I must admit I’m not a big fan of the X-Men saga. I only know of Wolverine and Storm and Professor X. And, of course, the fact that it might have spurred all them superhero stories here in the Philippines.
Missing most of the other X-Men films, I wasn’t as excited with X-Men: First Class as many avid fans are. But a few thumbs up and a lot of positive reviews kind of made me want to see the movie.
And when I did, I was left hanging and torn between liking it and dismissing it as just one of “those movies”.
I can’t be as eloquent right now to detail and categorize all of my thoughts about the movie. Usually, I go for a second run of the film before writing anything. But since time is of the essence when it comes to saving my blog from taking its last breath, allow me to do a list of uncollected thoughts.
Asking around, I’ve had the impression that one doesn’t need to see all the other previous X-Men films to understand this most current one. And I appreciate that. For viewers like me, who only know from tell-tales the basics of the saga, it is a must that this film sticks to its being an origin film. It would be a real bum if the flashback strategy is used.
Also, the reference to the American and the world history at large is a good plus. It adds to the antiquity and the historic base of the plot.
The film is not as laden with breathtaking scenes, for me. Considering that this is a superhero film and one that supposedly precedes a franchise widely known for its photographic scenes. The settings were not as captivating, the scenes a bit fleeting, and the effects not as wild.
Save for that Magneto scene reverting the bombs to the Russians, I think many of the film’s portions can easily be branded as simple. Although I think it can be highly understood, because mostly, the film is not focused on the individuals and their abilities but on the making of an entire saga instead.
Costume-wise, some of the characters are well-made. Although there is an apparent case of the film being too laden with namely actors, I like that most of them are given highlights. I think the fact that each character must be focused on to highlight their mutant abilities has balanced the idea that there are way too many known actors in the film.
Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are good opposites of each other. They deliver well together, ironically. From looks to lines and even exuding personalities, the two are very complementary.
Lucas Till is a revelation for me here, the angst and the mysterious-kid type working for his set features.
The same goes for Jennifer Lawrence, whose Katniss Everdeen is much awaited by the viewers as well. I guess X-Men works for her enough to show that she can indeed deliver a very demanding role.
Finally, Kevin Bacon. He’s one of the best superhero-movie villain I’ve seen–giving the mean lines and showing as much prowess as the protagonists. He doesn’t outshine and allow to be eclipsed, a parallel performance that is truly admirable.
And ultimately, the themes. I like the incorporation of many themes: friendship, beliefs, courage, and the value of being in touch with one’s inner self. These themes defy the film’s being a superhero movie. It is like any coming of age film, with character and plot developments that are hard to miss. In the end, it will leave you with a feeling that what you’ve seen isn’t just X-Men. It’s the entire inner story of how our superheroes came to be.
I’d try to come up with something more comprehensive in the future. Although, I’m not promising anything. (Ha!) And for that, I’d leave just a few words: sometimes a superhero movie is not just about a good guy battling a bad guy.