Blu-Ray Review by Dominic Messier, Founder, Editor and Long Time Mutant and Proud of It
In the age of film marketing, it’s no surprise that a studio will want to bank on a product more than once, if there is demand for additional footage of an already popular film so to satiate the masses, not to mention earn extra coin in the studio coffers.
Very much like the special features associated with a home video release that made DVDs and Blu-Rays so popular, the Director’s Cut has been around for years and often conveys a closer vision of what a filmmaker intended, before the studio heads made judgment calls on the final cut.
In the case of the profitable summer box office hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, the additional bits only serve to improve an already solid storyline drawn right from the Marvel Comics it’s based on, adding layers of character to existing roles on screen, not to mention more screen time for Anna Paquin’s Rogue, hence this version’s clever moniker “The Rogue Cut.”
The excellent premise hasn’t changed: the film starts off in a grim future where most of the planet’s been ruined, overrun by large adaptable robot Sentinels designed to hunt down and destroy any mutant life that survives, along with the humans who help them.
Having managed to escape up to this point, the remaining members of the X-Men have devised a plan in which they will use Kitty Pride’s (Ellen Page) nascent mutant ability to send a person’s consciousness back in time to their earlier body (Huh? This is new…), thus using Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to go back to the year 1973 in order to change a pivotal moment in history: the day Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) assassinated the Sentinels’ inventor, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), thus justifying the need to build these robots and spelling doom for all mutantkind.
With the help of a disillusioned Charles Xavier (James MacAvoy), Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) and a recently freed Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Wolverine needs to convince everyone of the need to change events in order to save the future.
At first glance, the changes to the storyline are cosmetic at best: an additional line here, an extra scene there, a whole lotta Anna Paquin added.
Personally, I prefer this version better. Usually, a studio will scrounge up whatever salvageable footage off the editing room floor in order to rush out a different version of a film just for the hardcore fans.
Here, meticulousness was key, and the additional scene between Hank and Raven feels right, as does the side mission to head back to a Sentinel-infested X-Mansion to rescue a captive Rogue (Paquin), whose ability to absorb powers can help replace Kitty (Page) after being badly wounded by an agitated Logan (Jackman.)
Out of respect so to not lose focus of the worth of this version of the film, I’ll opt out of ranting against the plot holes and reinvented powers shown on screen, but try to get past the whole Kitty Pride “mental time travel” bit and you should be fine.
I’ve always found that if you’re having trouble locating the additional content in an alternate version of a story, then the producers are doing it right. This is definitely the case here.
Is this a frivolous purchase? Well it depends on who you ask…if you’re a serious X-Men fan and wish to own this arguably much better version of the film, then you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection.
Concerned that you’ll have spent more money and be forced to dispose of your original Blu-ray copy from last year? Not to worry: this Rogue Cut contains both versions, if only to allow you to shop and compare and judge for yourself.
3.5 out of 5
Dominic Messier is a media veteran who’s written and discussed movies for almost 20 years, from entertainment radio shows to newspaper columns to websites. Follow him on Twitter via @dommessier or join the Pop Culture Landscape with Dominic Messier page on Facebook.