X-Men: Days of Future Past reinvigorated the beloved superhero franchise after the laughable misfires of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Though X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine did valuable work, Days of Future Past pulled fans back into the franchise and newcomers into its intricate plot and pacy vibe. The movie, described by Honest Trailers as a near carbon copy of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, played on familiar tropes with an effervescent glow. The plot bent and stretched the X-Men franchise’s chronology beyond comprehension. Like the varying mutant powers on display, the story requires a full suspension of disbelief.
Despite the inclusion of a naked Hugh Jackman, the original and First Class X-Men casts, and the bizarre absence of Anna Paquin (you know, the MAIN character of the original 2000 flick?), there was one aspect of Days of Future Past critics and general audiences have refused to shut up about! Quicksilver, played by relative newcomer Evan Peters (Never Back Down, Kick-Ass), is as slick and scintillating as Wolverine and Magneto combined. Despite the surf-brand name, the character was key to the movie’s unbridled efficiency. He, introduced as a kleptomaniac with a desire to escape the basement, is one of the franchise’s more positive and charismatic characters. His existence yields several plot-holes (Why not take him on every mission? Their mission would be wrapped-up before lunch!). Thankfully, the character makes an immediate impact.
After springing Erik Lensherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of the Pentagon’s prison headquarters, Quicksilver – along with Erik, Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine, and Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) – is cornered by armed guards in a cramped kitchen space. So begins the movie’s standout, hold-onto-your-butts sequence – it’s up to Quicksilver to take out the guards and stop the bullets before any fly through anyone’s heads. This sequence is just one of many fun action beats this series has conjured up since its early-00s conception.
Like the exhilarating Nightcrawler-White House sequence from X2, the Quicksilver-kitchen sequence is a short, snappy highlight full of neat tricks. This 2-minute set-piece, backed up by Jim Croce’s 1973 folk-pop hit ‘Time in a Bottle’, was the tireless work of director Bryan Singer’s army of special effects crewmen and stunt coordinators. Thanks to the blockbuster filmmaking’s endless developments, Singer and co. reached new nooks and crannies. Whereas The Avengers and Man of Steel aimed for epic scopes and core emotions, Singer’s third X instalment scored visceral thrills and stylistic flourishes. This sequence proves superhero flicks don’t have to stick to a cinematic universe or dark, dreary introspection. Who knew, huh?
Singer’s immaculate direction elevates this sequence from dumb fun to substantial entertainment. The switch between speed-up and slo-mo establishes the character’s greatest feats. He – decked out in a silver jacket, walkman, Pink Floyd shirt, and thick goggles – encapsulates Singer’s pulpy version of the 1970s. His cinematic treatment illuminates Quicksilver’s boisterous sense of humour and uber-slick style. As all manner of plates, food-stuffs, and utensils fly through the air, he uses everything at his disposal. In one fell swoop, he tastes the soup flying through mid air, knocks off people’s hats, steal other people’s caps, watches water droplets bounce off him, and runs across the surrounding spherical walls.
Quicksilver’s core strengths elicit big laughs and hearty surprises. Quicksilver, needing to take out a troop of guards, utilises gravity and brute physical force to save his mutant buddies. He does everything from throwing plates into people’s faces to forcing guards to punch themselves in the face to using gun recoils against one another. Effects including rippling skin and slo-mo bullets build tension before the scene’s spectacular payoff. As the scene switches back to regular motion, we see the full force of Quicksilver’s power. Full-grown guards, pots, pans etc. are sent flying across the room. Logan, Erik, and Charles’ reactions say it all: Quicksilver is not to be crossed!