Justin C. here…
This is not a review; this is a plea.
As of this posting, the Rotten Tomatoes score for X-Men: Days of Future Past is holding strong at 92%. And while it would seem that a score that high indicates the filmmakers got nearly everything right—in as much as anyone ever can—, I’d like to offer up a few suggestions for the next film, tentatively titled X-Men: Apocalypse.
Here they are, in no particular order:
ENOUGH WITH THE PERSECUTION COMPLEX.
Though this would appear to be Bryan Singer’s favorite aspect of the X-Men mythos, I would ask whether it’s even relevant today. I can’t fathom our media-savvy culture having the same kind of reaction to mutants that, say, the Cold War generation would have. Would we really be so afraid of them or would we idolize them? Would we decide that they posed enough of a danger to the human race to plan their wholesale extermination or give them a reality show?
Whatever the case may be, I think we’ve more than established the disconnect between mutants and humans by now. No mas. There’s no bite left to your pro-minority argument, especially when you kill every visible minority in your latest film. Sometimes more than once.
Presumably Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters has larger goals than keeping Logan occupied with teaching history. I was under the impression that its ultimate purpose was to train mutants in the use of their powers, in order for them to one day be assets to their communities. Because only by proving themselves not to be threats, but would-be protectors, can they ever hope to live peaceably among humans, blah blah blah, or so Charles would have us believe.
So why don’t we ever see them doing this? Instead of a proactive team that’s out there building shelters for the homeless or taking drugs off the streets, we always get a group that’s playing defense against some new adversary whose intention is to wipe all mutants off the face of the earth because mutants are bad for the sole reason that they have all these powers that obviously will never be used for good. Sorry, but that doesn’t make for fun viewing. Especially when the same plot is put on repeat over and over again.
Get out there. Do something. Use those powers in new and interesting ways and win over that apprehensive public that most likely no longer exists.
IX-NAY ON THE OLVERINE-WAY.
Logan has done his due diligence and has ultimately lost his way. He’s so far from the source material as to be laughable and is no longer required as a central figure. I repeat, he is no longer required. Please, Fox, let us move on to other, more dynamic characters that should get equal on-screen time, i.e. Quicksilver and Blink. If I see one more flashback to the Weapon X project, I’m out.
MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE TO KIDS.
Here’s some clarification on that statement. I’m not looking for the Star Wars prequels here, just something that children might enjoy. Are the X-Men movies something I would have liked as a kid? Parts of them. Overall, there are probably too many social issues that are being handled even more ham-handedly than the original Star Trek, but young Justin does love him some mutant fights.
As a life-long reader of comic books, I worry that the medium is not doing enough to court new and younger readers, and whether they like it or not, Hollywood needs to understand that they have a big responsibility in this.
If kids like the movies, they want more. So they turn to the comics, reading both new stories and old. But if the movies are too dark—or worse, contain gratuitous nudity and the unnecessary dropping of an f-bomb (both in X-Men: DOFP)—, then they’re not really kid-friendly, and that’s a shame. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t have kids. If Hollywood wants to continue to pilfer from comic books, then they have a vested interest in keeping comic books alive and well.
EXPAND YOUR AUDIENCE.
Women love the X-Men. So, why no love for your female viewers? Yes, there’s Mystique, but half the time we’re not certain whose side she’s on. While the aforementioned Blink was awesome, I can’t remember a single line of dialogue she was given. Nearly all of the female characters that returned from previous films were invited back for little more than cameos. It’s not enough, guys. If you simply don’t feel comfortable writing female characters, here’s a go-to list for next time. Brit Marling. Veena Sud. Tina Fey. Yeah, I said it. Tina Fey. So at least one of your jokes might not fall flat.
NO MORE FUDGING THE POWERS.
Kitty Pryde. Time travel. Yeah, whatever. Read a comic, guys. And while you’re at it, give one to your kid. She’ll thank you for it.
You can follow me on Twitter: @justin_cline