X-Men: First Class (2011) Short Review
This movie made me not even want to review it. Is it good? Not in my opinion. I don’t think it’s as bad as some other comics films… The general public will probably like it and see it in droves… Does that make it a good film? Hell no. GI Joe made a killing. So did Clash Of The Titans… So did Spider-Man 3… Meanwhile the movie that IMHO was the best movie of the 2000s made about 33 million worldwide… Sounds like a lot, but this X-movie will probably bank that on its first day.
Why do I not want to review it? I probably lack the ability to detach myself and watch the movie objectively (if that’s possible). These are characters I grew up with and I feel I have as much of a handle on the characters as the writers of this movie.
After seeing it I feel more so. The characters picked for this seem chosen in an arbitrary way. The story is FAIRLY coherent, but still has the same lapses of logic that I’m used to in Marvel films. I’m also used to characters with super powers and costumes that serve as their distinguishing personality traits. This has plenty of other cliched characters, too, such as the portrayal of the military.
Superhero films, ESPECIALLY from Marvel, seem to pander to a certain arrested development fanboy audience nowadays. This film features strippers (even serving as prostitutes), somewhat gruesome murders, a very high level of graphic violence, lots o’ drinkin’ and Hugh Jackman making a 10 second cameo in order to gratuitously say the F word. The women in the film are mostly relegated to sex object status. I just think there’s something wrong with an X-Men film that is inappropriate for kids to see as this one is IMHO. And don’t confuse what I’m saying, I have no problem with any of that stuff in a Rated R film. An X-Men movie should not be even close to that rating.
The film is uneven in its story. For every good scene in the movie, there is a terrible one. The two leads (McAvoy and Fassbender) are good actors. There are others in the film that are not. Some characters like Rose Byrne’s Moira disappear for long stretches. I evn forgot she was in the movie at one point. She spends the early part of the film showing off her physical assets amd the shows up at the end for plot convenience.
I’m not even going to nitpick the continuity of the films. That’s a dead end road if there ever was one. I have to wonder why Xavier never said hello to his ‘sister’ in the orignal 3 films, for instance.
They missed on almost all of the characters. Banshee isn’t Irish for instance. The Beast I always remembered was a lot more fun than the timid, shy crybaby that’s portrayed here. He was also built like a football player crossed with a gorilla, instead of a squid.
The lucky coincidences are ridiculous here. too. Lucky for all of them that Hank just happened to be working on a project to enhance a telepath’s brainwaves… while designing a better version of the SR-71 (with VTOL capabilities)… and creating a genetic ‘cure’ for mutants… overnight… I guess, don’t think about what’s occuring onscreen too hard. I also like how quickly he and Mystique ended up in the basement so quickly. The writers weren’t interested in the journey parts, just the destinations.
But a lot of the writing wasn’t believable, like Shaw’s reaction to the young Magneto killing 2 soldiers and then for some reason doesn’t try to kill the guy that just put a bullet in his mother’s brain.
I won’t discuss the plot anymore than I have. I question the greenlighting of a prequel. You know the fates of many of these charcters so there’s no real big surprises to be pulled off. The biggest moment of the film (that it ends on) diminished the signicance of the event. Instead of having this event occur as an offshoot of the two leads’ differing philosophies, it’s rendered by a third party, making it nothing more than random.
I did like the look of the movie. It was clear. It had a big screen feel for the most part. Seeing some of the comics characters in live action gives the same enjoyment as it always does. The character selection is dubious, at best, though. As I said, there are some great actors in this. The two leads. Rose Byrne, but the camera was more interested in oggling her rather than listening to her. Kevin Bacon was decent as Sebastian Shaw, even if he didn’t look like him. He was written rather silly in a few parts, too.
And no Stan Lee cameo. Instead we get Jackman’s F-bomb and a Rebecca Romijn sighting. So ‘boooo’ to the director non that front, too. Next week, Green Lantern… I don’t think it can aggravate me any more than this one did. Wait, Ryan Reynolds is in it…. Oh, God.