Onto the movie: This is the first of a planned origins trilogy, so it's nice to see good casting if we have to look at these people for years to come. One of the movie’s strengths is the bromance between damaged, vengeful Erik Lehnsherr and idealistic, encouraging Charles Xavier. Also, it’s really nice to see them younger and hotter and more mobile. James McAvoy’s Xavier brought lots of smiles to faces as a smart, idealistic little charmer with a heart and beer-chugging abilities. And that accent was adorable. Ern hated James M. because of the movie Wanted. Don’t even get her started on Wanted. BLECK. But now, she’s a fan. He did Professor X proud.
Michael Fassbender had some sort of weird, ever-changing accent that we can’t pin down. We know he’s a mix of German and Irish, in real life. But other than that, he was great, and it was the director's fault/idea anyway. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/x-men-first-class-star-194364.) There’s nothing like an antihero to steal a show. One of us has liked him since Inglorious Basterds (where his crazy accent actually got everyone killed), and he made an alright Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre too. But we think that both he and James did their best jobs here, and we’re glad to see them get such good material. The two had great chemistry and milked their parts for all they were worth. They could have been the only mutants in the darn thing, and it would have still been good.
Ern was really hard on Thor (too hard, probably) for being generic, and she gave it only a B. The X-Men movie is a little better, because it had more going on in the relationships between the characters. The story was fine, the direction was great, and the pacing was much better than Thor’s. It went by quickly and didn’t feel slow, while Thor sagged a bit in the middle. Really, what you want in a movie is to be entertained, right? Pacing is a big part of that.
There were a few good laughs and cameos too. There was tension, even though we all know what happens to the main characters, eventually. The effects were good. The X-Men movies have nice tolerance messages that can sometimes get a little heavy-handed, but we’ll forgive that. The new characters were fun.
What didn’t work for us? Well, Jennifer Lawrence brought a lot to a boring role, but we didn’t like the origin story where she and someone else were best friends. When you look at the other movies, there is no continuity with that plot line. Also, lots of things could have spanned two movies. They didn't need to wrap up and end so much if there is going to be a trilogy. Beast was a little whiny, and we weren’t digging the Kevin Bacon performance. Or the January Jones performance. But is that really a surprise?
Bottom line: This is one blogger’s second-favorite superhero movie, if you don’t count Kick-Ass, which was more of a comedy. The number one is still The Dark Knight. That was this blogger’s Titanic. This blogger saw it six times in the theater. Wow, why am I admitting that?
Movie Grade: A