Every week, Mashable presents “Let’s Talk About …,” a Monday-morning look back at the biggest WTF moment from the weekend’s most talked-about new movie. If you haven’t seen the film, be warned: This doesn’t just contain spoilers — it’s all SPOILERS.
This week: Let’s talk about X-Men: Days of Future Past
The best superhero in X-Men: Days of Future Past isn’t Wolverine or Magneto or even Mystique. It’s Quicksilver, a character most fans were intent on writing off months before theater ushers began tearing off ticket stubs.
Back in 2013, when actor Evan Peters was first cast in the role, the choice was overwhelmingly praised. However, by the time January rolled around, fans began to turn.
When Empire Magazine released a series of covers celebrating the release of the film, the reaction to Quicksilver’s look was both swift and fierce:
“Dear God, What Has X-Men Days of Future Past Done to Quicksilver?” (io9)
“Peters’ Quicksilver look is a little underwhelming. After all, are we really supposed to get excited over a first reveal of a superhero wearing sneakers and a leather jacket?” (Screen Crush)
“Hopefully it’s just a bad Photoshop job.” (Yahoo! Movies)
“To be fair, he really does look like someone I would have bumped into back at Click’n’Drag in 1996, but I hear the 90s are back and so is silver vinyl.” (Comicsbeat)
Well, once Days of Future Past opened last Friday, those naysayers likely found themselves holding their tongues. Not only is Peters’ version faithful to the comic book, but he provides viewers with what is by far the film’s most entertaining sequence.
We first find the lightning-quick mutant in his suburban Washington, D.C., man-cave, bouncing around the room and playing video games. Wolverine, Professor X, and Beast have decided to pay him a visit to ask for his help in breaking Magneto out of prison.
Cue a memorable jailbreak scene where Quicksilver, facing down a cadre of Pentagon security guards, speeds around the room to the tune of Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” moving bullets out of his friends’ way and making the guards punch each other in the face. By the time the scene was over, the crowd in my screening was applauding.
Unfortunately, this is pretty much all we get to see of Quicksilver, save for a short scene toward the end. In a sequel overflowing with A-list star power, it’s certainly not surprising that a supporting character with 12th billing would get the short end of the stick.
But it does bring up some interesting questions, like — why wouldn’t Wolverine ask Quicksilver to help out again, especially once the X-Men return to Washington for the film’s climax? Perhaps they forgot to — or, more likely, director Bryan Singer is planning on saving that additional Quicksilver action for the next X-Men installment, Apocalypse.
The positive response to Peters’ performance should also make things interesting for Marvel’s compadres over at Disney, who have a Quicksilver of their own in Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Because both Quicksilver and his sister, Scarlet Witch, were members of the Avengers and the spawn of Magneto, they exist in a weird legal limbo, allowing both Disney and Fox to use them on screen.
We already got a brief glimpse at Taylor-Johnson’s version in the mid-credits ofCaptain America: The Winter Soldier. But the glimpse at the tightly caged, twitchy Quicksilver wasn’t nearly long enough to compare it with Peters’ portrayal.
After the performance Peters actor gave in Days of Future Past, Taylor-Johnson certainly has his work cut out for him in next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Alex Suskind is a culture writer and editor whose work has appeared on Esquire.com, Vulture, The Daily Beast, and VanityFair.com. You can bug him on Twitter.
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