X-Men: First Class

The main plot of X-Men: First Class comes off as extraneous, but the movie is still an entertaining look into the characters' backgrounds. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy do a great job portraying the origins of Charles and Erik's relationship, and Kevin Bacon hits the right notes as the villain. 

I don't know why I wasn't interested in First Class when it first came out; maybe because I didn't know any of the actors at the time. Now James McAvoy is one of my favorites, and I like Nicholas Hoult from Warm Bodies. I wasn't really on the Michael Fassbender boat before I saw First Class, but now I think he's good. I was a little confused about the casting of Kevin Bacon for the villain, but he did a good job with it. His nose was insanely distracting, though. I guess it's always been like that and I just haven't seen him in a lot of movies. Maybe they could've shot from a more flattering angle. Or maybe it didn't bother anyone else.

I always thought of the title "First Class" as like "elite fighters for the government" or something, and I don't think I realized until I saw the movie that it meant "the first class that Professor X trains." I still don't like Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique; or I don't like the way they're styling this version of her, or both. The suit is just unattractive, and the hair looks so fake. What they did with Rebecca was so much better. And I'd love for them to spring on some CGI or something to soften the look of the greasepaint. My #1 X-Men pet peeve, greasepaint; especially glaring for Azazel this time.

Raven really needed to come off it with Charles, though. It was obvious he wasn't into her. Sometimes you just have to move on. Maybe she felt like he was her only shot since he was the only one who would accept her, but even then he really didn't. Right or wrong, overall she's just not a sympathetic character for me.

The whole "Cuban missile crisis" plot was kind of distracting. I didn't care about it. I just wanted to see what was going on with the X-Men. I wish I had seen this before I saw Future Past. It would've been great to have some background on it. I found it really annoying that Mystique was naked all the time in Future Past, but I guess she was just being "mutant and proud," so that adds some context there. First Class was better than Future Past in the sense that they didn't beat you over the head with the time period. For the most part, I didn't even notice it was set in the 60s.

I liked the line when Erik said they wanted the same thing and Charles said, "I'm sorry, but we do not." The whole X-Men theme of "should we persecute the mutants/humans" is interesting, because you can see the logic of both sides, and it never really gets resolved. It was ridiculously short-sighted of Charles to think that the mutants wouldn't be persecuted just because the mutants and the government were both fighting the Russians, though.

The montage when they recruited all the mutants was fun. I love the part where they talk to Wolverine and wind up not getting him on the team. The training sequence was good, too, but they mentioned something about "this last week" and I thought, that was it? You only trained for a week? James did an interesting characterization of Charles. I would've understood it better in Future Past if I had seen this first. I love the scene where he's drunk and trying to come on to MacTaggert, and she's not having it. It's interesting to see him flip from that to the "wise teacher," but I'm not entirely sure I buy it.

A lot of people take issue with January Jones' acting, but she gets typecast for certain roles, and it works, so I'm fine with it. I felt bad for Frost being stuck with Shaw, though. It seemed like she gave up his location too easily. I guess she just didn't want to die, or she wasn't that loyal to him, or a combination of both.

The musical choices could've been better. It was glaringly overbearing/cheesy, especially when Erik was lifting the submarine out of the water. That whole fight went on too long for me. Getting to see Erik use his powers when he killed the Nazis at the bar was cool. It was a bummer when Darwin died. He was trying to protect himself from the energy, and I thought maybe he was going to be able to pull it off, but no dice.

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