X-Men: First Class, A Japan Guy Review

I couldn’t help it…I couldn’t pass up the temptation to see another movie in the X-men saga, and a prequel no less. Whenever one of those movies comes out, I feel like I’m back in the 7th grade again, taking my most prized comics out of their plastic sleeves just take a glimpse at one of the stories. I can’t believe I still have all of those comics. You know what else I can’t believe? That I bought many of those comics nearly 20 years ago (Am I gettin’ old?!).

I’m sure this X-Men movie’s been out for an extremely long time in the United States, but sometimes Japan gets movies very late (unless it’s a coordinated wold-wide release). Watching movies here in Japan (even if I have to go by myself) makes me imagine, just for a couple of hours, that I’m home again, that there is no language barrier, that I can kick back and not have worry about a anything for while.

Suffice it to say, I had extremely low expectations for this movie, because it employed the use of many new, younger actors to portray the younger versions of the mutants with which we have become so familiar in the other movies.

Prequels in theory, could be quite entertaining, because you have the chance to find out more about a story that you already know and love. But, by and large, at least in Hollywood, a prequel usually doesn’t have the same magic as the original film (Star Wars is my prime example).

This being a prequel and all, I went in knowing full well that it probably wouldn’t be as good as the others, but it was a lot better than I was expecting it to be. In my opinion, this X-men movie ranks near the top of the series. I think I’ve seen all of them. X-Men Origins, X-Men, X-Men 2: , X-Men 3: The Last Stand, and now X-Men: First Class. I believe X-Men 2: was my favorite (the one with Nightcrawler) and I’m going to make a bold claim by saying First Class is next. For some reason I think the prequel suits comic book films more than any other type of film. One reason being a lot of the work is already done; just go and pick up the actual comic book and you’ve got the bare bones for a story, characters, and outfits, etc.

What made the movie good? Of course having new mutants with new powers was like extra frosting on the Marvel cake, it was kinda cool to see Havok (the one that can shoot the energy bands from his chest) and Banshee (the mutant with the supersonic voice). They are mutants I’ve seen in old X-Men comic books but never in the films. I wonder what happens to them between this movie (set in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis) and the the movie that was released in the 90s (the one with Rogue and Wolverine)?

Magneto being younger and more ruthless was pretty cool to see, along with his back story. I also like how they explained how Beast became the blue, furry mutant that’s you see in the comics (I remember seeing a very old X-Men comic where beast had no fur). I wonder what story they’ll use to account for their absence in the later films. It’s always cool to see what twists they add.

What didn’t I like about the movie? Well, the acting wasn’t brilliant (it wasn”t bad though) and I don’t think they used Kevin Bacon’s talents as well as they could have. Kevin Bacon can be an amazing bad guy when he wants to be (did anyone see Kevin Bacon in the movie Sleepers? He made you really hate him!)

I won’t claim that it’s the best superhero film translation ever made, because I’d being lying. I would have to reserve those rights for the first Christopher Reeves Superman film (considering what they were able to do with the technology at the time) or the Batman Begins & Dark Knight films (I kind of group those together, because the story’s continuity). The special effects in those films were used as a tool to augment incredible acting and that’s how it should be, right? I’m not saying the acting in X-Men: First Class was bad (I’ve seen far far worse), but does it even come close to the caliber of acting in the formerly mentioned films? No way! Gene Hackman‘s Lex Luthor was incredible and Heath Ledger’s Joker made you realize what good acting was (c’mon, if you’ve seen that film, you mean to tell me that you never tried imitating the Joker at least once? I know I’ve tried that “Why So Serious?” line several times).

But I digress.

Who The X-Men:First Class Film Is For

If you want to see a solid, entertaining film, with that classic X-Men story (mutants in their struggle to be accepted by the general public), this films for you.

If you like action, this film is for you.

If you like mutant powers, this film is DEFINITELY for you!

Who The X-Men: First Class Film Is Not For

If you don’t like action, this film might not be for you.

If you’re tired of the same old X-men plot (sorry, but it is a little repetitive), this film may not be for you.

I am an X-Men fan, and I rather enjoyed it.

Did you see it X-Men:First Class? Did you like it? Do you have a favorite X-Man?

Donald Ash

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  • jaison smith

    All I have to say is kevin bacon was hated also in the movie white water summer.. if u haven’t seen it go do so.. a for x-man I loved it.. it gave me some clarification on some things and my liking for xavier and magneto and what they stood for was 50/50 now its more like 60/40 magneto… he only wanted what was right for mutants seeing as tho humans used them to fight their battles then turn on them when no longer needed… if u just now seeing this don’t tell me u have to wait a month or so to see transformers 3 (please see it in imax 3d)

  • X-Men: FC has gotten some undue harsh reviews. I for one loved it. I particularly enjoyed the guy playing a young Charles Xavier. That is no small shoe to fill as a would-be young Patrick Stewart.

    They also did a really good job tying in the style and events of the 1960s.

    I loved where they tried to recruit Logan (Wolverine). >_<

  • Marisa

    I really liked it. We went to see it a few weeks ago. We’re going to see Thor this weekend. I’d ask if you wanted to come but I know you’re busy this weekend. I think next week is Harry Potter. And Transformers doesn’t come out here until the 27th our sometime around then.

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