Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin
Running Time: 149 minutes
The movie making process is an evolution in of itself. Nearly every movie goes through a large metamorphosis between the writing process to a theatrical release, with hours of work being scrapped as the end result. Like any medium the end result demands sacrifices; many of which painfully come from the director. 2013’s X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is one such example, cutting Anna Paquin’s role completely months before the film was released. Director Bryan Singer has stated his love for the character, so a year later DAYS OF FUTURE PAST has been re-released in a Director’s Cut labeled THE ROGUE CUT. This version adds 17 minutes of new footage, which while not mind-blowing, characterizes the film enough to make it feel like a more complete film.
Given that a majority of the film is a re-release, I will only be talking about what THE ROGUE CUT adds to the original. For our full review of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST check it out here!
DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was a good, but flawed sequel to X-MEN FIRST CLASS. It provided a fun duel timeline adventure, but sidelined many of the original cast to extravagant deaths and nothing more. At the same time the 1970s timeline built a lot of momentum early on, but ultimately lacked a proper climax. THE ROGUE CUT fixes one of these problems, providing a more in-depth look at the Sentinel controlled future, which greatly adds to the tension. However, while Rogue’s (Anna Paquin) inclusion is the main selling point, this cut also adds a lot of small character moments that work to make the film stronger as a whole. All of this mixes together to make THE ROGUE CUT the definitive version of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.
The Rogue scene comes from a last-minute mission for Magento, Iceman, and Professor Xavier to rescue the captured Rogue. What transpires is a fun mission that gives Ian McKellen one last hurray as Magneto, while also changing the character lineup for the last stand against the Sentinels. The scene fits well into the story, coming in at a time where the future story really begins to fall behind. Yet, the moment itself is inter-cut with a Magneto scene from the 70s, which prevents us from really feeling the tension of the rescue mission. It’s not terrible, but it is a strange decision that ultimately makes labeling this version THE ROGUE CUT feel disingenuous.
But as I’ve said, it’s the added character moments that really make this version standout. Newcomers Bishop (Omar Sy), Blink (Bingbing Fan), and Sunspot (Adan Canto) gain some much-needed characterization as a scene early on has them pondering their worth versus everyone else. It shows how these new mutant have no reason to blindly follow Xavier’s plan, in fear that, if successful, they might not exist. Another scene involves a return to the Beast/Mystique romance that played a large role in FIRST CLASS. It provides a nice somber moment for these two characters, showing that both of them still question their place in the world. There are more scenes added, but it was these two that really helped make the film standout.
The original Blu-Ray release of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST had very little in terms of extras, another element that THE ROGUE CUT fixes. A hefty 90 minute feature called “Mutant vs. Machine” is included that covers pretty much all aspects of filming you could think of. It is fun detailed look into what it takes to make a huge film, but this is a feature for those who are interested in this kind of content. Something regarding X-MEN APOCALYPSE would have been a nice surprise, but in terms of content THE ROGUE CUT offers plenty.
But the big question would be is this version worth delving into? If you didn’t enjoy DAYS OF FUTURE PAST I doubt the new content will change your mind. This is a package for those who already enjoy this film enough to add it to their home collection. With the added bonus of including the original theatrical version, THE ROGUE CUT is absolutely the version of the film to own.
X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST THE ROGUE CUT is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now.