Views From The Other Side

I guess I turned to the dark side…

Week Late Movie Reviews: X-Men: First Class

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Little bit late one this one, but here we go. Hollywood is doing a good job of surprising me so far this year. First it was Hangover Part 2 that surprised me after being less than impressive in the commercial and trailer market, now it’s time for Marvel’s mutants to leave me amazed. The movie wasn’t without it’s flaws, but it was a strong re-entry into the world of the X-Men…something that was sorely needed after the cinematic abortion that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

I’ll get the big piece of fail out of the way right now. Race is not exactly handled well, especially considering it was set in the 60’s. Confined to only one scene, there is a moment that definitely left me scratching my head. I won’t get into it much, you can do that here and in many other places already,  but it was interesting that they spent much of the movie focusing on the gay rights allusions in X-Men only to ignore much of the civil rights allusion, and maybe mess it up a bit too.

Aside from that awkward scene, overall the movie was a whole lot of fun. It featured a solid story that introduced a good set of characters, gave some strong performances, and told a fun story set during one of history’s coolest time periods. There were three things that stood out more than the rest and those are what I will cover from here on out, the first is a certain cameo, the second is Michael Fassbender, and the third is the set up for more fun.

First off, there is a fantastic cameo during the film that i won’t spoil. Just know that it is pretty damn funny and a nice nod to the rest of the X-Men film universe, no matter how terrible some have previously been…wink wink. It gave a laugh and was definitely a surprise, good to see that secrets can be kept these days…or just an indictment of how low the expectations were for this one and that no one cared to spill it.

Second, Michael Fassbender is fantastic as Magneto. He plays Magneto as the bad ass I grew up with in the comics and cartoon, plus he makes Nazi hunting as fun as I would expect if you had mutant powers. Bonus points are given for how well he looks in the Magneto costume, especially since it was done in the style it would have been made in that era. A nice retro touch to keep the film in the period it was set.

Finally, I cannot wait for a sequel to this movie. This film showed what can happen if a good team is behind an X-Men movie. This is good on the level I have rarely seen since X2 came out years ago. I can only hope that it performs well enough to have a sequel made because from what I hear, there are plans in place and mistakes from previous X-films won’t happen…specifically the shoehorning of mutants.

Overall, X-Men: First Class is a good, fun experience that impressed me on many levels, and left me scratching my head on others. I hope we get to see this era of the X-Men universe explored more, even if it isn’t the “traditional” first class that Marvel has exposed us to time and time again. So far Hollywood is 2 for 2 on movies that I have low expectations for, next up is Green Lantern and I will have more on that coming soon.

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Written by emeraldarcher

June 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

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