Versus – X-Men 2 VS X-Men: Days of Future Past SPOILERS


Film Rambling - X-Men VersusSo we’ve established well by now in this particular ramble that you would have caught X-Men: Days of Future Past by now and that everything on here that you read beyond this point is considered a spoiler so incase you happen to have not caught the film yet, just remove this from your tab and come back when you’ve watched the film and are set to read this ramble.

Okay, so we already now that X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great film but what I’m doing here is comparing it to my favourite X-Men film, X-Men 2 or as it’s known for whatever reason X2: X-Men United. I don’t know why but X-Men 2 works well for me. So not only is X-Men 2 my favourite X-Men film to date, it’s also actually my favourite comic book film, but maybe Days of Future Past will change my mind. So we will look into depth of who which had the better story, particular characters and moments of the film and then with an overall verdict and here we go!

Story

X-Men 2

Prompted by a mutant attack on the President, military leader William Stryker is on a mission to eliminate mutants, and his first step is an assault on Professor Xavier’s school. Wolverine, Storm, Rogue and several other mutants scatter before reuniting and forming a fragile alliance with escaped prisoner Magneto and his cohort Mystique to put an end to Stryker’s mission to wipe out all the Mutants.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

In the future, most of Mutant kind and makind have been wiped out by Sentinels, who have been equipped with Raven’s DNA to adapt to any Mutant attack. The last surviving Mutants decide to send one of their own, Wolverine, back 50 years into the past to stop Raven from assassinating the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask, so therefore the war will never have begun.

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Vote: X-Men: Days of Future Past – Assembling the original cast with the new cast in a storyline that has been one of my favourites as a kid? Could only vote for this.

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Opening Scene

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - Best Opening Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men 2 White House SceneX-Men 2 opened with Nightcrawler teleport attacking the security in the White House like crazy before getting to the President. He is shot before he can stab the President with a knife and teleports away in pain. Just seeing that visual of him teleport attacking everyone in the room, in slow motion, then remembering that this is now ten years old and still holds up and makes your jaw drop is a testament to how well this was done. What an opening!

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Best Opening Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past OpeningTaking place after the credits, the Sentinels are dropped from a floating carrier and Warpath and Blink warn the others. Everyone here gets a bit of action screen time from Sunspot to Bishop using his powers (which are different on the big screen) to Colossus and Ice Man. Kitty Pryde takes Bishop to the end of the line and transports his mind back into the past to warn the others of the upcoming Sentinel attack and to move on to the next hide out as we witness how everyone else dies. Ouch Ice Man!

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Vote: X-Men 2As impressive as the Days of Future Past opening was to showcase just how screwed our Mutant brothers are against the Sentinel threat, still the White House Nightcrawler attack holds up as one of the most memorable openings of all time.

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Prison Escape

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - Best X-Men Prison Escape - X-Men 2 Prison EscapeAfter being locked up at the end of the first film in a prison made with no metal, it was intriguing to see through the second film just who was going to break Magneto out from his prison. Turns out essentially it was going to be Magneto himself, but not without the help of cohort Mystique who injects one of the prison guards with iron in their system, which Magneto uses to his advantage and use his powers to turn the metal into balls and bust open his ‘cell’, use some of it as a platform to float across the long drop room and get to the door and use the balls to bust it open and take out the remaining guards.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Better X-Men Film X-Men 2 or Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past Prison EscapeAgain, Magneto is stuck in a prison (this guy, really) is stuck in a cell several levels underneath the Pentagon for the assassination John F. Kennedy (allegedly) and Wolverine, Charles Xavier, Hank McCoy must find a way to get him out with using the help of a young man named Peter Maximoff aka Quicksilver. What takes place then is awesome Quicksilver moments busting Magneto out, getting him through the guards and protecting the back of his head from whiplash in the process and then the entire ‘Time In A Bottle’ sequence where we see how fast Quicksilver can move and have some fun while in the process of saving our Mutant heroes.

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Vote: X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Quicksilver factor edges the vote here.

