Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Skip class.

X-Men: First Class.

Before I tear this apart let me explain something – I didn’t read X-men comics as a kid. I do read X-Force now though, and I did get the X-cutioner’s Song cross over and I know about X-Men and watched the cartoon etc. But I was never dying over them.

So these films should appeal to me. I mean they don’t follow the comics at all and as the fifth film in the X-Men franchise I am wondering when they will follow the comics. But I can view them as movies and I am the target audience. Don’t know much, but love superheroes. Even on that small level, these movies kind of fail.

Too many people tell me I am too hard on movies and I don’t watch them to be entertained. Well you are all WRONG. DEAD WRONG. I own so many B movies that for every movie YOU have EVER SEEN I own a B movie, maybe even twice over. And everyone looks down on low-budget, horror and action flicks. But I love them. I love fun movies, Hobo With a Shotgun, Priest, Green Lantern, I also like serious films, True Grit, Source Code, and I love artistic films that are basically works of art, like Sucker Punch etc. Not all these movies have great narratives or make you think, they are just fun.

So on to X-Men. I will not bore you with how this is so not the comics that it shouldn’t even be called X-Men, maybe Z-Boys or something, but instead I will review this as the fifth film in the X-Men series.

To recap: X-Men, then X2: X-men United, then X-Men the Last Stand, and then X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now X-Men First Class.

So in X3 (I will use short terms X X2 X3 XW XFC) Professor X and Magneto come to recruit a young Jean Grey – they are made younger through the modern CGI technique and Prof X walks. So when does that scene occur? Cause in XFC Prof X and Magneto split up at the end. In X3 – they were clearly older and on the same page – maybe Magneto comes back at some point though.

Ok. Here’s a thought – Kevin Bacon plays the leader of the Hellfire Club, Shaw. He can harness energy and then shoot it back out. He wants to cause nuclear war. So why doesn’t he just have his red skinned buddy teleport him into a reactor, harness the energy and then go to the white house and blow the shit out of it. Why does he need to cause the Cuban Missile Crisis for his plan? Just go blow shit up!

I know why – because people need to feel a real connection to what’s going on. It has to be grounded in reality even though it’s a superhero comic book. Green Lantern fights a huge monster so that’s not good enough.

The X-Men need to fight something real. Here’s something to think about. There are 5 X-Men films and they fight, Stryker and Magneto for all but 1 of them. Shaw is the villain here, but why not fight the Sentinels, or Mr. Sinister, or Apocalypse? Because they don’t want you to see those characters! So they end up showing you these crappy human villains that basically suck. If I can beat up the main villain in a movie, that is not good. I guess I cant beat up Shaw since he harness energy – but why not just punch him in the face. Can he harness physical attacks? I mean Havoc shoots him, but he catches it and re-directs it, but cant someone punch him?

The powers in these films is not very developed. Emma Frost (bad acting master) can turn to diamond. But Magneto traps her and chokes her with a brass rail of a bed. How can brass choke someone that is made of diamonds? I thought they were pretty strong!

Another point is in the costumes – Kevin Bacon gets the Magneto helmet and then makes fun of it – “Now I can take this ridiculous thing off.” Then later “Do we really have to wear these suits.” I cannot tell you how F-CKING SICK I am of people making fun of the suits. In X1 – same thing – “Would you prefer yellow spandex?” – that was said to Wolverine – funny cause he wears yellow in the comics – didn’t stop Uma Thurman from wearing the Game of Death Bruce Lee Yellow Jump Suit in Kill Bill. Whatever – stop making fun of the movie you are making!!!!!!!!

This franchise in general is very under whelming. Those who love these movies don’t know anything about X-Men, and don’t much care to know, or even to care to pay attention the previous films in the series. If you did you would notice all sorts of errors.

But that aside, I will pretend that this the first movie and that I never saw the other films. Ok, so Mystique (aka Raven) loves Charles, then Beast, then Magneto and after raising her, she betrays Charles and goes with Magneto?

Also, Havoc – they set up 3 statues – “Hit the middle one” he is told – guess what will happen – if you guess he will hit all BUT the middle you guessed right.

Everything in this movie is set up that way. Obvious punch lines and no suspense.

Nothing makes sense and the villains plan is over complicated when he has the power to just destroy stuff on his own – he doesn’t need the Russians and we know nothing happened during the crisis anyway.
If I were to judge this as an X-Men film it’s 1/5.
As a prequel to 4 other films it’s a 2/5.
If I judge this purely from “popcorn – having a good time with friends” then it’s a 3.5/5

For all its faults I did enjoy a good deal of it – it dragged at parts, but I loved Magneto (who apparently decides to shed his better costume in favour of the grey one in X1) and Charles was cool too. And I enjoyed some of the fights.

Final grade.
3/5 – I am being super generous here, like really. I am pretending I don’t know anything about X-Men and that the first 4 films didn’t happen – actually, if this was the only X-Men film, then it would have been better – then again, not knowing anything about X-Men, or caring.


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