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). And to the movie's credit, no one ever really mentions or even seems to notice that Trask is a dwarf (except maybe that one senator during the first congress hearing who subtly compares him to a Neanderthal). If he were played by a non-dwarf actor, almost nothing would need to be changed.
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?
Did future Magneto honestly believe 70s Magneto would help Wolverine and co. and that him going rogue was unforeseen, or was it all part of his plan? Though he might not have known how his younger self would react.
Author's Saving Throw: Several examples, to the point this could be called "Author's Saving Throw: The Movie."
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 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. Although 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.
Xavier's fans were extremely annoyed when he was given the Angst? What Angst? treatment in X-Men: First Class after the trauma he had experienced during the climax, so Days of Future Past rectifies this by revealing that Charles had bottled up his emotions as a coping mechanism, but the dam he had placed over his pain finally bursts when he's forced to close his school after a single semester. Moreover, First Class was heavily advertised as containing two lead characters of equal importance, but in truth, Magneto was the main protagonist, so those who liked Xavier more were understandably disappointed. Bryan Singer, a Professor X fanboy, balances out this inequality by giving the younger Charles the most Character Development in the sequel.
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. note Except that taking the serum cancels Xaviers powers, yet in those films he walks and uses his powers at the same time. Presumably someone managed to make a version(s) of the serum without the consequences, but it was too unstable to be used consistently.
Bellisario's Maxim: Producer Simon Kinberg has stated that this movie retcons the entirety of the X-Men film series, including things that it should logically not affect, such as Wolverine having Adamantium claws in the Bad Future after losing them in The Wolverine, or certain characters being born in different time periods than they were originally shown (such as Toad). It sounds more like he wanted to go for a complete Continuity Reboot without calling the movie one.
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. The Wolverine is also erased, but since Wolverine still remembers the events of that film, it isn't as bad.
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. Although Logan's role in the movie is fairly minor; in the 1970's, he takes a backseat to Charles, Erik, and Raven.
Some reviewers of The Rogue Cut thought the new scenes helped flesh out the story and characters, while others saw them as Padding that ruined the pace. Though for the latter group, this is somewhat migitated by the fact that the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of this cut include the theatrical version as well.
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 main 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 main series X-Men film in terms of worldwide box office by far, usurping the position previously held by The Last Stand.
As with Sony's Amazing Spider-Man films, many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe criticized 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 (as they would eventually in 2017). All the more since the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Quicksilver had already appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and later in Avengers: Age of Ultron. And then there were 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 especially the Inhumans. 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.
Heck, the entire movie becomes this with the reveal that mutant-kind has been dying out in Logan.
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 first movie has Professor X telling Logan, "I give you my word that I will use all my power to help you piece together what you've lost, and what you're looking for." Wolverine doesn't know it yet, but what he's truly looking for is right in front of him. As X-Men: Days of Future Past demonstrates, Xavier is the person who gives meaning to Logan's existence; the "master" to his "samurai," so to speak. This is especially true in the Alternate Timeline, where Wolverine has settled down as a history teacher at Charles' school, and is genuinely happy—probably the happiest we've seen him in the entire film franchise. Days of Future Past makes it clear that it's Xavier—and not Jean Grey, as The Wolverinemight have you believe—who is the most significant figure in Logan's life during his post-amnesia years.
McCoy asks Charles, "Are you sure you should've let them [Magneto and Mystique] go?", and Xavier's reply is, "I have hope for them. There's going to be a time, Hank, when we're all together." He's half-right, because Raven does come home to him in X-Men: Apocalypse as his team's Number Two. Although Erik doesn't stay after he helps Jean to rebuild the school, he and Charles do reconcile, and Lehnsherr's farewell hints that he'll return to visit some day.
The farewell scene between Xavier and Peter turned out to be an important piece of Foreshadowing because Quicksilver becomes Professor X's protégé after the Final Battle of X-Men: Apocalypse. In 1973, it was Charles (and not Erik, who was the subject of the prison break) who had thanked Maximoff for his help, gave the teen a task which required some responsibility (i.e. returning the rental car), and offered him a paternal-sounding "Take it slow" as a goodbye, which made Peter grin. That small gesture ended up carrying a lot of meaning because Quicksilver chooses Xavier as his Parental Substitute over his own father a decade later.
The older Professor X reassures his younger self that empathy is "...the greatest gift we have: to bear their pain without breaking." That must have sounded like a bold statement to his 1973 self because at the time, he regarded his psychic nature as a grave weakness, but his elderly self is proven right in X-Men: Apocalypse. Xavier shoulders the burden of Jean Grey's distress over her telepathy, and this forges a strong father-daughter-like connection between them. Through The Power of Love, he helps her to conquer her fears during the climax, and she is able to use the Phoenix Force to save his life and the world.
