My Frustrations with Ending of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

By: Heather Seebach

**Warning: The following contains major spoilers from X-Men: Days of Future Past**

Let me preface my little rant with this: I really liked Days of Future Past. It is easily among the best X-Men films and I have very few complaints. What follows is one gripe I had with the film's final shot, so if you have not seen the film yet, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! Instead, you can read my spoiler-free review of the film here.

There was one moment that still rubs me the wrong way, even after two viewings. The very last shot of the film (not counting the post-credits sequence) shows Major William Stryker standing over a helpless Wolverine before his eyes turn yellow and we realize it is in fact Mystique. Professor Xavier's voice-over during this shot re-iterates that the future is not set and history can be changed for the better. The obvious implication here is that, not only has the Sentinel program been dismantled and the future of mutantkind saved, but Wolverine's personal nightmare at the hands of Stryker is likely to be undone, as well. 

I am not one of those geeks who throws a tantrum whenever comic book history is re-written. I can live with the idea of Wolverine's tragic back-story being undone, if indeed that is what the filmmakers are saying here. The reason I dislike this choice is because, in the moment before his eyes turned yellow, the scene told me that despite all efforts by the soon-to-be-X-Men to change the future, history has a way of course-correcting and some things can never change. Remember Hank/Beast discussing the theory that time is immutable early in the film? I LOVED that concept and all its inherent pessimism. As soon as Stryker's eyes turned yellow, however, that notion was dashed in favor of a more optimistic, everything-is-gonna-be-alright sentimentality.

By the end of Days of Future Past, Mystique is leaning more toward the side of good, though still on her own. Either way, she has nothing to do with Magneto at this point. Is she working for someone else? Someone who needs Wolverine? Whatever the case may be, Logan seems to have been saved from Stryker's grip, at least temporarily. It's totally possible that, despite Mystique's involvement, Wolverine may still end up on Stryker's table.

I remain open-minded as it's hard to tell whether the final shot of Days is intended as an all-is-well conclusion, or as a how-are-they-gonna-fix-this cliffhanger. It's hard to imagine Singer is effectively removing all traces of Wolverine's adamantium this way, so perhaps Logan's history will still course-correct itself in the next film? The ending just makes me bitter because if you take off that last second where the eyes turn yellow, the final scene is great! Call me cold-hearted, but I simply adore the idea of Wolverine's fate being inevitable. 

The only thing that absolutely would NOT work about my version is that it's inconsistent with Stryker's behavior the rest of the movie. In this one, he is not particularly interested in hurting or capturing the mutants (like Trask is) - that comes later when his son gets older and develops mutant powers. So for Stryker to even be on that boat leering nefariously at Logan does not make much sense in the context of the film.

So there, I just unraveled my own damn theory! That is why I do not so much consider the film's final moments a mistake or a problem, but I do find them incredibly frustrating all the same! What is Singer trying to say, and what does he have up his sleeve?! If anyone else has thoughts about the final scene, please chime in! I would love to know if this bothered anyone else and why.

UPDATE: I've seen a couple comments suggesting perhaps Mystique is working for Apocalypse, which would indeed be very interesting and make me feel a little better about this ending (going back to my cliffhanger vs. definitive ending note above). On the other hand, I believe they show the newspaper headlines in that final scene when Wolverine is pulled from the water and they seemed pretty recent to the events of the film's climax. It does not seem like enough time has passed to suggest Mystique has met Apocalypse (and I seriously doubt she was working for him all along), but who knows? Maybe.

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