Archive for the ‘Quicksilver’ Category

*NOTE* Since this film was recently released, this will be a quick, spoiler-free write up that focuses less on plot and more on the feelings that this film evoked within me.

All franchises mutate.

Fittingly, the X-Men franchise is the only comic film series from the modern era to run continuously. These movies are able to adapt and evolve like the mutants on which they are based. In the 14 years since X-Men first hit screens we’ve seen three different iterations of the Hulk (in two different film series), two different, unconnected adaptations of The Punisher, and two whole Spider-franchises. And yet the X-Men continue on, undaunted. There have been ups and downs in their 14 years as a franchise, but with this film I can honestly say that it was all worth it.

It’s rare to see a studio actively admit that they have learned from their past mistakes. But, in the lead-up to this film, everyone involved very publicly acknowledged the miss-steps of the series and assured fans that it would be actively correcting them. That’s a shocking amount of honesty from a studio (it’s telling that one of the most vocal supporters of this retcon campaign was a writer on X-Men: The Last Stand, which is considered a very low point for the franchise). And that’s cool, but in the lead-up to the film’s production there were still plenty of unknowns. The cast seemed unwieldy and continued to grow well into production, some of the character designs were met with skepticism and outright laughter, and focusing on Wolverine in lieu of letting another mutant shine rubbed some the wrong way. While many remained hopeful, there was a growing tide of fanboy whining that threatened to derail the sentiment put out by the studio and makers of the film.

“I don’t like his costume!
Naturally, this film will suck!”
-Fanboy #973

Luckily, fanboy rage is usually misguided. The film was released a couple of weeks ago and it is not only an unqualified financial success (highest grossing X-Movie in only 2 weeks) but also a critical darling (92% on Rotten Tomatoes) as well as the closest a cinematic outing has been to the comics on which they are based.

There are many things to love in this movie: The interaction between the classic and future casts, Sentinels on screen at last and the complicated relationship between Magneto and Xavier. However, to me there is one moment that is the most important of not just the film, but the entire film series: it features a lovingly crafted and warmly set ending that provides a sense of hope in an otherwise dire and dark story.

Because at the end of the day, that’s the purpose of the X-Men. They are here to remind us that life isn’t fair; that there are people out there who hate others just because of who they are and how they choose to live. Some of them will proselytize and do everything in their power to destroy the life that YOU find normal and what’s worse is that they will cloak those sentiments in politics or religion. But in the end, if we band together and face those evils we will overcome them. It may take years or decades but it WILL happen. Evolution marches on and the only thing it leaves behind is antiquated thinking.