Thoughts on "X-Men: First Class" (spoilers abound)
I was really pleasantly surprised by this movie. I just wanted to run down some of the characterizations in the movie and give my thoughts on them, and I definitely welcome yours.
I went to see this movie with lots of reservations because I felt badly burned by X-men The Last Stand and the presence of some tertiary (and really unlikeable characters) like Riptide and Azazel had me with a bad taste in my mouth before I even saw the movie. While I don't think that the presence of those two mutants was absolutely necessary, Azazel in particular had some really cool moments. When he used his teleportation powers to effectively bomb the CIA office with the bodies of its employees I was kind of in awe.
My biggest flaw with the movie was the character of Angel (or rather her actions). I thought that the character translated from the comic book to the big screen really well and I thought that the casting of Zoe Kravitz was an interesting choice. A lot of the appeal for the character in the comic book (for me) was that she was one of the most unglamorous mutants ever and that she was just this trashy chick with kind of gross powers. It was really neat to see her turned into a slick, stylish, sexy character and I was really surprised that I enjoyed seeing that. My issue with this character was how easily she deflected to the side of evil and how she decided to still stick with Sebastian Shaw even after he murdered Darwin right in front of her. It all seemed a little contrived and strange. Like I said though, it is one of my only criticisms with the movie.
Darwin, we hardly got to know ya. I appreciated his early death as sort of a nod to the Deadly Genesis team and he had a really cool death scene. His final scene was impactful, shocking, but still necessary to the progression of the story I think.
Mystique an amazing addition to this movie. Jennifer Lawrence was perfectly cast and it also served to make the Mystique character that was presented in later to movies to be infinitely more interesting. Her storyline and inclusion in the movie was extremely well thought out. The quick cameo by Rebecca Romijn could not have been more perfect either.
The character of Banshee was extremely different from his comic book counterpart but I didn't mind it in the least. Seeing Sean Cassidy as an eager and inexperienced young man was really interesting and he ended up being one of my favorite parts of the movie. I hope to see him in future X-men installments because they didn't touch on his character all that much and I am interested to see if they somehow tie him to the character of Siryn that appeared in the X-Men trilogy.
I can understand how many people would be up in arms over the depiction of Havok being the older Summers brother since much of his characterization in the comic book is from living in his brother's shadow but I appreciated how they handled him throughout the movie. They made many, many attempts to keep this movie in line with the X-Men trilogy's timeline and since Cyclops could not possibly have been in first class because of that, I appreciated having at least one Summers boy in there. His struggle with his powers was very similar to his comic book counterpart's and I think that they created a characterization of him that could certainly be developed much more.
I was initially really upset over the casting of January Jones as Emma Frost but I have changed my tune after seeing the movie. I had disliked her beacuse I was only familar with her in Mad Men and her disastrous turn at hosting SNL. She was able to project the cold, emotionless, ruthless, and calculation Emma Frost that I had grown to love to hate in the comic books back in the day. Her styling was spot on and I had the sensation of watching the comic book on screen instead of watching a movie at certain points when she was the center of attention. I think that is a great compliment to her.
Kevin Bacon (surprisingly, to me) portrayed the evil Sebastian Shaw extremely well. Many liberties were taken with the character's history and his powers but I feel like they suited the movie well and still left the essence of the character basically the same. I loved how they tied him in Magneto's origin so neatly.
Moira was like her comic book counterpart in disposition and appearance only, but I suppose they still give her room to become the woman she may be in the future. I didn't respond as well to her character's changes because they almost destroyed the essence of the character for me. She could have been any kick ass spy chick in the Marvel universe by the time they were done with her. She never showed any sort of aptitude for science or problem solving and that seems to be a majority of her character in the comic books (for me anyways)
The relationship and characterizations of Professor X and Magneto are a whole other blog post in themselves but its late and I will save it. Anyways, but did other folks think? I am anxious to hear.
I waited till the end of the credits..... for nothing. I would have liked to see Charles and the others creating a gravestone at the mansion with Darwins name, as a symbol of the first of many, and their could have been some interesting dialogue there.
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