These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Bolivar Trask's dwarfism in this film has cast his antagonism of the mutant race in this light for some viewers. He either admires mutants and just sees them as a means to an end for protecting Earth, or he hates that he was born with a perfectly ordinary and useless mutation while all other mutants win some form of Super Power Lottery. Note that this is an interpretation Peter Dinklage and Bryan Singer disagree on; Singer brought the theory up as a possibility, while Dinklage was strongly opposed (as he should, the man has made "not playing a dwarf" his life's ambition).
Had future Magneto truly undergone a Heel-Face Turn, or was he just stuck in an Enemy Mine situation, in which he didn't so much regret his actions, as the consequences they brought.
Magneto's helmet, while still recolored red from its natural silver color, is a lot darker and a lot less goofy-looking than what he wore at the end of First Class. It applies to the rest of his costume too. Since so many laughed their asses off at his costume back then, it's pretty obvious why the change was made.
Given how poorly X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were received by fans and critics alike, them being retconned out of existence by the ending of the movie qualifies. Most fans are content to pretend those two films didn't exist, although some still take issue with it. Mitigated a little by the fact that the events of these movies still happened in the original timeline, and are still remembered by Logan (in fact the film telegraphs this fact in dialogue early on) but were changed after the effects of Wolverine's journey settled in.
X-Men and X2: X-Men United were much better received, but for ages people have complained about how Wolverine tended to steal the spotlight from the other X-Men, most notably the team leader Cyclops. Though he's a major player in this film, he certainly doesn't hog the spotlight nearly as much, as much of the ensemble (Professor X and Mystique especially) get a greater degree of screentime. The events of those films may have still happened, but only in Broad Strokes, as the Cosmic Retcon of the movie more or less leaves the revised future a blank slate. This has given the other X-Men their chance to shine in future films, including Cyclops as his death in The Last Stand was undone.
A small one, but this film explains how Hank could be Beast in X-Men: First Class, but appear human on TV in X2, and how Xavier could have the use of his legs in X3 and Origins.
The Cosmic Retcon done to X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine due to the events of this film. To some, it's great news because of the lackluster reception those films got, while others who liked those films feel it's disrespectful to the other directors to retcon them out of existence entirely. The status of the first two X-Men films is also up for debate, especially given the more sympathetic approach to Mystique, which is at odds with the murderous Mystique seen early on in the films.
A factor for some is the non-cosmic retcon caused by the "Past" being 1973, instead of our present as in the comic and previous adaptations, which will make it harder for people to rewatch any of the first three movies without thinking, "It doesn't matter who wins here, the Earth has been doomed for over thirty years anyway."
The decision to make Wolverine the main character of the storyline when Kitty Pryde was in the comics. It makes more sense with the movie series's established plotline (Wolverine is sent back via Mental Time Travel to the 1970's and Kitty hasn't been born yet), but it's still a bitter pill for Kitty fans and people who wanted to see another X-Men movie where Wolverine was NOT the main character. Of course, it also goes in reverse; many fans who have stuck with the series since the release of X1 have argued that the film would have had a drastically reduced emotional impact if we had Kitty instead of Logan, seeing as how little screen time she had in the previous movies, though there was no reason they couldn't have both gone back. Although Logan's role in the movie is fairly minor; in the 1970's, he takes a backseat to Charles, Erik, and Raven.
Continuity Lock-Out: Very few would argue that the film strikes with full impact if one has skipped some or all of the other X-Men films. At the very least X-Men: The Last Stand which explains Logan spazzing out over the random redhead (a very much alive Jean Grey) at the end and X-Men: First Class (which explains... everything else).
Crazy Awesome: Quicksilver is a kleptomaniac that relies on constantly being stimulated. It doesn't stop him from being one of the most effective characters in the entire movie. This is best shown during the escape from the Pentagon, when he spends much of the time goofing around with the security team instead of deflecting the bullets headed at the protagonists while using his super-speed.
Creepy Awesome: The Stinger, where Apocalypse stands over a crowd of people chanting his [real] name, while he telekinetically constructs a pyramid in about 15 seconds.
Dancing Bear: The omnipresent Stan Lee does not make any cameo in the film. He explained that "It also could be they didn't want me to do the cameo because, without my cameo, the movie will make more money... You see, somebody watches the movie and the movie ends and the person says, 'Wow, I didn't see Stan's cameo. I must have missed it.' So what do they do? Right back to the box office, buy another ticket, and watch the movie again. So I think it's a big moneymaking ploy on the part of the producers."
Even with all the Fandom Rivalry shenanigans and costume grievances over Quicksilver, he ends up stealing the show when he's on screen.
