YeOldeJacob's Mini-Reviews - X-Men: First Class
by, 3rd June 2011 at 11:28 PM (138 Views)
In an attempt to make my movie reviews a bit more accessible, most of them will be taking on a new format; shorter, more conversational, and less technical. So let's get started:
X-Men: First Class did something no piece of X-Men media has ever done; it got me to give a shit about X-Men.
I’m gonna jump right to the obvious hyperbole; when it comes to super hero movies, First Class is, in fact, first class in just about every way. It’s an origin story that is well written, well directed, well shot, and well acted. There is nothing glaringly wrong with this movie. In fact, it could very well make it on my Top 10 list at the end of the year. That’s certainly something I never thought I’d say about an X-Men movie.
What makes First Class so much better than every X-Men movie (and every comic book movie not directed by Christopher Nolan), is its perfect balance between serious character moments and badass, over the top action. Obviously, First Class can’t be a Dark Knight-type comic book movie (I typically refuse to even classify Nolan’s Batman series as “comic book movies” because I feel it is unfair to the other films in the genre), but it does have characters that are fully fleshed out and not just props for huge action sequences. And while there are complete scenes that almost fall into sappy cliche goop (“You are perfect the way you are.” is a line that stands out in an entire subplot that is way too kindergarten for a movie with a character whose roots are in his torture as a child by a Nazi Kevin Bacon. I understand having to fit the “be yourself” stuff in there, but a little subtlety would have been nice.), that is the only complaint I have with this flick, and it is damned minimal.
While everyone in this movie nails their roles, James McAvoy (Prof. Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and Kevin Bacon (Sebastian Shaw), take turns trying to steal the show from each other. They, more than anyone else in this movie, make you actually give a shit about these characters. When was the last time an X-Men flick did that? I’ll tell you when; never.
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