Ready for a shock? This movie was utterly charming and enjoyable — just as long as you aren’t too attached to Marvel comics continuity (Moire McTaggert as CIA agent? I could hear the teeth grinding…) and ignore some of the clunkier bits of plot (let’s see, here’s a mutant character not from the comics who no one has ever heard of, and who is black. Does he die first? Why yes, yes he does! Srsly!).
What I absolutely loved: McAvoy and Fassbender as Charles and Erik, Professor X and Magneto, and the arc of their friendship. Erik is a murderous bastard — and totally sympathetic. Charles is charming and compassionate, and the film and these actors completely sold me on the idea that they would become best friends under these circumstances, and that their friendship couldn’t survive their philosophical differences. But thinking of it now, the friendship never goes away, though the outward expression of it might. The film purposefully echoes the chess scene at the end of the the first X-Men movie — some kind of relationship goes on. I’m very curious now to go back and watch it, and see how many other echoes are there, and if this movie actually adds some depth to the first one.
Before the movie, I kept thinking about the first X-Men movie, and how powerful and daring it was, rooting the mythos firmly in history by starting with Erik as a young boy in a Nazi concentration camp. That setting would be the backdrop for every philosophical discussion in the series after. So I was amused when “X-Men: First Class” started with exactly the same scene. As if they knew they couldn’t do any better than that, so why not embrace it?
Bonus Rant Inspired By Green Lantern Trailer
There’s the bit where Hal Jordan says something like, “That alien saw something in me I can’t see in myself.” And his doe-eyed girlfriend says, all heartfelt, “I see it.” And then Hal goes off to save the world.
I suddenly became furious. Because what I really want, more than anything, is to see a movie about a superheroine where her supportive boyfriend says, “I believe in you, go save the world,” and she does. Where a woman is the actual hero and not just the supportive backdrop. Or stuffed in a fridge…
I told this to my friend who said, “You know you’re never going to get that, right?”
And I was filled with even more rage. Seething rage. Because it’s not fair that I can’t have that. It’s sexist, condescending, and totally not fair. I may have to go write the damn thing myself just to get it out of my system.
Back to X-Men: First Class
Speaking of women heroes, Moire McTaggert, CIA agent, was awesome.