Managed to get out and see X-Men: First Class this weekend, the third in the X-Men franchise and a prequel to the original.
It’s pretty good. It’s a giant Bond movie – like an original Sean Connery jetpacks and mad scientists trying to blow up the moon ’60s Bond – but with super powers.
There are about a million things I could nitpick, little flaws throughout that could have been fixed with another draft or two of the script. I’m gonna pick on the most glaring weakness, though, which was Emma Frost. January Jones looked the part, but, aside from her lackluster acting skills, the movie really didn’t give her anything to work with. None of Emma’s ruthless cunning came across at all. She’s a great manipulator, that’s her thing, but in this she was just another minion. (And this is excluding the heroic aspects of her character, which obviously wouldn’t have worked for the story in this movie.) It didn’t help that there was no Kitty Pryde-type character for her to bounce off of. It made me sad.
It also annoyed me that her clothes turned to diamond along with her skin. Maybe that was just a limitation of the special effects. But that’s just one of the million nit-picks.
Anyway, I guess it can’t be helped. The first couple X-films messed up Storm just as badly, so they have a track record for this sort of thing.
Just so I don’t end on a bad note – Magneto and Xavier were perfect, flawlessly executed (well, mostly – nearly everything between Xavier and Mystique was odd). The rest of the movie is there primarily to make them look good. It was fun seeing Magneto be a bad-ass and being morally ambiguous, which is always how I liked him in the comics (his moments of pure evil, trying to massacre millions of people, always struck me as out of character). And Xavier was great – we got to see him using his powers, training people to use theirs, healing people, and displaying some genuinely moving moments of compassion and empathy. You could definitely see this man going on to inspire others to follow his dream.
Anyway, there it is. Fun, but flawed. Just don’t think about it too hard while you’re watching.