keep digging your hole
Those who know me know how how much of a stickler i am for original canon. Every comic movie has irked me in at least a dozen ways with their pointless and unintelligent changes to the wonderful works of art they draw from.
The friend i saw the midnight showing with (a moderate comic reader who knows allot of the broader strokes of comic stories, but few of the fine details) knew this about me, and suggested i enjoy the movie as a continuation of the current franchise, and not a movie adaptation of the X-men. and i did. But even as a prelude to the Fox X-Men franchise, i found this movie mediocre.
The movie is visually amazing. The designs are true and interesting. The costumes are crisp. Even the special effects are comfortably modest. No unnecessary explosions or overly vivid colors. Just A real, honest view. And its good.
Also, the actors are all on their game. McAvoy makes you think about and view Young Xavier in a way you never did before. Cocky, but only because he's wise enough to know people gravitate towards that kind of person. Fassbender gives us a very tortured and driven Magneto. And the rest of the X-men and Hellfire Club play their roles as best as they can with what the script gave them (which for the most part was perfect).
There are allot of fun cameos too. Some people from the other X-movies show their faces, and if your a big cinema buff, you'll recognize allot of B and C list actors from various movies and Tv shows dipping in and out of the lime light.
Great Visuals. great acting.... and that about raps up the good.
The Bad(note: this sucker is riddled with Spoilers.
SPOILERS AHEAD! CHANGE COURSE TO AVOID! STAY AND BE SPOILED!!!Warning delivered)
Right off the bat, i could tell somethings were rather lazily done. How? Well, the first scene is the exact scene from the first movie, slightly re-edited. Thats a very minor thing, i know. But it also says allot about the mind frame the director was in. While most would recreate all their own material for their movie, Vaughn and Fox were happy to piggy back scenes and props directly from the older movies. Maybe that doesnt bug you... but dont worry. it gets worse.
Fox is a big, rich company. Vaughn is a bigtime director. Every scribe credited with writing this film has proper experience. ...But this film is absolutely full of plot holes, much bigger than even the ones created in Wolverine Origins.
In this film, Mystique is virtually a sister to Xavier, having being taken in by him (and supposedly his family) when they were both pre-pubescent. They grew into adulthood together like siblings. But how exactly does that fit into Mystique not giving even an inkling of a care to Xavier in the other movies? How about Beast? He was a government worker, turned mutant renegade... turned government worker again? And how exactly did he manage to be human-looking in that quick cameo we saw once upon a time?
Moving right along, Xavier and Erik were shown recruiting Jean Grey as middleaged men in Last Stand.... so when did that happen exactly, if by the end of this film Xavier is Paralyzed and Erik is running the brotherhood? Did they decide to get together once a year and be recruitment buddies? and every "suggested" character appearance in Xavier's first run in the cerebro was the absolute wrong age to match up with the other films.
And the Flow of the film often took a dive, also due to laziness. Apparently, Magneto got his name from a teenaged stripper, and his helmet was made by Russians. Apparently, Cerebro was created by the government and placed on a federal lawn somewhere. Apparently, there are no repercussions from moving a 10 story satellite around. Apparently, being able to adapt to survive only works sometimes. Apparently if you shove a bunch of nuclear energy into a person and then kill them, the energy magically disappears. Because energy can do that.
I was entertained. Many people were. Both by inadvertently funny things ( Beast is a perv and apparently Shaw is still super racist. lol), and by the action and visuals. But the lazy plot holes actually got to dozens of people around me too, meaning its more than just my personal hangups, and brought my ranking from a 4 1/2 to a 3.
If your going to build a franchise, you should make sure it works as a franchise. Fast and Furious. Indiana Jones. Spiderman. Star Trek. Superman. There's a long list of multi-film franchises that manage to keep their stories straight, no matter how much they overlap. There is no reason this X-men franchise cant do the same. But Wolverine Origins, and now X-Men First Class, are just digging the franchise into a hole. A hole that can only get deeper with the Deadpool, wolverine 2, and inevitable other X movies on their way.
..oh, and dont bother staying until the end or looking for Stan Lee. Fox apparently thought that the fans didnt deserve those nods...