Wednesday, August 28, 2013

X-23: Of Gattaca & Getaway, The Black Widow of The X-Men Franchise.

X-23 is one of those rare characters on film that could prove to be quite amazing.  She is one of two characters within the X-Men franchise that have much of the same appeal as Marvel's Black Widow does.  This would outright stand out amongst the fans and general audiences alike with appropriate casting.  As many of you may remember, after the Avengers hit theaters, it was Black Widow that garnished most of the praise from general audiences and fans alike.

X-23 gives 20th Century Fox a unique standing point.  She is the X-Men franchise's Black Widow.  Both her and Domino yield strong potential with that.  While Domino is an amazing character, X-23 has the youth that appeals to a wider spectrum of audiences.  X-23 presents challenges and real world concerns that are already resting softly on a viewer's mind.  She allows an outlet towards discussions on science as well as all the myriad of topics being a youth in this modern world can entail.  If handled with care and cast appropriately, she could help raise awareness on these topics as well as provoke discussion on them the old fashioned way.  The way that oft only cinema may provide.

Another much subdued topic it could also speak to is typecasting and range.  How young women don't have to be princesses if they don't want to be and how they can be both a bad ass and a princess if they so choose as well.  She speaks to the side of strong unstoppable women, but she also speaks to the humble side of doing what is right.  X-23 doesn't carry an air of superiority.  She does what she does for the benefit of others.  She fights so that others won't have to, and she does it with unsurpassed grace and poise.  One actress in particular stands out for all these qualities, and is even looking for further action movie star vehicles to help make her filmography more robust and help her challenge herself as an actress.

With her film Getaway being released on August 30th, her first theater released action foray will be available for all to see.  I just personally hope that 20th Century Fox takes heed of this rising star.  They have a chance here to do something quite astounding.  Much of it could rest with X-Force, but if X-23's story is intact or at least held as a mystery during that movie, she could be carried over to her own feature length film much akin to how Marvel briefly discussed letting Black Widow have an outing in a solo feature.  In X-23's case though, if handled appropriately, it could carry much of the same undertones and nuances that the 1997 film Gattaca used, but in an easy to swallow by general audiences package that makes them continue to ponder on about the story's modern day implications of genetic engineering long after the film left theaters(as Gattaca still does today as well, but it's good to revisit such themes with new releases that the public needs reminders of).  It would be a spiritual successor to that film carrying on the same implications of nature vs nurture and the power of choice as to what defines who we become while also yielding an interesting mirrored take of the concept with a genetically engineered woman as the center piece trying to understand herself while going against what others created her and tried to force her to be.  It would easily reach cult-hit status as Gattaca has, as well as equal if not outright raise the bar on the returns that Wolverine movies have provided.  All of course neatly executed within the confines of the X-Men film franchise where fans and youth who need this message will surely flock to.

The film Getaway also looks fantastic from every trailer I've seen.  To me though, it also represents something else.  It showcases indirectly exactly why Ms. Gomez as a modern day woman of class with a wide range is perfect for this role.  She could carry the role of Laura Kinney to new heights and exposure that would break the cyclical nature of character popularity X-23 is stuck in right now(not well known because of no exposure, no exposure because not well known).  As you may remember, Black Widow was a character from Marvel that had a quite divergent fan base that either loved or loathed the character.  It wasn't until Scarlett Johansson captured what made Natasha Romanov amazing on screen that fans and general audiences alike cried out in unison with their adoration towards the character.

From every trailer that I've seen of Getaway, whether it be running through explosions or dealing with the emotional spectrum the character faces, Ms. Gomez portrays the full capabilities an actress would need for X-23.  I much look forward to seeing it in theaters to see if this proves true.  Okay, it doesn't hurt that the film features the Ford Shelby Super Snake.  The automobile history it represents is a guilty pleasure of mine thanks to Rally Vincent's obsession with the 1967 Shelby Mustang Cobra GT500 from Gunsmith Cats by Kenichi Sonada.  I'm generally not a "car guy."  That one I outright have a weak spot for though.  I blame it on childhood nostalgia from reading that manga and watching that anime.

Hollywood is starting to see the rising tide of women who kick ass because of having well rounded characters that show their humanity and the talented actresses behind them.  Maybe it's time to let Ms. Gomez and X-23 have their chance to shine too.  Her recent training for her Stars Dance World Tour also shows us just how amazing she already fits for this role. (In even the much talked about X-Force film too!  Wadlow, announce her as X-23 first!  Please!  I'll wash & wax your car 23 times if you do!  Even detail the interior with a tooth brush until it's perfect!)  Her caring and supportive attitude towards fans of all ages and walks of life just cements it further.  She even ran away at the start of her tour to bike 9 miles through the Canadian countryside prior to her first show.  Something you know Laura herself would do if put in that same position, and yet, just like Ms. Gomez, she'd return to do what was needed for those that look up to her.  Truly a woman with X-23's stamina, bravery, and compassion.

There was a panel at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con that reflected this trend of women that kick ass and why it's needed more and more.  It discussed strong women at length.  Michelle Rodriguez being an actress that Marvel or 20th Century Fox should seriously contemplate letting portray Agent Alisandra Morales on the big screen.  A character that is also much tied to X-23 and X-Force both and was heavily featured as a subplot in the X-Force v3 comic run that culminated in the story Not Forgotten.

Getaway hits theaters August 30th.  Be sure to check it out as it will be a wild ride that is sure to satisfy audiences of all persuasions and backgrounds.  As they oft repeat with their advertising (and for good reason!), there's no CGI, just lots of wrecked cars.  With a stellar cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voight, you know it'll be great!

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