[Short Version: This happens a lot. The End.]
Welcome to The Superficial review of X-Men: First Class which I might have said would be “dorkishly, tit-free” ala the Thor review, but that was before I knew January Jones‘ cleavage is the diamondy heart that holds this movie together in spite of her acting and fondness for letting extramarital sperm fertilize her eggs. (I want that on the DVD cover.) Anyhow, this is the comic movie I was most looking forward to this summer thanks to Matthew Vaughn who has yet to direct a film I haven’t loved which is impressive considering I hated the Kick-Ass comic, but will punch small women and children in the mouth until they agree to watch the movie. *shakes fist at day care* On that note, again, I’m not a professional film critic (Although, I did work at Blockbuster one summer…), just a man who writes penis jokes underneath celebrities in bikinis along with the occasional domestic abuse watchdogging. Consider this an exercise in blabbing about superheroes from the anonymity of my basement so I don’t die sexless and alone. Shall we?
NOTE: Spoilers are whited out, but you can highlight them with your mouse to read them. Like this juicy nugget: I write a bunch of words about the movie after this sentence.
The Shit That Worked:
- Michael Fassbender: Much like Chris Hemsworth owned Thor, Michael Fassbender as Magneto is the core of the movie (Not counting diamond boobs. Obvs.), and he makes the character way more interesting than “this guy has magnet hands.” Of course, a lot of that is the script – which I don’t want to say is Marvel’s The Dark Knight, but it’s definitely its Batman Begins – but this is an example of pitch-perfect casting combined with great writing. (See, also: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister saying lines straight from the book in Game of Thrones.)
- James McAvoy as Professor X. Much like Michael Fassbender brought a nuanced, yet palpable sense of power to Magneto, James McAvoy brought an earnest and hopelessly ideal spin to Charles Xavier that came off as sincere which was not the case with some other characters. A commenter on one movie site claimed McAvoy “phoned it in” which I can safely say is bullshit, but then again, opinions are subjective. So to me, he delivered, and I put words into the Internet, so you’ll shut your damn mouth.
- January Jones’ breasts. In the words of Leonard Maltin, “Ay chihuahua!”
- The “First Class.” My major concern with this movie, and with any X-Men movie, is trying to cram way too mutants into it so fanboys shart themselves going, “OMG! Psylocke!” This refreshingly wasn’t the case. They handled the students pretty organically save for the obvious token character who they handled, uh, not so well. More on that later.
- The story in general. For the most part, the overall plot worked, and at two hours and 23 minutes the filmmakers actually took the time to actually develop characters, subplots, etc. as opposed to the last two X-Men films (X-Men: Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) which forcibly raped people. I know that sounds harsh, but think about them for a second, and then try say to I’m wrong. — S’what I thought.
- Kevin Bacon. I don’t care if his mutant power was calling celebrity bloggers with pink backgrounds “fags,” this just updated Six Degrees for a new generation. Seriously, try to link Michael Fassbender to Kevin Bacon without using this movie. It’s probably possible, but I’m lazy and needed a premise for this joke. Abandon ship!
The Shit That Kinda Worked:
- Whether or not this was a prequel. Matthew Vaughn had said in interviews this movie isn’t exactly a prequel, but if you watch this thing, it’s pretty much a prequel, dude. Granted, they had to take a few liberties thanks to Wolverine using Emma Frost as a throwaway character, but when you cram in the two cameos they did, this baby breached prequel country. Which brings me to…
- The cameos. Admittedly, the Hugh Jackman cameo made me chuckle because a.) it somehow wasn’t spoiled on the Internet, but probably is now, and b.) it was a clever use of something you’re allowed one of in a PG-13 movie. As for the Rebecca Romjin one, I literally thought Jennifer Lawrence just got fat for a second and screamed “Bitch, get out da house!” at Michael Fassbender’s ten-foot face.
- The civil rights undertones. While X2: X-Men United might as well have had a character who fired rainbow beams out of his cock directly into the bigoted hearts of Republicans, X-Men: First Class instead went for more of a Holocaust/evils of mankind movie and steered so clear of blatant civil right themes – save a ham-fisted line by Beast – that the film only had two minority characters, and within minutes of each other, killed one and made the other become a bad guy while letting two white guys essentially play Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. (100% True Story: Right as this happened, I saw a black guy a few rows down whisper in his wife’s ear, and I’ll bet cash money he said, “If Halle Berry‘s big ol’ titties don’t show up, this is worse than slavery.” Cash money.)
- The love story. Suddenly during the movie Charles Xavier has a girlfriend, so I guess we’re supposed to assume at some point he used his mind powers to get some off-screen which is how I chose to look at it and would’ve played it myself without a trace of hesitation. *holds fingers to temple* My wiener is now a beautiful pair of shoes…
- Thinking about any sequence of events for more than a minute. One of the problems with jam-packing a movie full of characters with insane powers is you start to realize there’s hundreds of ways they can easily escape a situation – not just counting the teleporting guy – but you basically have to pretend they’d just stand there because right now it’s Character X’s turn to use his/her power. It’s annoying, but you kind of just shrug it off and eat a burrito which is how I chose to handle it because it’s summertime. Or as Michael Bay calls it, “You arch your back and you arch it now!” time.
The Shit That Shat:
- January Jones’ acting. They might as well have called her character “Betty Draper in Lingerie” because that’s entirely how she played it.
- Jennifer Lawrence‘s acting. I don’t know if it was the script, or the Mystique makeup, but how the hell was this chick up for an Oscar?
- Zoe Kravitz’s acting. Granted, this section is starting to look sexist, but keep in mind I’m not the one who ignored these chicks delivering lines like a monotone robot and went, “Boobs. You’re hired.”
Wow, this got kind of long, so let’s wrap things up. Final recommendation: Definitely worth seeing in theaters, and probably the best of the X-Men films even though seeing the Wolverine Berserk scene for the first time in X2 will always have a special place in my nerd heart. Also, for you ladies, and gents, who are a fan of the Fassbender, he brings the goods and is practically James Bond in the first hour, so bring extra pantaloons.
Rating: Four Jon Hamms for 60s action and jokes about women in the workplace.
Photos: 20th Century Fox