As director’s cut re-titles go it doesn’t get much more on the nose than X-Men: Days Of Future Past – The Rogue Cut. Because if you cast your minds back to the promotional material for the cinematic release of Days Of Future Past you may recall a selection of character posters which revealed Anna Paquin’s Rogue. But upon release the power-absorbing mutant was strangely absent, quite literally having seemingly gone rogue barring a last minute cameo. The reason was typically commercial; at over two hours the running time was deemed too long so director Bryan Singer made the decision to erase one of the subplots that would not alter the overall narrative. Now, thanks to the magic of re-editing, the human equivalent of mutant time-travel, we have the edit of the film Singer always intended.
For the most part the story of Days Of Future Past remains the same. With their future being wiped out by the Sentinels, a robotic race able to inherit mutant powers with which to kill them, the X-Men, led by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) decide there is no choice but to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing the Sentinels designer Trask (Peter Dinklage). But upon his return he realises Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is in prison and Xavier (James McAvoy) has cast his powers aside.
Those familiar with the original cut of the film won’t see any changes till well past the ninety minute mark, which might account for why the added material was so easily removed. But the re-installed material does allow us a better glimpse into Mystique and Beasts relationship, things never get X-rated but do get very blue very quickly in one fire place romance scene. The other major addition is a great little montage of past and future Magnetos breaking into places which both highlight the anger boiling ever-close to the surface of the man who can control metal. Rogue, unfortunately for her, remains a fairly peripheral character, becoming little more than a get out of jail free card when the chips are down for the X-Men.
Although the additional material adds little, Days Of Future Past is still a thoroughly enjoyable superhero romp. At its best when witnessing the two different time-lines wonderfully intercut fly into action, the mutant powers never failing to dazzle. The film’s highlight remains Quicksilver’s (Evan Peters) Pentagon jail break but fans of the franchise will undoubtedly get a kick out of seeing the added scenes, even if it is superfluous to the tone and plot. It is befitting that it should be Singer, the man who first allowed X-Men to carve a path for the current superhero zeitgeist, who brings the two X-Timelines together, both rebooting the old and continuing the younger incarnations. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the first film was released but with the next film, Apocalypse, looking to both continue and reboot the franchise it continues possesses staying power. Oh how Marvel must be desperate to get their hands back on the X-Men, but as it stands they are in good hands.
Perhaps a case of milking it but X-Men Days Of Future Of Past: The Rogue Cut fleshes out an already rich and enjoyable story.