Reactions to the Final “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Trailer
X-Men: First Class was one of those peculiar movies that’s mind-numbingly awesome while you’re watching it, but as soon as you leave your seat it becomes utterly forgettable. There were a lot of really great things going for it: it was extremely well-cast, bringing in a lot of fresh faces to a franchise that was almost completely destroyed by flops like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Michael Fassbender as Magneto was one of the best things that could have happened to that movie. Perhaps best of all, First Class featured Jennifer Lawrence while she was on the cusp of exploding into the epitome of stardom and grace she is today. Like I said: a lot of good things, but it hardly left a lasting impression. Maybe it was just plagued by the retro tinted style, in much the same way that the first Captain America movie was. First Class was good, but it was also forgettable. If they wanted a reboot, why did they go all the way back to the original X-Men? Then we heard about the master plan to bring both films together: X-Men: Days of Future Past.
After spectacular rebound in the positively acclaimed The Wolverine, here we are on the brink of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The post-credit scene from The Wolverine (2013) revealed a unified Magneto and Xavier who, last we had seen, were stripped of power and dead, respectively. But, of course, we had also seen previously that neither of these things were necessarily staying true.
Take a look at the final trailer for the Days of Future Past below, and perhaps even recap the first or second trailers, both of which were also REALLY GOOD. Heck, even the more recently released clip from the opening fight sequence packs a steel-covered Colossus punch.
Before going on a little rant about my love of X-Men, let me just say that I am quite simply thrilled to see this. This film features one of my favorite stories from my single favorite comic book series, and from everything we have seen so far, we know that this is going to be very, very cool.
This final trailer offers much more exposition about the premise of the movie. Magneto is in jail already. Xavier is a washed up drunk (who can walk?). Wolverine from the future is sent back in time to his own body in the past, where he is supposed to prevent a chain of events from happening. To do that he has to round up all of our favorite faces from First Class. We also get a bit more from the future timeline where a group of young mutants face off against some very sophisticated-looking sentinels.
Historically, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklade / Tyrion Lannister) is contracted by the government to engineer the Sentinels as a way to track and round up the mutants. The technology grows in complexity over time as almost all of the mutants are either killed or imprisoned in concentration-like camps, particularly after the sentinels begin to target key humans as well.
Like a majority of the lazy half-assed nerds out there, my exposure to X-Men as a child has everything to do with the 1990’s cartoon series. Sure, I’ve dabbled in the actual comics, but not much. When you look back at the various stories told, next to the Phoenix saga the time-traveling “Days of Future Past” plots are that show at its best. Here’s one of the key episodes, in which Future Wolverine tries to use a time machine to go back and fix things. Let’s just say he’s not as successful as the Hugh Jackman version, but mostly just because in a 2-dimensional world, they aren’t clever enough to invent consciousness time travel. Bad stuff happens. Cable has to go instead. Shenanigans ensue.
Anyone who’s ever seen the 1990’s series will immediately recognize the Sentinels in Days of Future Past; huge purple robots with laser-beam hands. They’re large and clunky on-screen, like something a blind Tony Stark might throw together with spare parts from a hot rod or maybe you’d call it a cheap-looking Michael Bay transformer. Whichever. Regardless, they symbolize the most poignant running theme in all of X-Men: the mutant as a persecuted race seeking civil rights. The previous X-Men movies did quite a bit to set this up, but only tangentially, instead preferring to focus more directly on the mutant-to-mutant conflicts. We know that people were afraid of mutants from the events in X-Men (2000). That fear continued when Nightcrawler was manipulated into attacking the white house in X2: X-Men United (2003) prompting some people to try and control and eventually destroy mutants. In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) mankind then opted to “cure” the mutants.
X-Men: Days of Future Past will converge all of these plot lines and hopefully finally bring to light the more political ramifications this series can grapple with. Perhaps the most exciting part will be taking the best parts of all the previous movies and bringing it together in one picture. It’s a lot to handle, but I trust Bryan Singer. He’s got this!
Fun fact: In the comics, the original “event” future Wolverine aims to prevent is the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly, whom you might remember as the human antagonist from the very first X-Men movie in 2000.