X-Men: First Class
Everyone is wanking off to Michael Fassbender’s performance as Eric who becomes Magneto in X-Men: First Class and while I totally think he deserves it because he’s great, I do wish people would jerk off just as hard to James McAvoy too. It’s almost easier to play the prototypically tortured superhero with a shattered heartbreaking history and a thirst for vengeance that compromises his goodness. That’s Bruce Wayne, it’s Peter Parker, I’m no comic book expert, but I recognise that that’s the formula, and it’s present here too in the form of Fassbender’s Eric who was tortured by the Nazis and uses that pain to become a morally corrupt Mutant.
But that doesn’t mean that the “other” guy, the actor who plays the one who isn’t f-cked in the head, Charles Xavier, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require a lot of hard work to make a character like that sexy and charming and smart and compassionate and so f-cking appealing. The fact that James McAvoy doesn’t appear to have to try too hard doesn’t mean he didn’t. It’s just... when it looks easy, I guess you don’t take it seriously.
Let’s be fair then – they are EXCELLENT. Alone. Together. Especially together. As the anchor for the film, the mentors to the other young mutants, the two elder statesmen to represent a new Order, and they are irresistible to watch. The scenes that are the most enjoyable are the ones where they are training and recruiting together. Fassbender and McAvoy have a chemistry that you won’t be able to get enough of. It’s a full on Bro Down super hero styles, and it works even better because it’s not necessarily the Vin Diesel, feel my bicep, give me some more ‘roid juice kind of bonding. They look like they loved every second of those scenes.
Does it get corny?
Yeah, admittedly, as much as I loved the movie, there is some corn. Having said that, you’re being asked to believe that a girl with blue scaley skin and yellow eyes can morph into any human being. And they do it well enough that you actually do believe it willingly. The corn then, it goes down a lot easier.
While I was watching, I did not love how McAvoy’s Charles has to hold his hand up to his temple every time he accesses his “powers”. It’s kinda obvious and lame. But then the alternative is a close up on his face with constipation expressions so... I’m just saying that telepathy is the worst “ability” to have to translate to screen because you can’t SEE thoughts.
Besides, his eyes are SO beautifully blue, especially at the end, I wonder if they digitally enhanced them.
The kids, you’ll love the kids. Led by Jennifer Lawrence, the kids have a good time. It’s before they become all serious and missiony, when they’re discovering themselves, their gifts, finding their places, some peacefully, and some not so smoothly. Those of you who’ve not been introduced yet to the adorable hotness of Nicholas Hoult? Look out.
Lightness aside however, I think what works about this iteration of X is that it’s balanced out by some heaviness and a truth that, no matter how universal, doesn’t seem to change our behaviour. Eric’s transformation from victim to villain is a testament to how we create our own monsters. That doesn’t just happen in a superhero movie. For me, when these films work, it’s because the teleporting and firestarting is just accessory to a story that is ultimately very humanly relatable. There’s a lot of heart to X-Men: First Class. On top of the wicked special effects and action sequences they’ve accessed some emotion that fills in all the gaps between the explosions. 10 minutes shorter and it’s almost a perfect summer movie.
I do wonder though if this generation of stupid, if they’ll appreciate the drama of brinkmanship diplomacy as it relates to the Cuban missile crisis. If nowadays that would seem “tame” and not intense enough for an audience that keeps demanding more and more audaciousness. Let me know your thoughts on this.
As for January Jones – honestly, she is so f-cking boring I think she even bores herself. Listen to her voice. She speaks like Gwyneth, only she can’t do affected elite and what ends up coming out is just a painfully uninteresting girl who happens to have good bone structure and is disciplined about what she eats. Weakest part of it all, seriously. But at least she doesn’t take away from it.
You want to have fun at the movies in the summer. But you don’t have to be talked down to. Matthew Vaughn understands this. Go see X-Men: First Class.
Attached – James McAvoy in London promoting the film yesterday. And Michael Fassbender and Zoe Kravitz in New York earlier this week.
Photos from Wenn.com and PacificCoastNews.com