Earlier, after my first viewing of the new X-Men film, I set fingers to key and cranked out thousands of words about how much I enjoyed the film. And I do. The good parts are very good. Just like Rogue, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler, Quicksilver gets an introduction that ensures viewers never forget him.
Unfortunately, there is also much in X-Men: Days Of Future Past that flat-out makes me uncomfortable to watch it. Or rather, there is one specific element that is extremely distasteful.
In the “present day” scenario, we are told that things are the way they are because Trask Industries capture and experiment upon Mystique, a Mutant whose retarded ageing and ability to metamorphose into any appearance she pleases essentially enables the Sentinels to adapt to any fight the Mutants put up against them. In addition, her assassination of Trask Industries’ figurehead, Bolivar Trask, makes the normies decide that his pleas for funding to carry out his Mutant extermination program were indeed warranted. Or something close to that mark.
The logic of the story as it unfolds in the “past” scenario is that if Mystique stops trying to kill Trask, the normies will follow her lead and police their own. Come again?
Let us go to our consultant for the day, the great and wise Assata Shakur:
(Note for the dense: This “interview” is completely made up for illustrative purposes.)
Me: Ms. Shakur, there are some very dense people in the world who do not understand what you meant in this quote…
Shakur: Are you kidding me? Think about it. You have an economy that provides you with huge material comfort, but that comfort depends on your enslavement of people who are politically and socially weaker than you. Suddenly, they come to your table and say “please, we want a say in how our own affairs are governed”. What would you say in response to them, assuming your own comfort to be more important to you than your so-called morals?
Me: I am not those people, so I can only speculate. But knowing them the way I do, I expect they would tell us to fukk off and keep digging.
Me: Bryan Singer and his screenwriters, at least on this go-around, seem to think we will get different results by “showing them the way”.
Shakur: I have already anticipated what you might write in response to such a proposition. That the author of that scene must be legally retarded. I have heard of how “incorrect” it is to say such things nowadays. Well, I am here to tell you that a normie must have come to the homes of Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, and Matthew Vaughn, and replaced them with ignorant idiots who have never witnessed a power struggle in their lives as was necessary to get this part of the film on paper.
Me: Thank you, Ms. Shakur, that will be all.
Truthfully, I suppose I should have expected this. Bryan Singer is a great director with this kind of material, but when a studio says “work with the work of these writers”, that is basically it when the budget is over 100 million. Dan Harris, David Hayter, and Zak Penn are the people who brought us the best X-Men to date, and that is because they understand a fundamental thing about normies.
You see, when evil people are in positions of power, they only think in terms of what is necessary to continue holding that power. When an enemy that they deem to not be one of them saves one of their lives, they do not think “oh, thank you, I guess we better put our plans to exterminate your kind in the bin”. If that were the case, then the Wrights would have disbanded Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes years ago.
Deciding that this or that group of people should be eliminated or removed from one’s world is not a rational decision, at least not in the generalised sense. If one has difficulties with people asking sinister-sounding, dirty-sounding questions about their sex lives, difficulties with PTSD symptoms attached, then one might not want to be dealing with “doctors” from a culture where personal space appears to not be a consideration.
But much like Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes and anyone who supports them, the murderous norms in the X-Men canon have made a unilateral decision that any Mutant, all Mutants, are to be wiped from their world without regard to consequence or the details of the Mutant. They do not care if the Mutants in question are even children. Line them up against a wall, shoot them. That is the unspoken policy.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past does nothing to change the pervasive feeling established in the other real X-Men films that normies are the enemy.
If you still have not seen the film, then take that as a warning. If, after watching X-Men and X2 you have walked away from the screen feeling that the Humans Professor X is constantly pleading on the behalf of are all basically Nazis in waiting, X-Men: Days Of Future Past will not change that.
Now, for a moment here, I will speak about the blink-and-you-will-miss-them Mutants we see in the “present”. In spite of how poorly some of them (*cough* Bishop *cough*) are fleshed out, all of them have families and people who care about them. One of the boldest tricks in this part of the film is to demonstrate how Shadowcat, wounded and practically on death’s door, is kept sending Wolverine back in time anyway because if she does not, the Mutants might as well all be dead anyhow. That gives the rest of the Mutants seen in these sequences a sense of having had lives outside of the present situation. (Let us not get into how Halle Berry sucks at this.)
But no, all throughout the main part of the film we are bombarded with “Humans good, Humans nice, Humans sweet, it is just the bad ones we have a problem with”. Or as the older Professor X puts it, the extermination campaign against mutants and anyone who tries to help them leaves only the worst of Humanity in charge. Fukk you, Professor X. Because with Hillary Clinton (“thank you, Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes, for dehumanising and organising the mass murder of the autistic”) preening about like she is already President, I have something to say to you that might come as a bit of a rude shock.
The worst of humanity are already in charge.
