imasupermuteant: (ilold)
[personal profile] imasupermuteant
So I just got back from Cinnebar in South Carolina (where you get to eat dinner and watch a movie at the same time! Woo!) and before I get started on an epic Xavier/Magneto fic to celebrate I decided I should give a break down of my thoughts on the film.

Warning, there may be spoilers.

The Good:

Professor Xavier:

Played by the oh-so-adorable James McAvoy, Prof, X pretty much made the whole movie for me.  He shined like a beautiful beacon of moral superiority and smart Britishness.  I entered into the film doubtful that I would believe any actor could portray a young Patrick Stewart but this kid pulled it off with ease.  The scene in which he is paralyzed left me in tears.

The Sixties

The majority of the film is set during the cold war and the aesthetic of the sixties is pretty damn obvious.  Nothing is better than hearing Prof X call something "groovy", or seeing Emma Frost appear dressed as a sort of Jackie O/prostitute hybrid.  The costuming was pretty much excellent; detailed enough to really get an feeling of the time period but not so overdone that it was distracting or annoying. Also, Banshee in those little round Beetles-glasses? ADORABLE.

The Mutants:

The character selection for this film was pretty good. They didn't overload the film with excess mutants, and the choices of which characters to include were pretty good, considering the fact that they had already screwed themselves over with the four other films. I have my complaints, but  I was still pretty excited to see Banshee and Beast (I <3 them!) and the special effects which made the mutants be, well, *mutant* was pretty much awesome.

The Gay:

Honestly, the movie felt a little bit like a really long, pornless Xavier/Erik fanfic.  More than once the two main characters met face-to-face, panting heavily in exertion, their lips about to touch. MORE . Than. Once.   For all of the faults I found with film (they were many, and are innumerate below)  I have to love it for its sheer shippyness.  I look forward to at least a small explosion of fanfic on the subject. 

The Bad:

Plot? What Plot?:

Anyone who has seen the previous X-Men films or read a single X-Men comic know exactly what is going to happen here: Charles Xavier will make friends with Erik Lensherr while they battle a common enemy and have sexually charged discussions about the future of mutant kind.  At some point, Erik will betray Charles (leaving him paralyzed) and then put on a really stupid hat so that he can go menace humanity while Charles starts up a school where he will train teenagers to become hated fear-fighting soldiers for justice.

We all know this is going to happen, the trick for the First Class production team was to tell a story that we all know without it becoming boring and predictable, and they sort of failed there.   The main conflict in the film was overly simplistic and kind-of not at all important, except that it allowed for fancy explosions and a chick in many different bikinis. The only villain who got any development in the film was Sebastian Shaw and his development boiled down to "he's a nazi", while Emma Frost and Azazel got limited screen time and mostly just blew and/or sexed stuff up.  Twister guy didn't even get a name, and its a bad day when I don't recognize a mutant, ladies and ladies. 

The interactions between the good and good-for-now guys was a lot more entertaining and emotionally impactful, but I can't say that the dialogue was anything other than mundane. There were very few moments of humor (barring Prof-X joking about going bald), and the only scene that really affected me was the one where Xavier loses the use of his legs, something I knew was going to happen anyway.

Why are things blowing up when we could be talking?:

Another problem I had with the film was the way that action sequences seemed to cut into the touching, character-developing moments of the film.  My social science might be showing, but all of my favorite bits in the movie were the ones where mutants talked about being mutants, bonded over their shared minority status, or basically did stuff that was interesting and human. 

Most of the action sequences in the film were straight up NOT EXCITING.  It was always obvious exactly who would win, and kind of not important seeing as it didn't involve Xavier and Erik's tumultuous sexual relationship.  

Who are all these people?

I realize that I complimented the film on its use of mutants in the above section, but I was still quite disappointed with the lack of development most of them got.  Alex Summers appeared in the film (showing up about thirty years before his brother) as a prisoner released to work with the "G-Men" (The team name was mentioned only once, at the very end of the film. WTF?) but there is no explanation as to what he is in jail for or WHO THE FUCK HE IS.  Likewise for Banshee (who doesn't get a real name, as far as I can remember) , Angel (who is there only to defect), Darwin, and all the bad-guys.

Seriously. We could have had the film with just Magneto, Prof X, Beast, and Mystique and it would have been the exact same movie but with less pointless shit. Just sayin'. 

The Ugly:

Okay, so there were two moments in the movie where I just sat there with a WTF feeling and they are as follows:

Beast Turns Himself Blue:

The Hank McCoy character was one of my favorites in the whole film. Well rounded and adorable, he struggles with his desire to be normal for the whole film before inadvertently turning himself blue and furry.  When I saw those prehensile toes start to turn blue, I was holding my breath. It was beautiful and horrible and I really, really felt Hank's pain. I was ready to give X-Men First Class a pat on the back for an important moment well-done.

And then, in the following scenes.  Hank shows up and essentially says, "Well this sucks." and then they go fight the bad guys, completely ignoring the kind of mental anguish he should be feeling.  Which means that my important emotional moment was ruined because they wanted Beast to fight mutant-Nazis. I am displeased.

On a final (incredibly nerdy) note, I would like to point out that Beast appears in the first X-men movie as a normal-looking person. It's only for a very short moment, but it's one of those small details which made the first movie so good, and it totally fucks with the timeline, guys.

Magneto Tries to Bomb Pretty Much Everyone:

In the climactic scene, Magneto performs his first real act as an evil human-hating mutant by donning his stupid hat and turning a bunch of bombs on the collected US and Russian navel forces.  It's pretty much meant to be the most impressive special-effects scene in the movie and it is very exciting, but I have one little problem with the scene.

Basically, he did the exact same thing in a previous film.  Remember when a bunch of police officers shoot at him and he stops the bullets in the air before flinging them back at the opposition? Yeah. Exactly the same but with missiles.  Sure it looked impressive, but I'd already seen it before and I was expecting it.  You'd think that a powerful, creative mutant like Magneto would have more than one trick up his sleeve.


So basically I think the film is a good watch, especially for X-Men fans.  I have a sneaking suspicion that all the scenes I would have really liked to see were cut out in editing, so I'm looking forward to the DVD extras. All in all, X-Men First class is better than Last Stand (thank the comic-gods) but nowhere near as complex or entertaining as those first two films.

I miss Bryan Singer.

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