Blink is one of the highlights of the movie because of her unique look and creative uses of her power in the action scenes. Most fans predicted this, since the character's comic counterpart is already a pretty big fan-favorite, and for the exact same reasons, no less.
Even Better Sequel: While First Class was well-liked by fans for bringing the X-Men series back on track, DOFP has been even more well-received and cited by a few reviewers as the best of the X-Men movies. It even currently has the highest Rotten Tomatoes score in the series at 91%, placing DOFP among the best-reviewed Marvel movies of all, Marvel Cinematic Universe or otherwise. The movie has also become the top-grossing X-Men film in terms of worldwide box office by far, usurping the position previously held by The Last Stand.
Fandom Rivalry: As with Sony's Amazing Spider-Man films, many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe criticize this film just for existing and maintaining Fox's hold on the X-Men film rights, since they wish the rights would go to Marvel Studios. All the more since the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Quicksilver already appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and is set to return in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. And then there are accusations of Marvel trying to undermine Fox's success by downplaying its X-Men marketing in the comics and cancelling its Fantastic Four titles, while playing up lesser-known concepts such as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans that will appear in its upcoming movies.note This is something it isn't doing with Spider-Man, for obvious reasons, but Marvel is known to be on better terms with Sony than with Fox as well. Given that most of these franchise's box office draw comes from movie goers and not comic fans, however, one has to wonder how people got this assumption.
Note that this MCU rivalry is different for X-Men than for The Amazing Spider-Man (which has a Fandom Rivalry with DOFP in its own right). Due to DOFP's very positive reception, the rivalry is less "they're turning the series into a Franchise Zombiejust to hold on to the rights"note a criticism of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 by some fans and more "which Marvel movie series/universe is better".note If you want to get technical, it's also often argued that the concept of X-Men works better in their own universe, since it wouldn't make sense why the Avengers are so respected yet mutants are segregated and hunted — a reason why Simon Kinberg has stated thatFantastic Four (2015) won't take place in the X-Men universe.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The bittersweet but somewhat hopeful endings of X-Men United and The Last Stand are now significantly less so due to the (non-cosmic) retcon in this movie, which essentially reveals that the future of relations between mutants and the rest of humanity were always doomed, due to events set in motion decades before the first movie.
The final scene in X-Men: First Class (in which the young Magneto begins his Start of Darkness by rescuing Emma Frost and giving his nickname for the first time) seems a lot more grim when you realize that most of the people standing in the room with him (save for Mystique) died offscreen between films, and no one besides Erik or Mystique giving a damn about their deaths.
In X-Men, Mystique injected a substance into Cerebro that was either meant to put Xavier into a coma or kill him. Now that old Xavier himself confirms that he and Mystique grew up together, it turns her actions in the first film into a cruel betrayal. Mystique had fallen so low that she had no emotional problem with putting her adoptive brother into a coma and possibly killing him just to further an agenda.
However, this is one of many things that may now no longer have happened due to the Cosmic Retcon.
She may have had an emotional problem. Someone with her abilities could have used a much more lethal poison, or a bomb, to ensure that Xavier dies. Instead, Mystique used a drug which the professor would have a fair chance of surviving.
When Erik offers to play chess as a peace offering to Charles during the plane ride to Paris, it's not just because he feels guilty for losing his temper earlier, but he knows that this is his last chance to bond amicably with Charles before carrying out his plan to murder Mystique. If it were successful, Xavier would never forgive him for killing his beloved sister, so Erik believed at the time that he'd lose any hope of reconciling afterwards.
Professor X's line "Experimentation on mutants—it's not unheard of" in X-Men becomes more chilling when you take into account Bolivar Trask's examination and dissection of mutants in this movie. Xavier would be thinking more specifically of Banshee's death and the torture Mystique endured before she managed to escape Trask Industries in the original timeline.
When Bobby informs Logan in X2: X-Men United that there is no beer at the school, it's obviously because Professor X doesn't want to encourage underage drinking, but there is an additional reason for the alcohol-free environment. This installment reveals that Charles was a drunkard in between 1963 and 1973, so naturally his older, wiser self doesn't want to be tempted by drink and risk a relapse.
We learn that Xavier harboured a Dark Secret from his childhood (i.e. mistaking the onset of his telepathy at age nine for a severe mental illness). While it's hinted in X-Men: First Class that his mother is an innately cold person, at least some of her aloofness can be attributed to the very strong stigma which existed around psychiatric disorders in the 1940s. No wonder Raven was Charles' oldest and only true friend—she was the sole individual in his social circle who didn't consider to him to be a "lunatic" because he heard voices in his head.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: Professor X reassuring Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand that "You are always welcome here. You are a part of this place" becomes that much sweeter when you take into account their close relationship in this movie.