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Xavier

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - Best Xavier Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men 2 XavierWe all like Patrick Stewart playing Charles Xavier, especially when partnered up alongside Ian McKellen as Magneto (when you think about it, it is crazy that they had the two signed up for the roles way back when comic book films weren’t taken seriously), here though Xavier is kind of the background character, until he is kidnapped by Stryker’s guys then manipulated into using a Cerebro device to wipe out all the Mutants. Not Xavier’s finest hour.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Best X-Men Xavier Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past XavierSpeaking of it not being Xavier’s finest hour, here we witness him at his lowest.  More or less Charles is a junkie, using a serum to give him back the power of his legs, but the consequences of it is losing his powers. We see Xavier as a broken man, with the loss of his ‘sister’ and best friend and the dramatic toll that his physic powers take on him. We witness that the ideology of Xavier’s methods of showing humans a better path to work along with Mutants take focus here on what we witness with Magneto’s ideology, we see Charles here like never before, more human in his lowest low and his eventual rise back to the man we know he will become.

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Vote: X-Men: Days of Future PastA more emotional and powerful portrayal of Xavier in this film and such a stunning performance from McAvoy.

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Magneto

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - Best Magneto Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men 2 MagnetoPretty much neutered in the first hour of the film in his prison cell, but once he busts out there’s just a few more badass moments in old Erik yet. While witnessing that Charles’s ideology in his mind isn’t working in the present predicament of what Stryker’s end game is, he gets to Cerebro, takes out the guards protecting it by taking out all the pins from the grenades they are equipped with and then proceeds to not only leave Charles in Cerebro, but manipulate Jason into making Charles change the plan of killing Mutants, but to turn on the humans instead. Such villainy.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Better Magneto Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past MagnetoAfter Erik’s breakout here, he has time to call out Charles for his neglect for the mutant cause by hiding away as a shell of a man he once knew him as (“You abandoned us all!”), to then attempting to kill Mystique to save the cause and their future (Also using his powers mind you to shoot the gun while Beast tried to stop him…quality) and then just a simple matter of re-configurating the Sentinel prototypes with metal so he can attack the humans and also lift a bloody stadium(!) to surround the White House with and attempt to kill the President. Erik is taking the implications of what happens in the future rather personally here.

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Vote: X-Men 2Magneto does some epic stuff in Days of Future Past, but none quite like breaking out of the prison with your own powers, the grenade moment, “You’re a God among Insects” line and of course making Charles try to wipe out the humans in a Cerebro device. Essentially last part is much handier than trying to wipe out a small amount of ‘big deal’ men in Days of Future Past.

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Wolverine

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - Best Wolverine in X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men 2 WolverineWolverine – adamantium claws – it just makes sense. Wolverine tries to figure out his past but learns nothing yet. When the school is under attack, Wolverine enters berserker mode and we just love seeing it as his rage unfolds to protect the kids from the clutches of Stryker’s men. It’s once he knows that Stryker is from his past that he tries to figure out who he is while also helping the X-Men get the professor back.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Better Wolverine Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past WolverineWolverine – bone claws – I just don’t like them. Wolverine is transported back to the 70’s to help guide Charles Xavier to become the man he will become to help prevent the assassination of Trask to prevent the future of war, death and hopelessness that follows from it. Here Wolverine takes a backseat, being a mentor to Charles here as Charles was to him when he was the hopeless student. Doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have his moments in this film but not as much as in previous.

Vote: X-Men 2Wolverine in berserker mode and with adamantium claws, just how I like it (bloody bone claws!).

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Other Characters

X-Men 2

X-Men 2 Other CharactersWhile others focused here at Nightcrawler (not at the same heights as his opening regrettably), Storm, Jean and Cyclops, when it comes to the big showdown the likes of Rogue, Ice Man and Pyro are benched. Hell even Colossus doesn’t exist after the school attack.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Better Cast Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past Other CharactersWith such a massive assembled cast, past and future, everyone gets their moment of screen time to shine, even Portal expert Blink to old Magneto just showing them all how it’s done in his tag team effort with Storm. Colossus gets more screen time here as does Ice Man’s powers.

