X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut (2015, Bryan Singer)

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Spoiler warning: these reviews reveal plot twists.

A year after the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, a different edit was made available on Blu-ray and DVD. Called The Rogue Cut because the most attention-grabbing addition was an entirely new subplot concerning that character, it’s around 17 minutes longer than the original. I’ve already written about the theatrical print, so this review is concerned with the changes made in 2015. It’s far from a full list. I’m just mentioning what I spotted and thought interesting…

* During the opening action sequence, we now see a glimpse or two of a temporary shrine the characters have built to fallen comrades. Aww.
* The minor characters in the future stuff now have a discussion about the pros and cons of changing history. “My people need to vote,” says Bishop as it concludes. Charles looks round the group, reading their thoughts: “They just did,” he says. “They’re in.”
* Kitty and Bobby share a moment – and a kiss – as she prepares to send Wolverine back in time.
* After Logan gets to 1973 and wakes up in bed with a woman called Gwen, his fight with some goons is more violent. There’s then an extra scene. He steals a heavy’s car and finds Gwen in the passenger seat. She clearly knows the 1970s Logan well, but this version just tells her to get out. As he drives away, we hear a radio news report about the end of the Vietnam War and see the World Trade Centre in the background – further reinforcements of the time period.
* In the 70s, when Logan, Charles and Hank need to find Quicksilver’s address, Logan laments that they don’t have the internet.
* There’s a new exchange at Quicksilver’s house: Logan trades a bit of banter with Quicksilver’s younger sister and there’s also mention of a third sibling (a nod to the fact that Quicksilver has a twin sister in the comics).
* Nixon’s first line while he watches news reports about mutants – “Fuck me!” – had been cut from the original version. A little while later another line has been reinstated – “I don’t care who you screw,” he says to Trask, “as long as it’s not me.”
* In the original version, the comatose Logan in the future scenes lashes out and injures Kitty. She then has to maintain the time-travel trance while bleeding. In this cut, however, Bobby suggests they find Rogue – a character from the original X-Men trilogy – so she can take Kitty’s place. It’s the headline change to the movie, and has a huge affect on the third quarter.
* Another huge change happens around this time too. In the original cut, Charles talks to Raven via telepathy and infers that she’s heading for Washington. That information has been removed from this version, though, and we cut to a new scene of Hank and Logan. Hank asks if he makes it in the future and Logan deadpans, “No.” (In the original, this exchange happens later on. Of course, that scene’s been trimmed out of this edit.)
* The new stuff continues… Hank is watching TV coverage about Trask when he hears a sound in the house and finds that Raven has sneaked in. She says she had nowhere else to go and kisses him. As they make out they turn into their (coincidentally both blue) mutant forms. He says she’s beautiful, which is a reference to a conversation they had in X-Men: First Class, but then pulls away and walks off. (That’s more willpower than I’d have, mate.)
* Then there’s a lovely dissolve from an exterior shot of the house in 1973 to the house in the war-torn future. In the 2020s, Charles, Erik and Bobby break into Charles’s former home to rescue Rogue. All this stuff is intercut with familiar shots of the 1973 Erik breaking into a government building. The crosscutting is really good, and was clearly the original intention during filming.
* In 1973 there’s a new scene of Raven sneaking into Cerebro and smashing up the equipment. After she’s left, she heads for Washington and we’re back into the original cut’s storyline.
* In the future, Rogue reaches the temple. Kitty learns that Bobby has been killed during the mission. Rogue then takes Kitty’s place by Logan’s side. (In the 70s, meanwhile, Logan somehow senses that Rogue is now in charge of his time-travelling.)
* In the White House sequence, Charles has a chat with an injured serviceman, who asks why he can’t walk. “Friendly fire,” says Charles.
* A new post-credits scene shows Trask in the same kind of prison that once held Erik. He’s grown a beard.

Review: The additions are good in and of themselves, and the flow of the storytelling is impressive when you see them in context. But it’s easy to see why the Rogue subplot was cut in 2014. It’s a tangent, a diversion, that doesn’t contribute anything new. Losing it didn’t damage the story. The Raven/Hank scenes were perhaps a greater loss, as they flesh out two key characters, though the pace was undoubtedly zippier without Raven’s visit to the house.

Eight Central Parks out of 10

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