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!!!
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.
Without any context, this scene would look like Erik and Charles are engaged in a romantic Held Gaze. This io9 article mentions "Young Professor X and Magneto smoldering at each other!" as one of the highlights of the trailer.
Considering that chess is sometimes used as a metaphor for romance and sex, there is a slight Double Entendre when Erik attempts to persuade Charles to join him for a game of chess as a peace offering.
Charles: It's been a while since I've played. Erik: I'll go easy on you.
Ian McKellenwishes there was a scene of Erik making love to Charles... only to reveal that "Charles" was Mystique in disguise. (So what the actor is suggesting is that Magneto only became romantically involved with Mystique because he couldn't have Xavier.)
McKellen: I thought it would be wonderful to have a scene in which you saw Magneto waking up, probably making love to [...] Mystique, and it would begin with Magneto making love to Professor X who turns into her. Wouldn't that be fun?
Hank staying behind with Charles and taking care of him for a decade. James McAvoy even joked about the inherent slash-iness of the two characters in this interview.
McAvoy: Hank is my enabler and my bitch.
There's a brief moment in the Gag Reel on the Blu-Ray/DVD release where Nicholas Hoult lifts James (who is much shorter than his younger co-star) into his arms and performs a Bridal Carry.
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 installment, 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.
Mentor Ship: There has been a small, but noticeable increase in Charles/Logan◊ shippers thanks to James McAvoy and Hugh Jackman sharing a lot of screentime together. It's a pairing that works both ways because Logan counsels the younger Xavier in this movie, but Professor X is Wolverine's mentor in the original trilogy.
Moral Event Horizon: 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.
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 marvelous 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.
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 (which were subsequently dismissed).
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 Pentagon 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 conversation between the younger and older Professor X. Pretty much every trailer either began with or ended with the two Xaviers facing one another, a metaphorical and literal meeting of the prequels and the modern-day.
Peter's Bullet Time run through the Pentagon kitchen is easily one of the most memorable parts of the film.
Past Magneto effortlessly lifting an entire baseball stadium with his power.
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...
Guy gets sent to the past to save someone whose death is a crucial factor in the current Robot War. Sounds familiar... However, the film is based on a comic book that pre-datedTerminator. And Bryan Singer even asked James Cameron for advice on pulling off time travel.
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: The film presents the 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 there 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.
Bishop in particular. Although the '90s Anti-Hero fad burned out a long time ago, he remains a rather popular character (very much like Cable) and enjoys the honor of having been the character sent back in the 90's animated adaptation of the storyline (which is presumably why he appears in this film and is the first character seen using the travel). However, his film version lacks any meaningful background or motivations, shows a notably different personality, and barely has any lines at all. As this is the only film in the franchise to deal with one of the X-Men's many potential future timelines, many people would have wanted to see his character used for something more than being one of many red shirt heroes.
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.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch is reduced to a baby Mythology Gag rather than exploring her as a character and relationship with Quicksilver and Magneto.
With Banshee's sudden death between First Class and this film, he can't possibly be the father of Siryn like in the comics.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the end of the film, pre-Adamantium Wolverine is 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. Fortunately for the detractors, the next film put this issue to bed by essentially retconning it away.
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. The first attempt can be semi-justified by her having found out about her friends' deaths the night before (and therefore probably acting rashly). The second however...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. Even if he succeeded, it still would have resulted in Trask getting her body. You know, that thing that we know he studies to get his Sentinel project running?
Despite having the same age rating as most other superhero films, the 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 a bed that was also occupied by a naked woman.
Win Back the Crowd: With the success of The Avengers (2012), some fans began clamoring for the X-Men characters to return to Marvel Studios. Aside from the obvious crossover potential, those 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.
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. The Rogue Cut changes this. She still gets stabbed, but is only able to hold on for so long before Rogue is brought in to replace her. Rogue mentions to Kitty that Bobby didn't make it, which only increases the grief in the room.
In The Rogue Cut, Rogue has spent years being experimented on to further the Sentinel Program and the moment she is freed doesn't mean she's any better off. Especially since her ex-boyfriend is killed in front of her eyes. Also, watch her face when one of the sentinels bursts into the monastery, ready to fire. She knows it is the end.
Thankfully several of these tragedies are undone when the Bad Future timeline is erased.
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 have been a lot of complaints 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 generated a lot of grumbling over the silver jacket and such, although this dialed down after the movie's release.