Wednesday 29 July 2015

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

When it was first released on Blu-Ray and DVD a good few months ago, I reviewed X-Men: Days of Future Past, the seventh film in the X-Men franchise. When I saw it in the cinema and once again on Blu-Ray, I really did love every second of it. It essentially undid X-Men: The Last Stand, the hugely disappointing ending to the original X-Men trilogy. With director Bryan Singer currently filming X-Men: Apocalypse, and the series seemingly back on track in terms of quality, an alternative version of Days of Future Past has just landed, a version that essentially reinserts the character of Rogue back into the film. Is it worth your money? Read on.

Directed by Bryan Singer and out now on Blu-Ray and DVD comes X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut, an alternative version that makes a better film by adding a tiny bit of content. With the added and changed content here, the plot remains the exact same. The Rogue Cut presents us with a bleak future in which robots have enslaved the world, and has systemically began wiping out mutants. With various members of the X-Men dead (R.I.P Beast, my homie), Professor X has cooked up a plan, and on top of this plan being a shot in the dark, it's literally their last hope for survival. His plan is to send Wolverine's mind back in time with the help of Kitty Pride's powers. Once Wolverine's mind jumps back to the 70's, he is instructed to get the help of a young Professor X and Magneto, two men which at the point were complete enemies. With help on his side Wolverine must then try and prevent Mystique from assassinating military scientist Bolivar Trask, whose death sets events in motion that ultimately lead to the bleak future.

Chances are you've already seen Days of Future Past, so I'm not going to bang on about the film and then simply make a mention of what's been changed. Basically The Rogue Cut adds the character of Rogue back into the film, whose appearance in the film was edited out pretty late in the game. In the regular film Kitty Pride sends Wolverine's mind back in time, and later into the film she, thanks to Wolverine who's reacting to himself in the past seeing a young William Stryker, stabs her in the side with his adamantium claws. Kitty bleeds out for the rest of the film, but manages to keep Wolverine in the past. In The Rogue Cut it's a bit different, but virtually the same. Kitty is once again stabbed by Wolverine, but it looks like she won't make it. Her death will essentially sever Wolverine from his past self, thereby screwing up their plan. But there's one mutant that can help, one who can take Kitty Prides power from her dying body- Rogue. Iceman informs Professor X and Magneto that he believes Rogue is being experimented inside the old X-Mansion, Professor X's previous digs. So with that Iceman, Magneto and Professor X head to the X-Mansion to rescue Rogue. Though she does appear in place for Kitty Pride's character after that, the only big change is the scene in which she's saved from the X-Mansion.

According to director Bryan Singer, he cut Rogue's scene because “it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go”. I'd call it an embarrassment of believability if anything, as I really did wonder if Professor X basically said to a dying Kitty Pride, “listen Kitty, me and the lads have to leave Moscow and fly to America to do something. Back in around 12 hours, K?”. But no, they just appear at the X-Mansion. As far as how good the actual rescue scene is, it's pretty damn good. Much like how the end of the film keeps cutting back from the future and the past, this segment is inter-cut with Magneto in the past reclaiming his helmet. In fact, one nice tiny addition to that past Magneto scene is how he now, for a brief moment, focuses in on the Nazi coined owned by Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class. It's a great nod to the character of Shaw, someone who was instrumental in Magneto's evolution. The X-Mansion rescue scene is pretty awesome and manages to show off Magneto, Iceman, Professor X and Rogue in action, and it all makes for a pretty welcomed change to the film. It also helps to add to the Kitty Pride/Iceman/Rogue love triangle. Since X-Men: The Last Stand, Kitty Pride and Iceman have gotten together, and though it doesn't dwell too much on this whole dynamic between them all, it does nod to their past together.

Apart from the fact that it then shows Rogue aiding Wolverine to stay in the past, The Rogue Cut is identical to Days of Future Past. Personally I think this cut is better than Days of Future Past as, beyond the obvious problem of how fast the team got to the X-Mansion in the first place so quickly, the presence of Rogue helps to tie it into the original films more. From her small interactions with Magneto, Iceman and even her acknowledgement of a comatose Wolverine, it just feels right to have her in the film. Then again, assuming you already have Days of future Past, should you shell out for this new release? It purely depends on what kind of fan you are. If the idea of seeing The Rogue Cut peeks your interest and narratively makes sense in terms of what came before it, buy it. If not, well, I don't think you'll find much in The Rogue Cut that will matter to you.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is better than Days of Future Past. 5/5.


Denis Murphy

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