Vote: X-Men: Days of Future PastBigger cast and yet it doesn’t feel like anyone in particular is wasted or taking time away from another character on the big screen.

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Villains

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - X-Men 2 William Stryker VillainThere was nothing worse that the X-Men have come across in the film verse than a man on a mission against Mutants and that was clear in X-Men 2 with the centre villain of William Stryker (played by Brian Cox). As much as he is obsessed with hunting and imprisoning mutants, he does so strategically, using methods of mind control drugs to get information he wants and even uses his mutant son, Jason, to manipulate Charles Xavier to use a carbon copy of Cerebro at his underground base to execute Xavier’s power to kill all the mutants.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Better Villains Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past VillainsSure the main focus of villainy in Days of Future Past comes down to essentially three villains (I know, a three villain piece film that doesn’t feel crowded!). First would be the future sentinels that are very VERY hard to kill it would seem and Terminator-esque in their approach and adapting to survive certain attacks that we witness int he future sequences of this film. Then there is the Sentinels creator Bolivar Trask, who essentially creates the Sentinels to take care of the Mutant because he’s scared, afraid of what mutants can do and how he must create these robots to protect mankind from them. It’s a grey area though when it comes down to him running test on Mutants from X-Men First Class though that weren’t worth caring about I guess. Finally, Magneto, in his prime Magneto. Past Magneto is so willing for the cause of his kind and to protect their future he is willing to kill Raven/Mystique to make sure that doesn’t happen as well as to prove the power he has, drop a stadium around the White House and plan to kill the President of the United States and his Cabinet.

Vote: X-Men: Days of Future Past – William Stryker was a great villain, but even he can’t top the billing against the future Sentinels and Past Magneto.

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Final Act

X-Men 2

Film Rambling - Better Final Act Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men 2 Final ActThe X-Men team up with Magneto and Mystique to break into Stryker’s base to save Xavier and stop his plans of wiping out the Mutants. Magneto does his thing that I’ve mentioned before with the grenades and the Cerebro device, Jean takes on mind controlled Cyclops, Wolverine takes on Lady Deathstrike and Storm and Nightcrawler try to save the children. The act comes to the pivotal moment of the dam ready to burst and with the X-Jet unable to take off, Jean sacrifices herself and uses her powers to keep away the wall of water while she raises the X-Jet engines to get them working and then letting the wall of water come over her, presumably killing her, until the final moments of the film we see a Phoenix-like shape has formed over the lake, leading into the Dark Phoenix storyline which, unfortunately, did not work so well in X-Men 3.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Film Rambling - Best Final Act Between X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past - X-Men Days of Future Past SadiumThe focus jumps between Past and Future as the President showcases the Sentinels to the world, Magneto raises a stadium and sets the Sentinels to attack the crowd while he plants the stadium to surround the White House and tries to take out the President and his Cabinet. Meanwhile in the Future, the Sentinels have found our heroes and they try to fight off the onslaught to give Wolverine more time to prevent the assassination that will set them on the path to extinction. Magneto actually takes out Wolverine from the equation and it’s Mystique who saves the day as we witness the majority of the Future cast get obliterated but thanks to Xavier’s words to Mystique and her not killing Trask, the future has altered. The war didn’t happen and the Professor kept to his promise for Wolverine as he wakes up in the present, in a different reality to the war he knew, where Rogue is around, Beast is alive and so is Jean and Scott. All is right in the world….until the end credits. Pretty much a sign that in the next film, everyone is screwed.

 

Vote: X-Men: Days of Future PastBar the exception of the Jean sacrifice, Wolverine/Lady Deathstrike scrap and the Magneto moments, the final act doesn’t compare to the stakes and emotion riding in the final act of Days of Future Past.

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Overall 

Votes: X-Men Days of Future Past 6 – 3 X-Men 2

For a long time X-Men 2 was my favourite superhero film but after a few more screenings of Days of Future Past, it’s not only surpassed it in my mind, but that of everything else in recent years of superhero films (even the Avengers but that’s just my view). Days of Future Past is now not only my favourite X-Men film but my favourite superhero film.

 

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