The Rogue Element – X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut (Film Review)

When I saw this film the first time around, I thought it was an excellent addition to the X-Men series, and probably the best one after its predecessor X-Men: First Class. If you found yourself spending literally hours arguing in the pub over which super mutant actor pairing is better, McKellan & Stewart or McAvoy & Fassbender, then fear no more because in this one they’re ALL here! Yes ladies and gentlemen, dreams do come true.

People keep asking me what the whole Rogue Cut thing is, so to summarize it’s a director’s cut with an additional 17 minutes of footage that includes Anna Paquin’s role as Rogue. We first encountered her in the original X-Men film from 2000, where we see her as a grumpy adolescent who really wants some friends but kills everything she touches (bloody teenagers eh). To be more precise, Rogue can absorb other mutants’ powers simply by touching them, which comes in very handy (pun intended) when she startles a sleeping Wolverine, gets stabbed in the chest, then borrows Wolverine’s healing powers (nearly killing him in the process). The takeaway from this is that out of all the mutants, Rogue is especially rare, and useful for both good and bad purposes.

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There was a slight uproar when director Bryan Singer decided to cut out Paquin’s role from the original release, so understandably fans have been looking forward to seeing how this extra footage impacts the story. I must admit however, that it adds very little. Rogue is essentially added in to take over Kitty’s/Shadowcat’s job of maintaining Wolverine’s consciousness in the past after she gets injured by yet another flailing Wolverine claw (why do they keep going near this guy while he’s sleeping??). There is something of a sub-plot here as the other mutants first have to go and find Rogue, who is revealed to have been captured and experimented on at Professor X’s old school; but this is never really explained so her injection into the film seems to raise more questions than it answers. Writer Simon Kinberg stated that Paquin’s scenes were shot so as to give the elder Magneto and Prof. X a “mission”, but as the film focuses so heavily on the events in the past, I can see why these were cut from the original release.

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Though I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch the Rogue Cut, it’s still a cracking film and flies by despite the longer running time. My only gripe with DoFP would be that you do spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about ‘the timeline’ of the series. So this one’s before First Class but after The Last Stand? No wait, is it? It’s definitely before the first one because they’re all younger…but then they’re also older? And I could’ve sworn he got vaporised!

4/5

Dir: Bryan Singer

Scr: Simon Kinberg

Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin

Prd: Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer

DOP: Newton Thomas Sigel

Music: John Ottman

Country: USA/UK/Canada

Year: 2014

Run time: 149 mins

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is available on DVD now via 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment