X-Men: Days Of Future Past delivers on all fronts. Not just for fans of the comics or movies, but as a universal entertainment. Evan Peter's Quicksilver is surprisingly one of the highlights of an otherwise enjoyable, fast-paced and poignant film in the X-Men franchise.
Much of what is said below will contains some spoilers so if you prefer to go into the movie fresh then wait till you’ve seen it. If not, then read away but be warned…
Still there? Good. Let’s get started. Quicksilver will be appearing in both Days of Future Past as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Portrayed by two different actors giving two different interpretations and back-stories. This is the first time that Quicksilver has appeared in a feature-film (not counting the post-credit scene in Captain America: the Winter Soldier) and in a nutshell… the portrayal delivers on point, and even in the face of controversy over his depiction and choice of wardrobe is a major highlight of an already strong film.
When asked about using 3D for the film, producer Lauren Shuler Donner highlighted Quicksilver as something that would be particularly eye-catching on screen, and his sequences shine as some of the brightest in a film brimming with eye-popping spectacle. Director Bryan Singer shot these sequences with a high-speed Phantom camera at 3,600 frames per second. When interviewed (before the director’s media controversy), Singer is quoted as saying:
“So sometimes we’ll be at our own speed, sometimes we’ll be at his. So we’re using that technology and it’s all 3D technology so we can shoot all of that native stereo, even at that speed. He’s not in the movie a lot, he’s just sort of in one section of it but there’s a fun sequence which will be fun to watch in 3D. Lots of stuff.”
Singer delivers an incredibly fun interpretation of Pietro (Peter) Maximoff AKA Quicksilver that both bathes in the silliness and extremes of the character, as well as presenting him as a product of his generation. The film takes many liberties with its 1970′s sequences. In the stand-out action set-piece of Quicksilver’s screen time, Maximoff listens to Jim Croce’s Time In A Bottle on his Walkman while disarming several Pentagon guards to humorous and fantastical effect.
Whether or not you were thinking they would address the fact that Maximoff is Magneto’s son? They do. But in very light fashion; barely even giving more than a cheeky side-comment that had the audience applauding.
There were notable changes to the film’s depiction of Quicksilver versus the comics. When Empire released their 25 different cover issues of X-Men: Days of Future Past months ago, we all got our first look at Peters’ as Maximoff and the reception was less than stellar. Comparing him to a 90′s party kid or something out of a Spy Kids or a Corey Feldman movie were only some of the complaints.
Along with Americanizing Pietro Maximoff’s name to ‘Peter’ Maximoff, any other departures from the comics are serviceable to the film’s overall tone. The film’s depiction of Magneto’s super fast kid are lighthearted, fun, and spectacularly displayed and whatever Joss Whedon has planned for his Quicksilver probably would have felt out of place in Singer’s film. Though his role only amounts to enough screen time to cover the first act, it’s enough to create an anticipation for future installments involving this Quicksilver.
Getting back to a point that was mentioned above, there was a bit of controversy over using Quicksilver when Aaron Taylor-Johnson had also signed on to play the character in Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is due out summer of 2015. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg spoke a bit about the controversy over the use of the character in a video interview with Total Film:
“It wasn’t something we anticipated because we didn’t know they were using him in the Avengers movie. We only found that out…it got publicized weeks after we made the decision that we had done it… it was a little while before the controversy started in terms of them using him too.”
Kinberg also went on to talk about the absence of Scarlet Witch – Quicksilver’s sister. Most assumed that she does make a very quick appearance near the end of the film as a very young child, although Singer has stated that the little girl shown actually wasn’t her. There were scenes shot that were ultimately not used because the filmmakers felt they didn’t service the narrative. However, it’s very likely he will make appearances in future X-Men films.
Kinberg goes on to mention that Quicksilver will in fact be returning for X-Men: Apocalypse. Depending on how Joss Whedon will handle his version of Quicksilver, we may see competing Maximoffs for years to come. Steady competition for the two young actors who both appeared in Kick-Ass together for X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn. Regardless, as long as we get more of the Quicksilver we got in Days Of Future Past then we’re in capable hands.
You be the judge of this interpretation of Quicksilver. Whether you’re waiting for Whedon to blow this out of the water or think Singer set the bar relatively high, you decide. Just get out and see X-Men: Days of Future Past this weekend. It probably won’t satisfy those fans wanting a faithful adaptation of the Claremont / Byrne comic but general audiences will find a relatively compelling narrative, amazing action and a slew of great characters and performances.
Now here are a few lyrics from a singer/songwriter you’ll be hearing in the film. A song definitely chosen because of it’s similarities to the film’s narrative and of Quicksilver’s characteristic mutant abilities.
“But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with”
- Jim Croce
Images: 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, Empire Magazine, Marvel Comics