The parents of Bobby Drake were horrified in X2: X-Men United when they thought that Wolverine was a teacher at the mansion (which was just Wolverine's convenient excuse at the time). Now, he is a teacher, for real. And who says that Bobby was not one of his students?
The reaction to Quicksilver, in a manner largely unrelated to the issues with his upcoming appearance in the Avengers sequel; many took exception to what appeared to be terrible visuals for the character when some of the still photos and character shoot images were revealed, and stated that they would wait for Whedon's sequel for a 'true' take on the character. Cut to the film's release, and it looks like Whedon actually has a pretty high benchmark to meet, given Singer's Quicksilver has been embraced by the audience.
It's implied in a later scene that Hank is a Trekkie, so calling Peter's power "fascinating" was his attempt to emulate Spock, who is presumably his favourite character on Star Trek: The Original Series.
When the younger Charles loses his temper with Erik on the plane, his outburst demonstrates quite clearly that Erik's betrayal in First Class (where their friendship had only lasted a few months) had hurt him a lot more than Raven's (who grew up with him as a sister figure for 18 years).
Charles: YOU ABANDONED ME!!! You took her away, and YOU ABANDONED ME!!!
Logan outright refers to Erik as "someone he [Charles] loved" when trying to convince Charles to go and find him. Although it's possible he was referring to Mystique, they were talking about Erik at the time, and it's left deliberately ambiguous.
Logan: The professor I knew would never turn his back on someone who lost their path, especially someone he loved.
When Logan asks Hank as to why Charles is in such bad shape, Hank lists Erik before Raven and the spinal cord injury, implying that the loss of Erik upset Charles more than the other two.
Hank: He lost everything: Erik, Raven, his legs...
After Charles punches Erik very hard in the face, not only does Erik not retaliate at all (it's extremely rare for him to not respond to violence with violence), but he simply wipes his mouth where he was hit as he cheerfully greets Charles without any sarcasm. After believing for 11 years that he'd never see Charles again (and 10 of those were spent in solitary confinement), Erik is so darn grateful to be in Charles' presence once more that he isn't the least bit angry by the latter's punch.
Erik: Good to see you, too, old friend.
Hank staying behind with Charles and taking care of him for a decade.
Hype Backlash: The film is hyped as being both a return to form for the X-Men films, mitigates all the troubling qualities of the previous instalment, and is said to be as good as the Marvel Cinematic Universe films; in other words, its very, very hyped up. For some, it really doesn't live up to it, especially those who still see many of the same issues as before creeping in.
Magnum Opus: The film has become this for the X-Men film series in general, and for Bryan Singer specifically. It's the highest-rated film in the series as well as Singer's personal highest-rated film made (so far), and has received near-universal acclaim from both audiences and critics.
If Erik hadn't crossed it before, it's definitely when he orders the Sentinels under his control to "do what [they] were built to do." Not only is he willing to murder other mutants, he also just doesn't care beyond his moral agenda. Granted, he did do some morally questionable stuff in the earlier films (such as, for example, turning Stryker's planned mutant genocide on humanity itself), but it's quite clear that he had mellowed considerably since 1973, and the fact that his future self is firmly with the good guys in this film only proves how much he'd matured morally over half a century and is most certainly no small miracle.
Much of the film's plot is built around Charles, Hank, and Logan trying to prevent Raven/Mystique from crossing her (In-universe) MEH of killing Trask. Erik tries to stop her at first, but tries to push her into murdering humans when her blood is taken anyway.
Magneto names the mutants who have died when he lashes out at Professor X for the latter's apathy and inaction. But it falls rather flat when — except for Sean Cassidy — every character he mentions supported Sebastian Shaw, the villain in First Class, in his nuclear winter plot, and had attempted to kill/successfully killed Xavier's proteges. Xavier has little reason to mourn for their loss, or feel regret that he didn't help to save them.
The future Sentinels dispatch their enemies in such hilariously over-the-top ways that it can be hard not to snicker.
At one point, a character (Mystique) screams "Get out of my head, Charles!" when Professor X is trying to reach said character. While the scene it's in is dramatic and well-acted, the Narm kicks in if you remember that line as being one of Juggernaut's many catch phrases in "The Juggernaut, Bitch!"
There's only so many times you can stand dramatically in one place, arms out, palms up, while stuff just floats around you before it becomes silly. This goes for Magneto and Apocalypse.
