X-Men: First Class (2011)

X-Men:  First Class is a small indie picture from earlier this year.  You probably haven’t heard of it.  It deals with a group of young adults railing against the evils of Corporate America at the turn of the century and their influence on the Columbine tragedy, while subtly touching on the subject of net-neutrality and the dangers of an internet without Freedom of Speech.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

All joking aside, I fucking loved this movie.  I’m super pissed that I let the dark side get the better of me, and avoided it in the theatre.

Things that I loved:

Pacing.  You hear me complain about it a lot.  I do this because most movies today suffer from horrible pacing.  They’re too slow in the slow parts.  They’re too fast in the fast parts.  Not here.  The pacing is perfect.

Action.  When I watch a comic book movie, particularly an X-Men movie, I want action.  I want it to be good.  I want it to make me sit up in my seat, at the edge.  I want to see awesome powers being used to fuck people up in creative ways.  I want to scream “Fuck yeah!” when some random asshole guard gets fucked up by ridiculous mutant powers.  I did all that.
Character.  The only thing that is almost as awesome as mutant powers, is the dynamic character that the best X-People have.  Make no mistake:  This is the story of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Beast and Kevin Bacon (I knew there was a reason he doesn’t seem to have aged since Tremors.)  The others are tack on characters that don’t matter.  Who cares about Banshee?  (No one.  No, not even you, lone objector in the comments.  No one.)  This is about the big characters.  Their story is interesting.  Their reactions and emotions are believable, and stay in character… or rather… form the character.

We see the important moments in the lives of Chuck, Hank, Erik and Raven that shape their future.  Their origin, if you will.  In an origin story?  That’s crazy talk!  It shouldn’t be surprising that you’d see the origins of characters in an origin story…  but they’ve been fucked up so hard in the past (I’m looking at you, Lucas) that it’s actually damn near astonishing to see one that’s done well.

Cameos.  They were excellent.

Building a Universe.  Marvel Studios has been getting a lot of credit for building their non-mutant Marvel Movie Universe, heading towards The Avengers next year.  While I agree with all that praise, I have to nod towards Fox and the Mutant Marvel Universe they’re creating.  Even with the steaming pile of shit that was X3, and the ridiculous, but fun, romp that was Origins: Wolverine, they seem to laid the groundwork for another trilogy, or more, with this picture.  There are plenty of stories to be told with these characters still, and I’m looking forward to them.

Things that I didn’t love:


The Fat Guy With Glasses in me can’t always get past the little details… and here it’s no different.  I’m watching the movie and thinking to myself…  “Isn’t Raven even older than Chuck?  I thought she was, like, Wolverine old.”  “That’s not the right Angel!” “That’s not the original class at all!” “Hank’s hair looks like shit!” “I thought Kevin Bacon already learned a valuable lesson about playing chicken in Footloose!”  Turn off that voice.  You know you can do it.  Just shut it off and everything will be fine.

The poster art.  Look at that photoshop disaster.  Chuck’s head looks like Matt Stone and/or Trey Parker cut it out in cardboard and taped it there, guy.  Mags looks like he’s in the middle of walking down the runway, seconds away from stopping us all in our tracks with Blue Steel.  The only one that isn’t looking like a tool is, of course, Kevin Bacon, who is obviously now the frontrunner to replace Daniel Craig as 007 in the next movie.

That’s it, though.  I loved everything else.  At least, I don’t remember anything else I hated.  I’ve heard some people complain that January Jones was too distant as Emma Frost…  These are probably the people that complained that Eric Bana was too distant as Bruce Banner.  Or that Christian Bale seemed stiff as Batman.

Final Thoughts:


Re…. memm…  ‘Member that part where the guy was teleporting all over the place, and dropping lackeys from the sky and then Bacon basically walks in through some rubble like Vader at the beginning of Star Wars and blows the crap out of that guy that does the stuff?  FLABOOM!  Yeah… that was awesome.

5/5

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5 comments on “X-Men: First Class (2011)

  1. Cool movie. I agree with just about everything you said. I fall into the camp that January Jones was terrible. She was terrible. She is terrible in EVERYTHING. Hollywood needs to stop giving her roles. Besides that, it was a fun movie, and a hell of a lot better than X3.

  2. Ok. January Jones is extraorinarily hot, so lets cut her some slack. Just because she's made of wood… giving her grief… cmon guys!!

    I liked this movie too, I dont think you were alone though Spike in having “this doesn't look that good” expectations. Retroactively, I think the marketing campaign sucked. Because the movie was much better than I expected, which = the advertising didnt get across how good the movie was going to be properly.

    I couldn't shake those “This isnt the real first class” thoughts though. In fact, if I had one complaint, It was that the XMen lineup was not the characters I'd have chosen. You know? I guess they tried to keep in with the rest of them, but…

  3. RE: January Jones… Yes, she shows no emotion, but in the two roles I've seen her in she shouldn't show emotion, so I can forgive her that. Plus she looked smokin' 60s hot. So that's good.

    @Fogs, I don't know how they could have marketed this to folks like you and I. Not having the original class really, really turns guys like us off from the word “Go”.

    @Jersey & Fogs, It's really great to be blindsided by a great movie every now and again, isn't it? Doesn't happen nearly often enough.

  4. Yes, its very cool to be really surprised. In todays day of knowing every single possible biometric of a movie before it's released, movies that are different then you expect are fewer and farther in between.

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