X-Men: Days of Future Past vs Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Ever known anyone that has made a late in life religious conversion? Maybe it made them a better person, but you have to admit that there are times when they can be a bit obnoxious. That’s kind of how I am with the X-Men. I’ve gone over this before, so I’ll just leave that there.

Prior to Spring of this year if you asked me, regardless of studio, what my favorite Marvel film was I would say that it was a tie between Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class. I love them both for diferent reasons, yet I love them equally. I can only imagine what it’s like to be a parent. Or Hugh Hefner.

I was as excited for The Winter Soldier as I was for Star Trek Into Darkness since I enjoyed the previous installments so much. Thankfully, The Winter Soldier didn’t let me down.

I was a bit more cautious about Day of Future Past. I liked the first two X-Men films directed by Bryan Singer, but I was a bit concerned since he hasn’t directed an X-Men film since 2003.

Obviously my fears were unjustified. Singer hit this one out of the park. I don’t want to go into great detail just yet; I may write more about Days of Future Past in another post.

So… My two favorite Marvel films got even better sequels: How do the recent films stack up against one another? A number of reviewers said that Days of Future Past was better than The Winter Soldier–and they LOVED The Winter Soldier. But lately I have not been seeing eye to eye with 99.9% of the critics.

Both Days of Future Past and The Winter Soldier are based on beloved stories from the comics. However, the films are rather loose interpretations. I’m trying not to get into spoilers; I want to save them for a more in depth review. I will say this: Both were more or less successful in keeping with spirit of the source material. That being said, if The Winter Soldier had a flaw it’s that the films produced by Marvel Studios all take place in the same universe. As we have seen, starting with the first Iron Man movie, one leads into another. Yes, that can be a good thing as was proven by the Avengers, it does also have its limitations.

Every action in one Marvel Studios film has an impact on every other film they make, and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. Every film going forward has to be in contiuity with all the previous films–there are no stand alones as with the comics.

There are many people who wish that Marvel could get the rights back to X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man so that they could share the same universe as in the comics. Yes, it would be nice to see Avengers vs X-Men, or Civil War, but Marvel is juggling too many balls as it is with the films they have. The Marvel Studios films create one long story arc, which in some cases can stifle creativity since you cannot color outside the lines. There are some that say this is the reason Edgar Wright left Ant-Man.

In my review of The Winter Soldier I made the claim that, SPOILER ALERT!!! Bucky’s return was the McGuffin, and the real story was that Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. so, in that sense, it had nothing to do with the story that Ed Brubaker wrote in the comics.

In contrast, Days of Future Past was faithful to the spirit of the comic created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, but a number of changes had to be made. Without spoiling it, the reasons for the changes are many. One is due to the fact that the previous X-Men films had used a character that is integral to the plot in the comic. The major problem is that the timeline in the films doesn’t match the one in the comics. The screenwriters cherry picked characters and plots from the entire history of the X-Men to suit their needs, not knowing that one day they would be making Days of Future Past. Plus, the version in the comics is only two issues long, so there was a lot of room for embelishment.

At the end of the day which film do I prefer; the one that plays like a 70s political thriller, on the time travel epic that actually is set in the 70s–partially anyway? I love them both for different reasons, but as of today I choose . . .

Days of Future Past.

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