Also, Magneto's aerial propulsion onto a train towards the beginning of the third act via pelvic thrust.
Narm Charm: The 1973 scenes may look a tad colorful and flamboyant, if not outright dorky, to a 21st Century audience. But they really do give an authentic '70s feel and even add to the tension.
Older Than They Think: This film introduced mainstream audiences to the character of Blink, whose power is essentially to create portals. This resulted in many people saying the character must've been inspired by the video game Portal, even though the character Blink predates that game by over a decade.
Quicksilver appears briefly to help break Erik out of prison, being both marvellous and hilarious in the process.
The guy in The Stinger (Apocalypse) also leaves a mark.
While they appear in several scenes, most of the future mutants appear for such a small amount of time but have such impressive fight scenes that it can lead to this.
Only The Creator Does It Right: Cemented by having Singer back in the director's chair and getting an overwhelmingly positive reception, with many calling it the best in the franchise so far. Days of Future Past's success has reinforced the sentiment among a lot of fans that Singer is the Team Dad of the movie series (with Matthew Vaughn as the Cool Uncle, James Mangold as as a sort of non-entity, and Brett Ratner and Gavin Hood as the Babysitter from Hell).
Overshadowed By Controversy: Inverted, oddly enough. The critical and commercial success of the film was able to overshadow director Bryan Singer's sexual assault allegations.
The Cosmic Retcon of the two most disliked movies in the series, as mentioned under Author's Saving Throw and Broken Base, can be seen as this. Even more so since among the things retconned out is Origins' reviled version of Deadpool, opening the door to a more fan-friendly version of the popular character, as hinted by comments from the creators.
Making Kitty the key to sending people into the past may have been an attempt to placate the fans who were mad that Logan was sent back instead of her. In this case, it's something that only pleased some of the base.
Before the movie's release, Evan Peters' portrayal Quicksilver was already being highly criticized for a) not being the same as Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: The Age of Ultron and b) his costume, which many called ridiculous. When the people got to see him in the film, the public's opinion of him changed radically after the Kitchen Scene.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Blink and Warpath have been fairly popular with fans, despite the two of them not sharing any dialogue with each other.
The special effects are extremely top notch, but there are times when the 70s-era Sentinels (notably the one that Magneto places metal into on the train) look off.
In the stinger, Apocalypse's pyramid-forming looks a bit on the Conspicuous CG side.
The triumphant moment of Mystique smiling at Xavier and Beast after refusing to kill Trask is somewhat marred by the dodgy CGI effects used on her eyes when she looks over at them. The compositing of the CGI makes it look like she's going cross-eyed.
Beast, where in his other appearances looks very feline, here looks like Teen Wolf...
Ever wondered what a big-budget Portal movie adaptation would look like? Blink's fight scenes give you a pretty damn good idea.
Strawman Has a Point: An inverse of the situation seen in X1. This time, it's the government who takes the side of the mutants at Trask's Senate hearing and refuse to give the funding he needs to create the Sentinel program. The problem is that Trask has very well-founded fears that the audience can sympathize with. He correctly points out that the U.S. and Russia nearly went to war in the course of a single battle as a result of mutant intervention (which they officially deny, but are later seen to have removed several pieces of clothing and technology from and stored). After the Paris Peace Accord incident, he then points out that the participants include a man who can direct metal (and is the prime suspect/convicted prisoner in the death of a sitting U.S. President), another who believes that mutants will drive humanity into extinction, and a third who can shapeshift into anyone and order a nuclear strike if she felt like it. It doesn't justify his genocidal tendencies towards mutants, but these are some very real fears.
Wolverine being the one to travel back in time rather than Shadowcat, who did so in the original storyline. Part of the reason this causes backlash is that Shadowcat's role has been played by another character before, by Bishop in the 90's cartoon (presumably in an attempt to capitalize on the then-recently introduced character's popularity). Not to mention the Professor more-or-less filling the role in Wolverine and the X-Men.
Pietro being renamed 'Peter' to Americanize him is also a point of contention for some. Especially as it comes after the many times the films have turned non-American characters into Americans, including changing their names to more American sounding ones.
The only mutants in the future who get any meaningful dialogue are Xavier and Magneto, with the rest essentially being glorified cameos, even established characters like Storm, Iceman, and Kitty Pryde. This is mostly a result of several scenes cut from the film in order to keep the runtime short.
