Fox unveiled an extended sequence from X-Men: Days of Future Past at CinemaCon today and, as an avowed DOFP skeptic, I have to admit I was impressed. The sequence we saw included an action scene that is, without a doubt, the best action sequence in Bryan Singer’s filmography. Granted that’s a low, low bar, but this would have been a solid showing from any comic book movie.
The sequence was in the future, and Sentinels are dispatched to find and kill mutants living underground. Their delivery system (and the world) is reminiscent of The Matrix, but once the Sentinels - who can adapt to any situation and change their form - drill into the secret base it gets real good.
The mutants on hand: Sunspot, Iceman, Bishop, Kitty Pryde, Blink and Warpath. Kitty Pryde and Bishop immediately run off while the other X-Men keep the semi-liquid metal robots busy. There are good action beats using the characters’ powers, especially Blink, whose portals allow Warpath to do some really fun run and jumps onto the Sentinels. Iceman glides around on an ice slide, and Sunspot becomes a being of lava and fire as he blasts robots.
Kitty and Bishop (who uses Sunspot’s fire to charge his big dumb gun) are running off to a closet someplace. Bishop lays down and Kitty starts massaging his temples, and it becomes clear that she’s sending his consciousness back in time. The others are buying them minutes… with their lives. A Sentinel snaps Sunspot’s neck. Iceman has his head popped off and is crushed underfoot. Blink gets skewered. Warpath gets blasted to smithereens.
But it was worth it! As the Sentinel breaks into the closet, blasting fire, Kitty looks up and says, “Too late, asshole!” and everything disappears. The past has been changed.
The action was pretty good, and while the designs of the characters are a touch X-Treme for my taste, the tone worked. I’m not sure how Kitty Pryde managed to learn how to send people back in time, but maybe that’s addressed. Or maybe not.
What’s intriguing is that this sets up the possibility that Bishop goes back in time himself - could he end up a foil for Wolverine in the '70s? Could he have gone back to the '90s and that’s how we’ll get cameos from those characters? Obviously he somehow fails, because they end up sending Wolverine to the past. Unless they’re sending multiple people back, Terminator-style.
I was surprised at how good the sequence was, and how it looked only moderately cheap (the X-Men movies have been really, really cheap looking). This is the first time I find myself looking forward to this movie.