of Quicksilver online, complaining ensued. He looked very corny and unneeded. When he took the screen he proved everybody wrong, very wrong. What followed was an amazing sequence where time was slowed down as Quicksilver sped up and took out every guard in the room. It was truly one of the best moments from the film. Marvel’s version of Quicksilver that will be appearing The Avengers: Age of Ultron has a lot to live up to.

Even though the stories between the comic and film are very much their own, the filmmakers know that there are die-hard fans expecting to see things they grew up loving in the comics. Wolverine in the future dons the classic gray streaks in his hair from the comic counterpart, showing his first sign of aging in the movies. The final showdown also shares the same setting of Washington, D.C. This is where Magneto becomes the star and the main antagonist at the same time. When someone can lift an entire baseball stadium with his mind, you better run and not look back.

Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) In X-Men: Days of Future past.
Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) in X-Men: Days of Future Past. ©Marvel ©Twentieth Century Fox

The conclusion of this film will literally leave you on the edge of your seat. Between the battle in Washington, D.C. and the final battle in the future against the “super” Sentinels, your mind just might melt. The visual effects are eye-popping and the way the mutant powers are showcased is very fresh and contemporary. Iceman finally pulls off his famous “ice slide” which left fans cheering. As far as the end of the film goes, I do not want to give too much away. Go see it in person and experience the film first-hand. It is well worth the money and a great start to this summer of movies. Stick around for after the credits for an extra scene that I will discuss below, but don’t scroll down if you haven’t seen the film yet.

———–Spoiler Alert!———–Spoiler Alert!———–

You have been warned!

If you wish to continue reading, highlight the text below.

Age of Apocalypse is finally on it’s way. Unless you have been living under a rock you now know that the next X-Men film is coming out on May 27, 2016 and will be titled X-Men: Apocalypse. The scene at the end of the credits gives a look into the history of the next villain. It takes place in ancient Egypt where a boy in a cloak is being worshiped by hundreds chanting, “En Sabah Nur”. This is the birth name of Apocalypse. As they are chanting, he builds actual pyramids in the air with his mind and the camera turns to reveal him as a young boy with grayish-blue skin. My favorite part of this scene is right when the camera stops panning to reveal four men on horses in the background. The framing is perfect, giving an iconic image of Apocalypse and his Four Horseman who serve as his generals of sorts. Even though this is not the version of Apocalypse that will be fought in the next movie, it is a very satisfying tease. The next movie will again feature characters from the past, as well as some from the original films. This might mean that we could see future Cyclops with his son Cable. Cable has been confirmed for Fox’s X-Force movie that is in production so it is very likely. With pre-production already taking place the anticipation will only rise for X-Men: Apocalypse as 2016 nears.

Eric Benner

About Eric Benner

Born and raised in Philadelphia Eric Benner grew up with a passion for movies. This passion later became a lifestyle. Realizing he wanted to enter the film industry, Eric made his way to Wilmington, NC and is currently enrolled in film school. In his free time, he writes and directs his own short films and does camera work for various commercials and other film projects. Eric also works at a movie theater on the side to stay close to what he loves most about the film industry, the movies themselves.

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