Friday, June 3, 2011

X-Men : First Class

 I must admit to have never taken to the X-Men franchise. I see the appeal but it is just wasn't for me. In many respects when the franchise first our screens I felt that the super hero market was already in the glut stage and felt we didn't need anymore. The last of the franchise I saw was Wolverine which was appaling in its awfulness. I was so embarrassed with myself for having sat through the whole thing I walked out of the theatre covering my face in shame!!

 I have seen the three previous X-Men movies ( on telly, as I didn't fancy seeing them in a theatre ), but really can't remember any of them as such. I just find the franchise so unremarkable that nothing leaps out at me and sticks in the grey matter. So suffice to say I was somewhat a reluctant ticket buyer earlier today, but you know how it is...I just had to go!! Believe it or not I enjoyed this movie even though it is CGI heavy and I'm seriously starting to hate the technique. Unfortunately it is here to stay and the more CGI movies I watch the more it seems the overall quality of what we are watching is rapidly degrading. I'm afraid I'm after substance not style, and CGI doesn't satify me in any way.

 I'm not a fan of re-makes or re-boots as such either as I see them as a money grab, and underlines a serious lack of original thinking in mainstream Hollywood. At the moment the only interesting American movies are from independants and I think Hollywood has got to have a serious look at where it is going cinema wise. When you are the biggest show out there you can dominate of course but I'm tired of CGI and re-boots etc to be honest. But bitching aside X-Men : First Class surpassed my expectations as I really thought I'd be groaning and fidgeting right throughout it wanting all the misery to my eyes to end. But it wasn't like that at all, in fact some of it was quite good and engaged my attention.

 The cast is a good one to start with. Kevin Bacon has been around a longtime and is a seasoned actor and I found he brought credibilty to the movie. As did James McAvoy. He in particular stood out for me even though he looked a bit stupid putting his fingers to his temple as he read people's minds. I wondered as I watched him if he felt stupid acting it out?!! I think quality roles like Atonment has sharpened his acting and it shows in his performance in this. January Jones was her mediocre self and was nothing more than eye candy in a tight white outfit. She was her usual uninspiring self, and totally devoid of any screen presence what-so-ever. 

 Jennifer Lawrence was the disapointment for me. She is an extremely talented actress and is totally under utilised here. If you want to see how good she can be watch Winter's Bones which I reviewed several months ago. In that review I stated my fears for her if she appeared in X-Men. Well I was right as her lines are totally banal and really clang at times. It is what I feared as she would be used as eye candy and have her real talents mis-used. She is better than this I really hope she doesn't get sucked into roles like this too often. It'll ruin her career before it has really started.

 Besides these two issues with the female stars, one of who will never be an actress of any note ( January Jones! ), the rest of the cast was very good. It is sad to see that Lawrence is the only one who was given such crap lines to deliver as the rest of the cast have good dialogue and it is a step above what I was expecting. I really was expecting this to be a very expensive b-grader but it is way above that. Possibly the only really mistake made was a small cameo by Hugh Jackman. It provided nothing as such and was more an acknowledgement of his character than anything relevant to this movie.

 Well overall when I have a serious look at this movie I find I can't really find much to say about it. Unfortuantely after a season of David Lean nothing else is going to compare and the latest releases for me have suffered because of this. They have been in all honestly fucking crap when compared against Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, etc. I think if you are an X-Men aficianado then you will really like this addition to the franchise. It is a very solid movie with a reasonable script, cast, and actors involved. It is of course CGI'ed to the max and I found myself somewhat jaded by it. Sure the scenario may be different but the technique is the same and it just doesn't impress me anymore.

 A surprisingly well made movie that I'm sure will satisfy most audiences. I liked it but felt it just another CGI super hero movie in an already glutted market of super heroes. But as a prequel it works very well and bettered my initial expectations of what I was going to get served with. Like I say I'm not a fan as such of the franchise and will leave the fans to really critique it. As a movie I've seen it all before, and yet I will say it is well above average and will better your expectations. I'm sure it will race to number one in box offices around the world and make zillions in the which to make another movie!! ( I will say this though. I prefered this to Thor which I found neither here nor there, where as I have very definite ideas about this movie ).

Click here for a synopsis and more:

And here for the official site:


  1. I grew up with the X-Men characters so I am at the opposite end of the scale in terms of levels of excitement and hopes for the film.

    A friend on facebook picked up on the CGI and thought is was below average which brought it to my attention. The only aspect I picked up on was that Beast looked awful even when compared with the Beast in X-Men 3.

    Glad to see that the dislike of January Jones is international ;-)

    This is the one reboot I want to succeed and when the next film is made I will be there on opening night with greater than average levels of excitement.

  2. Brent.
    I wasn't really in the mood for this at all yesterday. But I did see it was a well made movie..I had real difficutly trying to write anything about it though!!
    JJones..yeah what is it about her that gets under one's skin? She is a mediocre actress at best but it is something more than her lack of talent.

  3. I'm not fan of X-Men, neither the comic books nor the films, but I liked them all - even Brett Ratner's "The Last Stand" and "Wolverine". Mindless fun. So I'm having the same expectations for this one. The trailers were exciting, so I hope the film will be too.

  4. It is a solid movie...and I'm not a fan either. It was far superior ot what I was expecting and I was surprised by the fact I did enjoy it.