Monday, June 06, 2011

What'ch Lookin' At?

I have seen the new X-Men: First Class Movie.
It was fun.  It had X-Men in it.  It was in the 60s.  It was a prequel.

I liked the movie.  It wasn’t a great movie.  But superhero movies seldom are.
It was not a bad movie.  I could watch this thing 10 times before feeling as abused as the Transformer movies have left me feeling.

As with most things X-Men, there are too many characters to do justice to any of them.  And the best comics and movies usually focus on 1, 2 or 3 characters and give us time to get to know them and what drives them to do what they do.  There are so many X-Men and Others in this movie that we don’t know why they do the things that they do.

The groovy 60s aren’t nearly groovy enough in this film, in my opinion.  And the female characters get treated like crap.  Emma Frost is one of the strongest characters in comics, but in the film she comes across as just psychic arm-candy.  Even the CIA agent starts off strong, but she ends up wishy-washy and lovelorn.

Add to that the fact that this is a prequel: so the film has all the problems that prequels always have.  The script gets hemmed in by the fact that the end point is already known to everyone.  So there can be no “real” surprises, just cleaver reveals and sideways winks.

The biggest disappointment for me personally, was The Helmet.  Magneto has always had this helmet that protects him from psychics, psychics like is old best friend Charles Xavier.  So where did he get the psychic-nullifying helmet?  Well, when the movie gets rolling, Shaw (the bad guy) has it.  And he introduces its origins simply by saying, “The Russians made this.”  That’s it?  The Russians who are shown to be bumbling idiots throughout the film are the genesis of this masterful piece of technology?  Really?  They might as well have said it was magic: half of a pair, which includes a spear.  (Spear and Magic Helmet…get it?  Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny?  No?)

But with all that said and done, let me restate for the record: X-Men: First Class was a fun film and I enjoyed it.  And that is all you can expect.  It was not a great film, but very few films are.  I liked it.  And I will watch it again when it comes out on DVD or whatever space-aged technology we are using to watch films on in the future.  Go see it.  You’ll like it.

And now we wait for Green Lantern, Captain America and Cowboys and Aliens.  There are a lot of comic book movies this summer.  Gotta like that!

No comments: