Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class

Welcome back Singer.
Bryan Singer returns to 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise with X-Men: First Class and boy am I glad he did. Singer directed 2000's X-Men and it's amazing sequel, 2003's X2. I remember spending a lifetime trying to stream the trailer for X-Men on my AOL 56K connection. I remember shitting bricks when I saw how badass Nightcrawler was in X2. That was all thanks to Singer. Bryan Singer made the first two X-men films so awesome. Then he bailed on his hit franchise to helm the GOD AWFUL Superman Returns flick. Worst of all, he took James Mardsen/Cyclops with him! The X-Men saga crashed and burned after Singer's departure. X-Men: The Last Stand was a joke and that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the worst on screen film abortions I've ever seen. Thankfully, Singer is back for this latest X-Men installment. Ok, so he's not directing, but Singer's role as producer still counts for something! You'll see...

I knew things were off to a good start when the opening scene of First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn, was a shot for shot re-shoot of the opening from Bryan Singer's original X-Men. This all important scene was like a silent nod, reminding the loyal X-fans (geeks) that the good guys were back and that this new X-Men flick would wash away the sins of the last two shit-fests and erase them from our collective memory, Men In Black style.

New kids on the block
The plot isn't really the film's strong point so I'll just gloss over it briefly. The film takes places in the 1960's. Magneto and Professor X aren't enemies yet and actually work together to train a bunch of young mutants how to control their powers while also trying to stop Kevin Bacon from starting WWIII (yeah...what?).

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the performances. First, Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Magneto is off the hook. This guy seriously steals the entire movie. He displays far more depth and emotion in his role than anyone else in any of the previous X-films. Also, the dude speaks four different languages in this movie (German, French, Spanish and English) and got me thinking I was watching Inglorious Basterds for a second. Then I realized that Fassbender WAS in Inglorious Basterds and started liking First Class even more because of it. Next, Kevin Bacon's spin on the Hellfire Club's Sebastian Shaw was pretty entertaining. It really just amounts to Kevin Bacon acting like a pimp on the big screen for a couple of hours, but damn he seems cool and he pulls off the multilingual thing pretty well too (German, Russian, English). I'm just glad he wasn't wearing Shaw's usual George Washington style get up I'm accustomed to.
Kevin Bacon FTW!
I only have two gripes with First Class. It sucks that so many good characters were wasted in those other horrible X-films (Juggernaut, Shadowcat/Kitty Pride, the original Angel, Blob, Deadpool) that First Class got stuck with some lame-o modern characters. Darwin and Lenny Kravitz' daughter (the new, weak sauce Angel) are just lame. I'm sorry, I know I stopped reading the comics before these characters were created but I really didn't give two shits about them or what their lame powers were. I'm not being a total hater on new characters though. Nightcrawler's dad Azazel was pretty rad in this movie and that was the first time I ever heard of him. My other major gripe with First Class was January Jones as The White Queen, Emma Frost. Holy feces this broad cannot act to save her life. Her performance was the most uninspired, wooden dribble I've seen in a while. I'm sure it helps that she was probably getting frisky with the director off screen, but really Vaughn, she almost killed the entire movie for me!

I prefer the animated one.
Other than that this was a pretty solid movie. Beast looked pretty rockin', Jennifer Lawrence still got nekkid as young Mystique, Banshee was cool as hell and we were treated to some grand action sequences along with, you know, character development and solid acting performances from most of the cast. Thank you Singer! We needed you.

29 comments:

  1. thought it was great too. i feel like it removes the possibility for a magneto movie in the future

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  2. Really want to see this one!

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  3. everyone's reviewing this sucker and I still haven't seen it - gotta get on that!

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  4. it was good. michael fassbender was hooooot. definitely agree with you on how he stole the show. i thought january jones acting was fine. she was fierce as emma frost.
    i cant wait till mystique and azarel to get it on. loool. good movie review!

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  5. The more people blog about it... the moore I want to see it. This is so unfair.

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  6. thinking about going to see it, havent seen the previous one but really liked the first xmang
    :)

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  7. i didn't expect the sequel to be this good

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  8. We are probably going to see it this weekend.

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  9. Still need to see this, good review.

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  10. Thanks for the review.. it's already on my list 2 watch

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  11. yeah it was the fi8ne film to watch .....thank you.....http://www.themovie.ws

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  12. agree with you on jones, apart from her looks, there really wasn't much to go on. so much more potential for the character of emma frost.

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  13. Heard so much about this film, should really get to see it.

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  14. I'm with you on this review. It was a huge improvement on the previous X-Men flicks (although I do have to admit that I enjoyed "X-Men: The Last Stand). If it wasn't for the strong story between Xavier and Erik, the movie would have easily been mediocre. Totally agree with you on the lame factor in regards to Darwin, Angel, and Emma Frost. I even thought Azazel was kind of ho-hum.

    Overall, it was worth my money!

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  15. hopefully it will be 1st class in real

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  16. i'll probly see this when it comes out on tv.

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  17. oh I must see it! thanks for the heads up :] I like X-men since the animated series! when I was a petit enfant.

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  18. I dunno, I really haven't felt any of the movies have given the X-men series justice, but I might check this one out anyways.

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  19. Why was January Jones even IN this movie. Did the casting director not watch a single episode of Mad Men? She's barely functioning in that series.

    At least the rest of the movie is pretty damn amazing.

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  20. Fantastic review. You are my new favorite blog. No pressure!

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  21. Great review, I love that movie too. Far better than what I expected after xmen 3 and Wolvie origin.

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  22. Loved this movie and I have to agree with you on January Jones her acting was not that good

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  23. Is that the cast or is it The Tragically Hip or some other antiquated 90's indie band from Canada. Either way I probably won't see this, to be honest. I've gotten to where I only got to comedies lately. I thought Hangover 2 was solid, unlike many people.

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  24. I really gotta watch this. I used to read all the X-men comics as a kid and not watching this would be like betraying the X-men franchise!

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  25. sounds good, gonna check this out soon
    keep it up

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  26. Definitely a big step up from the last X-Men movie. I thought Fassbender was outstanding. That guy just might be my man crush. No homo.

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