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Old June 7 2011, 02:20 PM   #241
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS - Grading+Discussion **SPOILERS!**

TrekkieMonster wrote: View Post
Saw it last night and, while I know I'm in the minority by a fair bit, I was underwhelmed. Grade: C.

I liked:

- Fassbender's Erik, for the most part.
- McAvoy's Xavier, for the most part.
- the several tips of the hat to the early comic & characters (including the costumes)
- the Erik/Charles relationship and development
- how Charles was paralyzed
- the Concentration Camp scenes
- How Erik "disposes of" Shaw
- early, non-hairy Beast
- Havok
- Banshee
- the attempt to get the '60s feel right
- that Fassbender was able to pull off the dramatic final beach scenes wearing that stupid helmet.

I disliked:

- how they barely kept Erik's personality from becoming Logan's
- the first pub scene, where they tried to establish Charles as a roguish ladies man, which he then proceeds not to be for the rest of the movie; totally unnecessary to the plot and slowed the movie down unnecessarily (a recurring theme for me.)
- January Jones (can't act her way out of a paper bag)
- how slow and plodding the movie was. It needed a good editor, and some life. I can't recall ever being bored before in a comic book movie (okay, maybe Daredevil.)
- how they only made a half hearted attempt to get the '60s feel of the movie right; clothes, cars, horn-rimmed glasses and a groovy white sitting room aren't enough, and the other bits they attempted seemed superficial and inconsistently used.
- the "fish bowl" scene, when the CIA facility was attacked and the "kids" all just watched from an incredibly vulnerable position
- that they didn't make me really care about any of the secondary characters, such as Darwin; I felt nothing when he died.
- the "training montage", which seemed to have been intended to be lively and action-packed, instead came off plodding and filled with more comic relief than action.
- the blue Beast make up; HORRIBLE!
- that they used the Moira McTaggart name for a role that was completely unlike her character and could have been filled by any number of other Marvel characters.
- Magneto's helmet. I liked that they brought in the concept and explained it and stayed consistent with X1, but using the actual original design just ended up being comical (and not in a good way.)

It was okay, but just left me more disappointed than entertained. I actually found myself yawning and looking at my watch at points. I'm one of those old time geeks who collected the X-Men comics from the very beginning, so I admit I may be overly critical of the movies. On the other hand, I enjoyed X1 just fine. This had so much potential, and has been so highly touted, I suppose that may have led to some of my disappointment.

Anyway, just one viewer's opinion. No more or less valid than anyone else's, I suppose, but there it is. Let the bashing begin.
I was thinking of posting a full review (I may still do so) but I am pretty much in full agreement with all you said here.

Additionally:

-The villain is all wrong. Really. He was ok when we thought he was a human Nazi conducting a cruel experiment on mutants like Erik (killing his mother to get him to use his abilities) because this would justify Erik's hatred and mistrust of humans that is the core of his very character. Making the villain a mutant really tables all that. Worse is the fact that he is an uber-powerful mutant. Gawd. I'm less interested in how powerful a villain is and more what their character is like.

- The movie was oddly paced. These scenes should have fell in different spots. Usually I am all for a movie having more backstory to tell, but not in this case, and all the various mutant scenes early on would confuse many people. I also was sure going in that the whole Cuban Missile Crisis thing would come earlier in the film, at the end of the first act, and would be followed by action scenes that were a lot more personal later. (other scenes placed in the same spot in a film would be the mansion raid in X2, the Slimer scene in Ghostbusters, the Times Square Goblin Attack in Spider-Man and the Batmobile chase in Batman Begins) Placing the crisis at the end of the film makes the film too busy to have scenes like Xavier's paralysis and Erik's defection play out properly form an emotional level.. there's just too much going on too many onlookers. Also, the training scenes come so close to the end of the film that it seems awkward. The people that wrote this film had no idea how to edit or pace a film. All they had was a lot of energy.
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