Monday, June 6, 2011

The Dark Knight.. who?

X-Men: First Class is fantastic.

There was not a single flaw in this movie.  The only gripes I've been able to come up with have been things only hardcore, die-hard X-Men fans like myself would complain about; but even then it's things extremely insignificant, like I wish they didn't favour random characters over having Cyclops and Jean (a sequel, I say) or I wish Moira and Banshee had their Scottish accents.  Like I said, I don't care at all about minor things like that: this movie is as close to comic book or superhero movie perfection as possible.  It is, at least, on par with The Dark Knight; I feel that TDK, while technically flawless, didn't have nearly as much fun with itself like XM:FC did.

Astounding to me is that First Class finds its believability in its roots in history.  It's tough to make a movie grounded when the protagonists can read minds, turn to diamonds, manipulate metal and shapeshift.  First Class finds its antagonists - a group of high-rolling mutants known as the Hellfire Club - actually instigating the Cuban Missile Crisis.  How awesome is that, seeing Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw in a Russian war room convincing the Soviets to move their nuclear missiles to Cuba?

It was a joy to me to see a devastated franchise get a new life.  It was troubling to me, an X-Men fan, to think that the only way I'll ever see my favourite characters onscreen again would be in Wolverine sequels.  (by the way, I HATE Wolverine: he's already monopolized the original trilogy and it's bad enough we'll keep getting shit movies starring him with characters who have no business being in them - take Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  What the fresh hell?) In a similar sense, it was awesome to see older characters like Mystique and Beast again, played by really talented young actors.  It didn't hurt that my favourite naked blue character was played by Jennifer Lawrence.
Move over, January Jones.  You may not have worn many clothes in First Class, but your acting was kinda mediocre.  Besides, Jennifer Lawrence is my age.  SOULMATES

First Class was absolutely riveting.  I couldn't look away during the entire final act.  Throughout the whole movie my friend Amy and I constantly looked at each other and whispered "badass!" after a really, well, badass display of superpower.  (pretty much anything Magneto did.  Or, hell, even Emma Frost turning her hand into diamond to cut off a piece of glacier - yeah, glacier - to get ice for a drink.  It was the 60s and all; I believe Shaw's line was "now be a doll and fix me a drink")

It's very strange, re-watching the original trilogy (which I have been, forcing my friend to watch them so that I have an excuse to go see First Class again), knowing how the characters started off.  It's hard to watch Xavier and Magneto become friends when you know they're destined for enemies; similarly it was particularly difficult to know that Mystique was an innocent young girl considering in X-Men and X2 she's sliding around naked kicking ass and licking her lips at men as a villain.

X-Men: First Class works as a finely crafted film.  It works - and then some - as a prequel to the original movies.  It completely blows other superhero movies out of the water with its innovation (set in the 60s and in history, to be specific) and visual wonder.  I cannot wait to see it again.

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