X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST – THE ROGUE CUT – REVIEW
In the build-up to last year’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (check our 4,5 star review of the original film here), director Bryan Singer caused some controversy be revealing five months prior to the release that he’d cut Anna Paquin’s return as Rogue out of the film entirely. Singer explained that her scene simply didn’t work in the movie. Fans were displeased and wanted to decide that for themselves. Well, now they can as X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST – THE ROGUE CUT is here: a version of the movie that is almost 20 minutes longer and includes all of Rogue’s scenes. It is also most likely the first cut of the movie, before Singer started tweaking it.
It is very interesting to see these different scenes pop up in the film, and it gives a great insight in how a director sometimes has to make rigorous choices when finalizing a film. But it must be said all choices were made for the better, as with each of the scenes it’s clear to see why they have been left out of the end product. The original DAYS OF FUTURE PAST movie is definitely better than the ROGUE CUT, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that this new version is a must-see for all X-Fans.
Although most new scenes only pop up a good hour and a half into the movie, the opening scene where the future X-Men decide to send Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine back in time is also a bit longer, if only by a few lines. These imply the group of younger X-Men is actually a sort of a guerrilla unit, who are not directly under Xavier’s leadership, but are instead led by Omar Sy’s Bishop. The scene was most likely cut because it shows Xavier reading the minds of the X-Men, something the character often avoids doing out of respect for his pupils.
One of the few weak spots of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was that these exciting new characters were hardly developed, and in the new version we still barely get to see more of them. Which is a bit of a shame as in this extended cut we would have loved to see lots more of Bishop, Sunspot (Adan Canto), Warpath (BooBoo Stewart), Blink (Fan BingBing) and Colossus (Daniel Cudmore, now in his third X-men film but still given hardly any lines).
The big new scene in THE ROGUE CUT involves Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) taking the blackbird to travel back from China to the former X-Men headquarters north of New York to free Rogue. It turns out Iceman knew Rogue was here all along, he just didn’t tell anyone. Only once Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) is wounded and therefore may not be able to keep Wolverine’s mind in the 1970’s, they decide it’s time to get Rogue back. How come Iceman knew that Rogue was trapped and no one else knew? How come they didn’t try to free her earlier on? If someone is mortally wounded, how do you find enough time to travel from China to the US and back to get a replacement? There are so many plot holes in this scene it is not surprising it didn’t end up in the final movie, what’s more surprising is how it ended up in the final version of an otherwise very clever screenplay when the film went into production.
The way the scene is edited into the movie does not work either, as it is cross-edited with the scene of the younger Magneto (Michael Fassbender) claiming back his helmet. This may be Fassbender’s best scene in the original DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and it is a key scene as we see him switch back from good guy to bad guy here. But the cross-editing in THE ROGUE CUT makes the whole sequence rather chaotic and diminishes its original impact.
The second-longest scene cut from the original film involves Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique sneaking into Xavier’s Mansion where she seduces Nicholas Hoult‘s Beast, but it soon becomes clear she is just using him. It is good this scene is cut, as it portrays the highly intelligent Beast as a gullible dumbass. It’s also highly unlikely that Xavier as world’s strongest telepath wouldn’t have sensed Mystique coming into the house, nor that Wolverine with his heightened sense of smell wouldn’t have noticed her presence.
Flawed as THE ROGUE CUT may be, it is still one hell of a must-see package as it has both versions of the movie, as well as a ton of extras. Best of these are 9-part making-of documentary called Mutant vs Machine, and a feature called X-Men: Unguarded, where the cast members have an entertaining chat with eachother about their X-periences in making these movies. There’s also Audio Commentary from Bryan Singer and writer/producer Simon Kinberg, as well as a sneak peek at the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, which Fox hopes to cross-over with the X-Men if it becomes a success.
Watch a clip from X-Men Unguarded here, where Singer and Jackman talk about how the Aussie Superstar was initially cast for the role:
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST – THE ROGUE CUT is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Wednesday July the 15th.