X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue Cut Review

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Comic book fans are easy to anger, which is why we have a new, extended cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past, one of the very best of a superhero franchise that still somehow has legs.

Note: This review will entirely focus on the new material in the film. For our thoughts on the original film, check out our review here.

Back in 2013, months before the film even came out, director Bryan Singer explained that Rogue (Anna Paquin) had been cut from it due to an “embarrassment of riches.” What he meant was that the movie was too long and that Rogue’s part was inconsequential enough to hit the cutting room floor. Still, fans cried out. That brings us to today, ironically the 15th anniversary of the first X-Men film, which was also Paquin’s largest role as the character.

So here we are a year later with Rogue re-inserted back into the film because this is an era where comic book fans win everything. Still not winning though, is Rogue herself. This new version of the film may be referred to as the “Rogue Cut,” but Paquin really only has two scenes, and she barely says anything.

The original X-Men movies get a lot right. Absent from that list is making Rogue as awesome as she is in the comics. Days of Future Past wasn’t going to be any different. The big scenes come into play after Wolverine is startled by Stryker in the past and wounds Kitty in the future. As Kitty bleeds out, Bobby, a.k.a. Iceman, informs Xavier and Magneto that Rogue, who can borrow Kitty’s power to keep Wolverine in the past, is being held at the X-Mansion.

The real star of the scene is Ian McKellan, as Magneto helps Iceman navigate the mansion to find Rogue. The future version of Magneto’s character definitely had more purpose in this version, especially since the scene is edited together with Michael Fassbender stealing his helmet back. We see both Magnetos using their powers within seconds of each other, often replicating the same moves. It’s the closest we get to the wonderful Xavier meets Xavier scene for Magneto.

Their escape from the mansion is exciting, but Rogue watching Iceman die could have hit a little harder. Rogue then takes Kitty’s place and says hello to Wolverine. He recognizes it from the past, hinting at the strong bond the two started sharing 15 years ago. But then that’s Rogue’s best moment. Otherwise, she sits there and does exactly what Kitty did.

So let’s talk about some of the other changes. Starting with the future, Bishop is clearly identified as the leader before Xavier flies in, while Bobby and Kitty’s relationship gets clarified when a kiss is added in an early scene. These moments in the beginning show a bit more of an effort to flesh out the future sequences.

Then, in the climax, it’s notable that as the Sentinels break into the facility, Magneto and Kitty are still alive. It’s pretty powerful to have Xavier and Magneto about to die together in the same room, united for a cause to save all of mankind. I wonder actually why this was cut.

Moving to the past, the most notable inclusions involve fleshing out the Mystique/Beast romance that didn’t really carry over from X-Men: First Class in the theatrical version. It was a little jarring to just have Mystique in the X-Mansion without anyone noticing. Then she and Beast start rolling around on the floor kissing in their blue forms. It all leads to Mystique breaking Cerebro, which, whatever. The whole thing doesn’t fit the rest of the movie and it makes sense why it was cut.

The only other major things from the past are some extra nods to Quicksilver’s sisters (yes, plural) and an extra end-credits scene of Trask in Magneto’s concrete cell. They don’t add anything, but they’re kind of fun.

Overall, the “Rogue Cut” adds too little to warrant anything but deleted scenes on a DVD. There are some strong moments, but Rogue is once again put on the sideline, which makes the whole release questionable. But Days of Future Past is still a one of the best editions of the X-Men canon. If for some reason you wished it was 15 minutes longer, “The Rogue Cut” is for you. If you were fine with it the way it was, you’re not missing anything here. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

 

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