I recently saw X-Men: First Class, and I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t horrible. Seriously, just blown away. I hadn’t planned on seeing the movie after the origins movie about Wolverine turned out to be a piece of comic book-movie terrorism. But I kept hearing from people that First Class was worth seeing. And even though I’ve never been a real reader of X-Men comics, I find all the different mutants and powers fun and wanted to give the movie a shot. I walked away pretty happy with it, and I’d like to give it a review. But this is my way of reviewing movies: no plot synopsis, or analysis of anything at all. I just list the best and worst things about the movie, objectively speaking.
The 4 Best Things about X-Men: First Class
1. There was no Stan Lee cameo. Stan Lee, a man with a first and last name that sound like only a first name, is the famous creator of many of Marvel Comics most famous characters. He is also famous for making Marvel movies worse by showing up and doing something absurd, like being mistaken for Hugh Hefner, drinking Bruce Banner’s blood, or giving a short speech that ends with “‘Nuff said.” His absence was a good choice for First Class because there was no real “comic relief” place to put him, so Lee would have to have forced himself into a really awkward place in the movie. Stan Lee showing up in a concentration camp or in the Emma Frost strip club would have made me lose faith in mutanity.
2. Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Shaw, a mutant, villain, and slight Jim Carrey lookalike. He’s super cool. His power is cool (absorbing kinetic energy and turning it into raw strength, whatever that means) and most things he says are cool. Bacon/Shaw could have only been cooler if after every sentence he said, “I’m Kevin Bacon.” Imagine it! “That telepath is powerful…I’m Kevin Bacon.” Or! “Let me be clear. You will make this war…I’m Kevin Bacon.” Perfect.
3. Emma Frost/January Jones. You know why.
4. Coolest submarine ever!! Did you see that submarine used by Kevin Bacon and the Hellfire Club? That was some James Bond villain stuff going on–the ship breaking away into a submarine! Plus, it has a ton of unnecessarily fancy stuff, and everything impractically luxurious is cool. Why is there a room full of mirrors on a submarine? Half circle couches? Shouldn’t they be concerned about preserving air? Cool cool cool.
The 4 Worst Things about X-Men: First Class
1. Magneto’s turtlenecks. Magneto was practically at a Kevin Bacon-level of cool in this movie, but he ruined it with constant turtlenecks. He’s one of the most powerful mutants in the world, so shouldn’t he be able to handle a breeze on his neck? I’m sure the mutants were all thinking what I’m thinking, but one shouldn’t critique the fashion of holocaust survivor who can kill you with a Nazi quarter.
2. They didn’t use the theme song from the animated X-Men show. Have you heard that song? It is awesome. That song should be involved in anything X-Men. It is a song so good that it made up for characters like Jubilee in the animated show. If it were used in the other movies it could have helped make up for other awful moments, like when Halle Berry asks Toad, “Do you know what happens to a toad when it is struck by lightning? …The same thing that happens to everything else,” or whatever that line is in the first X-Men movie. Or all of the third X-Men movie. Listen to it and I think you’ll see my point.
The original version.
The super metal version by Powerglove.
3. Professor X is a bad influence. Why is Charles Xavier getting drunk? That just doesn’t seem right. Also, a few times, Xavier basically ruffies people, like that girl agent at the very end. He kisses her and then erases her memory! That isn’t what kids should be seeing, Prof.
4. I had a lot of unanswered questions. I realize the movie wasn’t supposed to be super accurate to the original comic serials or whatever, but still… Why is Charles Xavier living in New York when has such a thick British accent? Why is Alex Summers (Havoc), brother of Scott Summers (Cyclops), roughly the same age as Professor X and Magneto? Mystique named them–really? Isn’t Darwin’s power supposed to be that he just can’t die?
Now that you know what the best and worst aspects of X-Men: First Class are, objectively speaking, you can decide if it is worth seeing for yourself. But you’ve probably already seen it.