Sunday, 19 July 2015

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



When Bryan Singer announced that Anna Paquin's Rogue had been left behind on the cutting room floor for 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, many fans were a little disappointed. After all, it was through her eyes that we, the audience, were first introduced to the world of X-Men way back in the year 2000.

Fast-forward to mid-2015 and Singer's hugely-successful rewrite of the X-Men mythos is getting a revamp on DVD with the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut. With bonus Paquin (amongst others), Rogue Cut hopes to satisfy die-hard fans who've followed the franchise since the start. So, how does the new version of Days of Future Past stack up?

With an additional 17 minutes of film added onto the runtime, Rogue Cut does feel substantially different to the original, theatrical version of Days of Future Past. 17 minutes might not sound like much, but when your movie is already over two hours long, it can make a big difference. As it stands, the Rogue Cut takes this version of Days of Future Past up to nearly 2 hours and 20 minutes long - a fairly butt-numbing blockbuster for those of us who like our superhero thrills to be quick and straightforward.

If that sounds like you, Rogue Cut won't thrill you any more than the original cut. If you've kinda followed the X-Men series but can't tell your Icemen from your Storms, this version of the film just isn't for you. It adds additional content to a film that already has a lot going on, and its inclusion won't aid in your attempts to make sense of it all. Those unfamiliar with the in's and out's of the franchise should stick to the original version.

However, if like me you're a fan of the series and are eager to squeeze every last drop of detail from the film, Rogue Cut has a plentiful helping of extra content - and not just involving Rogue. In fact, one area in which this film improves markedly on the original is in adding depth and detail to Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Hank's (Nicholas Hoult) love story, an element that was glazed over in the theatrical version.

Around the midpoint of the film (after Magneto has caused a scene at the peace summit in Paris and our heroes have returned home), Mystique travels to the X-Mansion en route to Washington D.C and spends the night with Hank. Of the additions, it's this scene that feels like the most critical, and would've been most at home in the theatrical cut. Not only does it build on the relationship Mystique and Hank began in First Class, but it also makes her change of heart in the film's final act that little bit more believable.

However, it's the entire subplot involving Rogue that sets this film apart from the theatrical cut - hence the title. In this version, future Magneto (Ian McKellan) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) must venture to the X-Mansion and save Rogue so that she can aid Shadowcat (Ellen Page) in keeping Wolverine's consciousness inside his 1970's self. Injured by Logan's flailing claws, Shadowcat is struggling to hold on, and only Rogue's power-sapping ability can save the day.

I quite liked this addition, as it meant that the future X-Men got something a little more substantial to work with - if you go back and watch the original version, future Magneto isn't given an awful lot to do or say until the very final confrontation with the Sentinels. In Rogue Cut, we're treated to an extended action sequence, and an alternate death scene for one of the future X-Men. Plus, Singer uses some really cool visual parallel's between the rescue mission, and a similar scene taking place with young Magneto in the 70's storyline.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure which version of the film I prefer; the completist in me says that the Rogue Cut has more detail and subplots, making it a more complex and engaging film across both the past and future settings. But the perfectionist says that there is a reason these scenes were cut out, and that's because they cause the middle third to meander a little. Neither is drastically better or worse than the other; merely different.

The Verdict: 9/10


Rogue Cut doesn't vastly improve on Days of Future Past, but it also doesn't detract from its brilliance. With additional subplots and storylines across both settings, this extended version of Singer's most recent, and I daresay, best, X-Men film is really only worth watching for fans of the series that were pining for Paquin's return last year.

You can check out my original theatrical review of X-Men: Days of Future Past here.

2 comments:

  1. I didn't like DOFP, and Rogue was probably the only thing I was looking forward to, so I was really disappointed when her scenes were cut. Hopefully someone puts all of her scenes on youtube so I can just watch them there. That's all I care about. lol

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    1. That might be a good way to get round it ;) The Rogue Cut DVD does come with original cut too, so you're getting two for one essentially. Thanks for commenting!

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