Wednesday, June 11, 2014

X-Men DOFP - Some Characters

Yesterday, I got into how the focus of the movie was not necessarily to draw comparisons to racism or homophobia, but instead how our status quo can be changed for the better. While I still believe that this is the focus of the film, that doesn't mean that there can't also be other messages within in the movie. DOFP makes a subtle, yet powerful message about racism and prejudice through its casting.

One of the things that I actually don't like about this movie is that it was so solid and well-made that there's actually not much to discuss about it. With Amazing Spider-Man 2, there was literally no end to the amount of hate I could spew on that movie. Walking out of DOFP, I said to my friends, "That was pretty good, yeah?" and they agreed. Then we started talking about how bad Amazing Spider-Man 2 was.

Not counting Nixon, there is ostensibly seven new characters in DOFP, but one of them is the younger version of a character previously introduced, so let's not count him. They are Quicksilver, Warpath, Blink, Bishop, Bolivar Trask and Sunspot. This is a pretty large new cast and aside from Trask, none of them get a lot of screen time. I understand this decision because there is not a lot of plot development taking place in the future, where the four new mutants appear, and the events in the past are focused on the characters already introduced -- Charles, Erik, Hank, Raven -- and giving Quicksilver any more screentime or character development than what he got would have taken away from the focus of the main plot. Needless to say, I approve of the method of introducing the new characters and how they were handled in the film.

The inclusion of Quicksilver was awesome. If you've talked to anybody that has seen this movie, you've already heard this. Listen to me too. It's awesome. There's not much more that needs to be said about it.

Warpath, Blink and Bishop were an excellent fit for the futuristic distopia, and considering that they never were too important or received much characterization in the books, they were used really well. (Same goes for Electro.) I actually like the versions of these characters better than those in the comics, but again, it would have been hard to make it worse. Sunspot was a bit worse, and I think a bad fit for the distopian future scenario. His powers in the comics look a bit more like this:
Not this:

His personality is also that of a rich, care-free womanizing playboy and there was none of that here.

But, anyway, my point is, with six new characters, you have a Chinese woman, a Native American man, a South American man, a black man, a little person, and a white teenaged boy. This movie doesn't make any overt statements about racism or prejudice, but it speaks loudly with its casting choices. That's pretty awesome.

People, specifically dumb people, like to argue that because the source material has a white person in it, or the story in question came from a place that is predominantly white, that the characters have to be white. This is batshit crazy, because it pretends that these are not mutable works of fiction goddammit and instead a documentary about Scandinavia or some shit.

This movie takes this bullshit and proves it wrong. Not once is it mentioned or even noticed that Bolivar Trask is a little person. It doesn't even factor into the storyline or character development at all. There was no point where Trask goes, "Mutants laughed at me because I'm short." No. This is not just saying, "Hey, let's treat people the same even if they look different," this is actually doing it and it fucking works. Most of the rest of the new cast are all persons of color and they kick ass.

The character of Blink was not an Asian woman in the comics, but she is in DOFP. What's great is that the character is fucking cool, and nobody had any problem with changing her ethnicity. Is this is a sign that perhaps we're progressing as a society? Oh, no, I bet white nerds love it when a random Asian girl enters into their nerd movie, but the casting changes to a black person...

...people lose their shit, I guess. Better luck next time, society.

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