In the year 2023, the weather is really, really bad and killer robots have hunted mutants to the point of extinction. Desperate, the X-Men zap Wolverines (Jackman) mind into his 1973 body. Can he change the course of history?
The title is misleading. Yes, it’s an extended cut, with Anna Paquin’s badger-haired power-absorber (who only made one shot of the theatrical edition) the focus of the biggest new subplot. But shuttled in to take over consciousness-projecting duties from Kitty Pryde, she utters fewer than five words. In fact, it’s Mystique and Magneto who get more to do. The latter leads a mission to rescue Rogue from Cerebro: while it muddles the film’s chronology (they seem to jet from China to New York and back in a jiffy), it’s a cool, effects-heavy sequence that neatly intercuts Old Magneto doing good with Young Magneto doing bad. Mystique, meanwhile, stops off at the X-Mansion for a roll-around with Beast. Things get very blue indeed.
With 17 added minutes, it makes for a podgier but fascinating watch. And to sweeten the deal, there are two major new extras. Mutant Vs. Machine is an hour-long documentary that veers into puffery but is detailed on costumes and music. X-Men: Unguarded is the main draw, a jokey group chat with most of the stars. Halle Berry moans a lot, Patrick Stewart does an Australian accent, and Ian McKellen wonders if the series is called ‘X-Hommes’ in France. No sign of Anna Paquin, though. Maybe next year?
The best X-Men film since the second one, this sequel/prequel/reboot trashes the 70s with élan.