This trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past did what it was supposed to and got me excited to see the movie. However, I’ve been excited to see all of the franchise’s films.
The X-Men comics were staples in my collection growing up. Because of that, I get a sense of excitement and pleasure when the characters are represented well on the silver screen. Despite having a soft spot for Marvel’s mutants, I have a concern with this movie: Time travel.
It’s been more than 20 years since I last read the comic, so I don’t remember if time travel is part of the original story. (If it is, then ignore me from this point on. If it’s not, then carry on.) I don’t mind the movie taking some liberties by adding time travel. I’m not one to stomp my foot in a huff, demanding penance for altering the story.
Time travel can be an entertaining element to a story. But if it’s not done properly, it can create more continuity errors and plot holes than you could shake a stick at. South Park, Futurama and Family Guy have used time travel as well and they’ve used it better than most movies. Hell, time travel is the entire premise of Doctor Who, a show that recently celebrated it’s 50th birthday and spawned brand new interest in bow ties.
Time travel is great for TV shows, but movies have to be careful. If a time travel in a movie creates a massive plot hole or paradox, then the writers may not have another opportunity to address the issue. TV shows have more opportunities to flesh things out. Movies are a one-stop story shop.
For example: In Back to the Future, why didn’t Marty’s parents recognize him as Calvin Klein, the name Marty used in 1955? He gave his dad help with self esteem, saw Biff try to sexually assault his mother in the high school parking lot, and played with the band at the “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance. I’d say that’s a prominent role in his parent’s lives. Yet, at the end of the film, they didn’t recognize Marty as some bastard time-child.
Terminator is another example. This franchise centers around (naked) time travel and explosions, but only gets one of them right. If Arnold succeeded in killing Sarah Connor, then would Skynet still exist to send the first T-800 back in time to kill her? Since Skynet was based on the crushed arm and CPU chip found in the factory at the end of the movie, killing her or John would create a paradox.
I like X-Men. I like time travel. I would be ecstatic if X-Men: Days of Future Past could use time travel without creating any issues with the first 3 films, First Class and the Wolverine spin offs. Minor stuff we can deal with. It’s the major plot holes that can ruin a story. Plus, it would be silly and a waste of time to try and iron them out. You might just go cross-eyed trying.