Friday, June 10, 2011

X-Misses the Spot ...

I decided to give X-Men: First Class a fair chance. Although, not only did it appear to be blatantly out of line with the continuity of the comic books and the cartoons, but, as a "prequel", it wasn't even maintaining the continuity of the previous X-Films before it. So, ok. Whatever. Let's just chalk it up to being a 'reboot', and take a look and see what this new film is all about. Cool?

It's the origin of Charles Xavier, portrayed by an outstanding James McAvoy, and his best friend/greatest foe, Magneto. It's a telling of their lives during the Cold War Era 1960's and the events that shape them into the 'champion of peaceful mutant/human coexistence' and the 'proponent of mutant over human superiority' that we will come to know. The 'big bad', and the man attempting to orchestrate WWIII in order to wipe out mankind, is Sebastian Shaw, also known as the Black King of the Hellfire Club, played by one Kevin Bacon

Shaw is actually a great choice for a movie villain, but X-Men: First Class never seemed to grasp what he's really about. Yes, "domination" and "control", but at the same time Shaw ALSO supported "coexistence", never "genocide". In that, you SHOULD have been able to see his 2 ideals, somewhat contradictory, bear fruit separately in each Xavier and Magneto. Bacon himself seemed a bit uncooked for most of the film, only finding his notes towards end or so, and his mutant followers (Azazel and Riptide) contributed nothing.

The REAL story was the 'Bromance' of Xavier and Magneto. The tale of their friendship and budding rivalry was told perfectly, with the only other strong characterization brought by Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique. Her relationship with her "adopted brother" Charles was terrific, as were the circumstances that eventually push her towards a path of "evil".

Here! Check out the full length trailer to get an inkling of what you are in for!

the rating system:

  • Loved it - one of the best movies I've seen in a long time and worth every cent of the ticket price. I can't state enough how much u need to go see this movie ...

  • Liked it - it was an enjoyable flick for the most part and I'm glad I watched it. Will I run out to buy it when released on video? ... Probably not.

  • Leave it - ranging from the truly forgettable to the "wait a minute ... that didn't make any sense" in the 1st 5 minutes after I leave the theater. Basically - a whole lotta nothin.

  • Loathed it - a movie that literally makes me ANGRY after I exit and for days and weeks after. Angry that I wasted my time and money, and angry that such a piece of shit was ever made and that people actually received payment to do so.

  • The Verdict?

    Leave it.

    There's stuff to LIKE about First Class - Xavier, Magneto, Mystique ... As well as some surprise cameos, which I won't SPOIL for you, but made for some of the BEST scenes of the entire film. However, the whole overlaying conflict of 'impending a war' was a total wash. It seemed forced, with the movie continually desperate to remind us that it was even HAPPENING. The 60's backdrop felt a lot more tacked on than it should have, and what COULD have made things better, some incredible fight scenes, (Remember Nightcrawler's intro in X2: X-Men United?) was just a disappointment. The 'showdown' at the end was a cross between snoozefest and a big cup of "who cares?"

    X-Men loyalists may appreciate it a little, and even the casual movie-goer won't HATE it, but of all the big blockbusters this summer, X-Men: First Class is one in that attendance is NOT mandatory.