Those hoping for more of the First Class mutants in future installments had their hopes dashed when nearly all of them were killed offscreen. Unless said characters are revealed to be Not Quite Dead (which certainly could happen with Emma Frost as she was not among the autopsies of confirmed dead mutants) or come Back from the Dead, they aren't going to be used again - which is a bit strange when you consider that this movie resurrected every other character.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the end of the film, pre-Adamantium Wolverine is shown being dredged out of the Potomac River and released into Stryker's custody. Only it's not actually Stryker, but Mystique in disguise. Stryker getting his hands on Logan in such a manner would have been the perfect way to maintain the connection between their characters and subject him to Weapon X.
Unfortunate Implications: It's been suggested that the casting of Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask was an attempt to invoke unfortunate implications; by insinuating that his hatred of mutants is due to bitterness that he has a genetic mutation that gives him dwarfism rather than being telepathic or able to manipulate metal. Though he admitted it was on the edge of bad taste, Spoony felt the implication added depth to the character. It should also be noted that Peter Dinklage disagrees with this interpretation. (One of the greatest challenges for dwarf actors is finding characters who are not defined by their dwarfism.)
There is no doubt Mystique is a heroic figure in the movie. By the 70s, she is the only one who actively works for the mutant cause and does things like rescuing Alex's unit from being experimented on by Trask. However, her assassination plan needs work. She consistently chooses to attack Trask at very high profile events like the Paris Peace Conference and the Sentinel demonstration in Washington DC, where security is typically tight and she has a higher risk of being killed and/or captured, which is exactly what happens in the original timeline when Charles Xavier isn't there to talk her out of killing Trask. Also, the fact that she's so determined even when she's flat-out told that it's going to end badly. As the Honest Trailers puts it: "Mystique, a mutant so stubborn, she'd rather cause the apocalypse than listen to reason. (Cue montage of Mystique staying determined to kill Trask even when Magneto and Charles both try to talk her out of it.) When your psychic friend, his mortal enemy, and a dude from the future are all telling you the same thing, you should probably listen to them, idiot."
Magneto deciding to try and kill Mystique is hypocritically in-character for him. The stupid part is doing it in front of two people who would be capable of kicking his ass for trying it, one of whom does and comes very close to killing him. Certainly he could have waited for a more advantageous location to do it, like their metal plane.
Despite having the same age rating as most other superhero films, film goes so far with some of the deaths in the Bad Future that it should have received a higher age rating. The opening scene is disturbing and highly non-child-friendly.
Wolverine's naked ass, after getting out of bed that was also occupied by a naked woman.
Magneto's chest piece gets flak for looking cheap and silly. Also, Magneto of both past and future has a cape with one half full and the other half only a half cape, making some bizarre 3/4 cape. It sort of makes sense for Future Magneto (fashion choices are limited in a Bad Future) but then his 70's self rolls out with it and we're left to assume that, no matter how many options Magneto has, he just has no taste in clothing.
While the mostly dark or black future outfits aren't bad by any means, there's been a lot of flak for them being rather dull and unmemorable. This is a problem people have had with the costumes since the first film, with the exception of the blue and yellow costumes from First Class.
Quicksilver's outfit also got a lot of flak over the silver jacket and such, though this dialed down after release.
Win Back the Crowd: With the success of The Avengers, fans began clamoring for the X-Men characters to return to Marvel Studios. Aside from the obvious crossover potential, fans thought that Fox wouldn't be able to do the series as much justice as Marvel would. It was then up to Fox to prove that they could. Word of God from the creators was that the film was specifically conceived as an "apology" to everyone who was disappointed with X-Men: The Last Stand.
Charles. His whole world has collapsed around him, he's plagued by bad dreams, and has basically become a drug junkie. He is very clearly in need of major hugs.
Everybody in the bad future. They've clearly been through hell and especially Bishop, since he's usually the one who goes back in time to warn the rest of them after a Sentinel attack. It gets into Nightmare Fuel territory when you think about how many times he must have had to hear his friends being brutally murdered behind him while hoping that he and Kitty will be fast enough to alter the timeline.
Future Magneto when he holds Xavier's hand as he's dying and laments that they wasted so many years fighting each other when they should have been working together all along.
Raven, who has had many former friends killed, sees what they were put through For Science!, and wants to kill Trask for it, and still shows herself to be very conflicted and uneasy about doing it.
Wolverine. His life has been one tragedy after another. Despite Past!Charles being in a terrible place, his reaction to reading Logan's mind is one of shock and sympathy.
Charles: You poor, poor man.
Thankfully several of these tragedies are undone when the Bad Future timeline is erased.
Kitty, who gets sliced to hell when Logan freaks out in the past and spends the rest of the movie trying to hold him there while slowly bleeding to death. By the end, she's openly crying in pain, but she doesn't let go.