A few quick words on “The Rogue Cut” of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

If you are a die-hard “X-Men” fan, then I do recommend checking out Bryan Singer’s non-canonical “The Rogue Cut” of “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  You might enjoy it just for its novelty — it actually is a very different version of the original movie.  It has a lot of scenes that are either entirely new or shot and edited quite differently.  (The most notable difference, obviously, is an entire subplot concerning the rescue of Anna Paquin’s Rogue, which was deleted from the 2014 theatrical release.)

I get the sense that this will come across as a better film to “X-Men” purists.  There is greater attention to a multitude of characters, far more character interaction, and greater detail about the apocalyptic future segments.  (I myself was happy to finally figure out why the dystopian mutants were housed in such a strange looking building.  It turns out they were hiding in a Chinese temple as part of an ongoing global evasion strategy.)  “The Rogue Cut” also has greater continuity with more of the prior films — it feels integral to the films’ ongoing mythos, and less like a standalone adventure.

But “The Rogue Cut” might not be better at pleasing general audiences.  It clocks in at just under two and a half hours, and the overall result did feel far slower to me.  There is a reason why movies are edited down — their unabridged versions have problems with pacing that really can affect the average viewer’s enjoyment.

I will also point out that this version of the film fails to rectify what I’ll reiterate is the theatrical version’s biggest story flaw — why would the shape-shifting Mystique be the key to developing the Sentinels power-stealing technology.  Why not the power-stealing Rogue herself?

Anyway … speaking of what is canon and what is not, there is a damned interesting fan theory floating around about the “X-Men” movies following this year’s release of “Logan.”  That movie stood out for many reasons, but two in particular are relevant here.  The first is the radical change in its tone and storytelling, which makes it feel like it takes place in “the real world.”  The second is its odd, apparently meta-fictional inclusion of the “X-Men” comics themselves within the story.  (Copies of the comic books are discussed by the characters, and even serve as an important plot element; Wolverine complains that they are horribly inaccurate.)

Many fans are having fun wondering if there has, in fact, been only one canonical “X-Men” movie — and that is “Logan” itself.  The brutal, subdued reality of “Logan” alone is “the real world” of the X-Men; all of the fantastical prior films (which occasionally contradict one another anyway) are merely the stories inside the last movie’s comic books.  I thought that was pretty damned clever.

 

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