Review by C.J. Bunce
If you agree last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is among the best superhero films of all time, and probably the single best film in the Marvel Universe, then you’ll want to see a new director’s cut released this month: X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Rogue Cut. Especially if you haven’t picked up a copy of the 2014 version on Blu-Ray, this new edition brings together the original theatrical release and The Rogue Cut, plus a disc full of new features, making this the definitive edition for most fans.
It’s the lack of a 3D edition that is the only miss with the new release. For most people that won’t be a problem. But if you have embraced 3D television technology like us, you’re just going to be buying a new Blu-Ray to add to last year’s superb Ultimate Edition so you can watch each version from time to time–because you just can’t miss this new edit of the film.
If you’re not aware of the quality of this movie by ace director Bryan Singer, check out our review from last year here at borg.com. On repeat viewings X-Men: Days of Future Past proves its worthiness as a superhero flick future superhero films will be compared to. This expanded edition certainly does nothing to diminish the original. It instead provides 17 minutes of additional scenes that explain plot elements skipped over in the original cut and it provides a better character study of nearly every major player: Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Mystique, Trask, Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, and of course, Rogue. More Quicksilver (Evan Peters) would have been fun, but you can’t have everything. But we do learn more from Singer on his audio commentary about that character’s role, and that of Mystique, Beast, Magneto, and the rest of the mutants in next year’s sequel X-Men: Apocalypse.
The features disc includes a nine-part “making of” series and a 30-minute roundtable featuring Singer and most of the show’s stars. The audio track features Singer and editor/composer John Ottman. Both provide an excellent look at the storytelling process as adapted to the filmmaker’s role.
New scenes, some of which are only seconds long, are seamlessly edited into the theatrical version. One set of scenes features a candle lit memorial to the fallen Mutants in the future timeline where the story begins–a world Singer acknowledges to be a play on the dim future of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Young Mutants argue over the plan proposed by Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) to send someone’s consciousness back through time, including probably Storm’s (Halle Berry) best scene in the film as well as scenes with the stunning future Mutant Blink (Bingbing Fan). We get to know these new Mutants, which doesn’t happen so much in the original cut, and see more Patrick Stewart and Magneto (Ian McKellen). Stewart and McKellen’s time on screen seemed lacking in comparison to their younger selves later in the film. The Rogue Cut rebalances the film to parallel more of the past and future.
One new scenes features an excellent Wolverine fight scene with mobsters. Another humorous scene has Beast and Charles goading Wolverine for being crazy in his talk about time travel. A brief scene offers up a joke about the Internet by Wolverine and Beast. A re-edited music queue created by Ottman revolves around Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). A scene laying the groundwork to introduce Scarlet Witch–Quicksilver’s sister–plays out in Quicksilver’s home.
Other new scenes include the past’s Charles/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Eric/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) playing chess on a private jet, a bigger role for President Nixon, extended dialogue between Charles and Raven while she waits at the airport, the destruction of Cerebro, dialogue between Charles and U.S. war veteran, an expanded lifting of the stadium scene, the death of a superhero–who didn’t die in the original cut–and a love triangle giving a very Shakespearean feel to the film’s climax, and finally, a hilarious coda during the film credits that mirrors a scene early in the movie.
And we haven’t even discussed the inclusion of Rogue (Anna Paquin) and her elaborate role in saving the future by partially replacing scenes shot with Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), despite being cut almost entirely from the theatrical version. These scenes provide the basis for far more Stewart and McKellen scenes, including a must-see scene shot in parallel with the characters of the past as they rescue Rogue from the future Xavier Academy.
Equal in punch to the Rogue scenes are scenes with Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Beast and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) (which Singer says will be elaborated on in X-Men: Apocalypse), and a critical role for Iceman (Shawn Ashmore).
Pick up your copy of X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Rogue Cut, from Amazon.com here, available now.