Monday, June 6, 2011

Mini-Review: X-Men: First Class

So I caught X-Men: First Class on Friday night with my wife and a group of friends, while (it turns out) my daughter was home screaming and crying and making life difficult for my dad who had agreed to babysit so we could have an adult night out. 

After drinks and large amounts of not-good-for-you foods that involve battering things and deep-frying them, we headed over to the movie.  I went in with very low expectations, because I thought X-Men 3 was really bad, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine was one of the worst things I'd ever seen committed to film or television since the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Code of Honor."

But, cutting to the chase - I really liked this film.  A lot.  It's safe to say that it's my favorite of all of the X-Men films they've put out, by far.  One of my friends at my D&D game today asked me how it compares to Iron Man.  Well, it's no Iron Man.  But, that doesn't make it a bad film.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It hit a lot of great points for me - the characters were interesting, the dialogue did not seem "comic-booky", the story was pretty compelling, and I didn't once look at my watch to see when it was ending.

Some things did bother me - I hate how they've had to recreate X-Men history of who the original team members were because the suits at the movie studio decided to completely mess up the first movie by putting a team together based on "Who are the popular characters with the kids?" instead of following comic book continuity.  But, that is, admittedly, a nick-pick.  The movie should be judged on its own merits, not on how closely it follows comic continuity.


This is the second Marvel movie in a row that I've really enjoyed (I also saw Thor on opening weekend and absolutely loved it, which is odd considering I don't like him as a character in the comics and had zero interest in seeing the movie, only going because my wife forced me - she does the advertising for Acura and they are a sponsor of the movie since they are the "official car" of S.H.I.E.L.D.).  You've got to give this Summer's crop of Marvel movies some credit after the debacles that were Wolverine, Spider-Man 3, and the horrendous Fantastic Four films, not to mention Daredevil, Elektra... the list goes on.

Should I be optimistic about Captain America?  I want to be, but the cynic in me says to continue to go in with low expectations so I'm not disappointed.  Check back here later this Summer to find out my thoughts. 

And go see X-Men: First Class.  You won't be disappointed.

4 comments:

  1. Agreed. I've not been a fan of the X-films -- although I enjoyed X2 -- but this was not only the best of the lot, but really good in its own right.

    Much as I like Thor the character and enjoyed Thor the film, I'd put this a notch above it, but yes, it's not as good as Iron Man or Spider-Man 2.

    I have a suspicion that Captain America is going to be poor. I may well still go to see it though, whereas I think Green Lantern is going to be an atrocity and I won't go anywhere near it.

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  2. I have to see Green Lantern on account of him being my all time favorite superhero. I am so happy they are even making a Green Lantern film that I think I may be able to forgive the particulars of the film incarnation (outside of the ugly CGI suits - bleh).

    Besides, Rot Lop Fan is in the film. Rot Lop Fan! The freakin' F Sharp Bell! That's somebody on the production staff doing their homework.

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  3. @Kelvin - I agree about not being a fan of the X-Men films to date. A lot of people think the original one was really good, but for me all I could think about was how much better it should have been. People usually say "it was a really good comic-book movie." I'm not sure why that has to be a separate classification. It's like an excuse. You should just say "it was a good movie" or "it was not a good movie."

    As for Green Lantern...

    I'm with @Barking Alien. He's one of my favorite comic book characters, and I'm really more of a DC guy anyway (versus Marvel). I'm definitely not expecting it to be great, but I am glad that DC is finally getting off their butt and starting to produce some movies other than Superman and Batman.

    Even their animated movies took forever to get going - Marvel had a ton of Avengers and related character titles out years ago, but DC took a really long time to dip their toe into the water. When they finally did, though, the results have been strong. The Justice Leauge: New Frontier movie was really strong, as was one of their most recent efforts, All Star Superman.

    Of course, both of those were based on really good storylines lifted directly from the comics. It's further proof for me that the movie studio execs should really just lift the stories right out of the comics rather than coming up with new convoluted stories for major studio live-action releases that have no resemblance to the source material (X-Men films, I'm looking at you).

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  4. Thanks for the review. I was planning on skipping this, since most superhero movies don't do it for me. I may reconsider now.

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