(Apparently the next film will be set in 1983. Take this as a warning, X-Men producers: if you try to tell me that Ronnie Ray-gun was one of us, I will burn the theatre down in protest.)
But there is one scene in particular in Days Of Future Past that really continues to get my goat, long after I have finished watching. Professor X and Magneto start arguing. After revealing that far from assassinating Kennedy, Magneto was actually trying to save him… wait, let me start over.
“The bullet curved,” Professor X whines. So what, Professor? I realise that your area of expertise is not ballistics, but let me tell you something I learned about snipers just doing a little bit of online reading.
Bullets curve, sway, rock, and do just about anything you can possibly imagine, at a distance. Snipers do not simply look down a scope and pull a trigger. They have to take into account wind direction, wind strength, wind sudden changes, and that is just wind-related things. This article on Cracked.com lists five impossible shots that were made by snipers. Number five (that is, first) on the list has this to say about wind and sniping:
when you’re trying to shoot from far away with any kind of wind, you have almost no goddamned idea where the bullet will end up
So we are supposed to think “oh, Magneto killed President Kennedy because the bullet curved”? Fukk you, Professor. Unless the bullet somehow crawled up its own arse, disappeared, and then crawled back out again to hit Kennedy in the head, your statement is stupidity in extremis.
But it gets worse.
Earlier on, when Mystique is doing legwork for her assassination of Trask, she finds a file hidden in his office. This file contains reports concerning several mutants who were abducted, tortured, and murdered by Trask and his company. Pictures of Tempest, Banshee, Azazel, and Emma Frost are seen. Although these pictures are quite PG-13ish in nature (boo!), they are enough to convey something unforgiveable. That these Mutants died alone, surrounded by enemies, in pain so intense that it makes the subjects of Cruciform songs seem pleasant by comparison.
So after Professor X’s stupid accusation, we are then treated to another exhibition of why Magneto is the real good guy in all of these films. To the good Professor, he names the Mutants who were murdered whilst the Professor went off to sulk in a corner. As he does so, his power over magnetic fields goes absolutely apeshit, jerking the plane about like a six-inch teddybear. You abandoned them, Magneto tells the Professor.
After Magneto relents and lets the plane right itself, the moment where I just want to kick Hugh Jackman in the groin until he urinates blood comes. Wolverine reflects to Magneto that apparently Magneto always was an asshole.
How is that again, Wolvy baby? At the end of First Class, Professor X makes clear a plan to create his school as a sanctuary for other Mutants, a place where, as is put at a later time, they can be safe from everyone else. Then he goes and sulks in a corner about wanting to be able to walk again and blah blah. Consequently, four Mutants that we got to grow to love in varying amounts last time we saw them are dead. And not just dead, but dead in the worst possible ways.
Magneto is an asshole? No, Professor X is, and he is such an asshole that I spent all of the rest of the film (with one exception) wanting to kick his teeth in.
Magneto is not able to help the dead Mutants due to his being imprisoned, sure, but then, he does not have a plush estate that he can use to provide sanctuary, either. In fact, throughout the entire canon, his work has been about advancing the cause that Mutants deserve to be protected from the people who are determined to exterminate them, and if governments will not provide that protection, he shall.
Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, yes, there are plenty of moments in the story where I could get behind Professor X. But the key to them all is a moment where old Professor X basically tells the younger Professor X to wake the fukk up to himself.
I do not care how much “critical praise” you received this time. In fact, that “critical praise” sort of proves me right about there being something fundamentally wrong with today’s media. In asking me to cheer on Wolverine and Professor X and be happy when the normies are saved, you are in effect asking me to cheer on people like Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes, mister Singer. You know, those people who got the prenatal test for the “gay gene” retooled into one for the autistic gene? Is any of this getting through to you?
You see, the scenario you describe in your films, it has a real-world analogue. And we are not just talking about the black Americans who wanted to be allowed to go to the tertiary schools. We are talking about a struggle today where a people with a unifying characteristic that is invisible to the naked eye are fighting an enemy that wants to use them to reenact the Holocaust, and is considered a charity by the government of your nation. When people write apologetics for that “charity”, it is like burning a cross in the yards of the good guys. Which happen to include me.
Oh yeah, and being one of the good guys in this war? It is like being a Mutant in your films. We do not get a choice in the matter.
X2 is still the best film you have made in this canon. For two reasons:
- Magneto gets to thoroughly paddle Professor X in the face with how right he is.
- The Humans prove, and keep proving very thoroughly, how right Magneto is.
By comparison, Days Of Future Past is deeply uncomfortable for me to watch or even think about. And I do not mean this in a good way. Just as silence gives consent, apologising for completely unconscionable behaviour encourages it.
Granted, Days Of Future Past is not nearly as bad as what I like to call X-Men In Name Only. But in this little generalised way, it can be seen as being worse.
Even Ratner understood that you do not stop a social majority from exterminating a social minority by asking them nicely enough. Please convince me again next time that you do, too.