Tweetnopsis: #XMen1stClass: Failed to impress with its revisionism, but I can’t help but admire Nick Hoult’s ability to claw his way back from obscurity.
This is without doubt Matthew Vaughn’s worst film, but I’m willing to give him a pass because this is probably most most studio interference he’s had to cope with on a film. Between the Fox people and the Marvel people and Lauren Schuler Donner and Bryan Singer, it would have been the first time he’d really been under someone’s thumb to make a film.
Cameo? More like “Can’t-eo”!
Despite some great cameos, some of which were definitely applause worthy, there was a gaping hole in this film where Stanley Leiber should have been. It’s a fact that he hasn’t been in every single Marvel adaptation, but if they’re trying for authenticity and crowd pleasing you have to give homage to Marvel’s chairman emeritus. Excelsior!
The Temple of James McAvoy
There hasn’t been a single performance of McAvoy’s that I haven’t enjoyed, and that includes Gnomeo & Juliet. It was his presence in this film, alongside Fassbender and under the direction of my hero Matthew Vaughn, that guaranteed my presence in the theatre, but his reliance on his fingers at his temple to illustrate the use of his powers seemed like a crutch beneath the likes of such an accomplished actor. I don’t even think the actor portraying the youngest version of himself used it to herald a “telepathic moment”. Truth be told, I also felt that his portrayal of Xavier seemed far too naive for character supposedly so brilliant. It reduces his contributions to the only role he played in founding the school was that he owned the property, and his only contribution to Cerebro was that he attached it to his head. At the very least, his idealistic naiveté is should have been vindicated somehow rather than being shunned on all sides by the loss of his friend and allies in the state department.
In their own world
I remember when I was a kid I used wonder why it was that Spider-Man never hung out with The Flash or why the Hulk never arm wrestled with Superman. The business-y response of how the heroes couldn’t be neighbors because they were owned by different companies was a lame enough concept to figure out as a kid, not to mention coming face to face with the commerce of imagination – two entities I thought were mutually exclusive up until then. Now I’m seeing it all over again in the movies with Marvel a house divided against itself with different movie studios owning different properties where never the twain shall meet so long as they keep making new movies every 2 years. Not that I’ve been a huge fan of how Marvel’s handled it’s intertextuality lately in terms of the lead-up to The Avengers, but I am fond of the idea that there’s a possibility of Tony Stark having a biscotti with the God of Thunder. Sadly, there’s no chance of that happening between Spider-Man and Wolverine though.
Wasn’t anybody listening to what Doc Brown said about going back in time and doing irreparable harm to the timeline? Smallville did enough of a number on the origins of Superman for me to cringe at the thought of what any other super-heroic revisionism might do to another dynasty. You wanna change the way their costumes look? Fine. You wanna turn Angel from the winged billionaire we barely got to see in X-Men 3 (well done, Ben Foster BTW) into a skanky version of Wasp? I dont think so! You wanna change Moira McTaggert from gifted Scottish researcher into an American CIA agent? Well, that I’m alright with – other than the fact that she already appeared in X-Men 3 as well. All of this retconning will eventually cause the mythology to collapse in on itself, although I’m sure they feel that they can muck about with it as much as they want until they decide to reboot it. Look, if you’re going to tell a story about a bunch of kids with superpowers and not make proper use of the X-Men property, well, you might as well make Misfits. Seriously, are we so bereft of ideas now that we have to jumble up old ones to make them seem new again?
A little light on details
Yeah, that’s right. I might not have had the greatest time, but I could have stood for it to have lasted a little longer. There were so many characters, and each of them had their own story to tell, but I’d say only about 70% of them got told. If you afforded everyone another 2-3 minutes to each of them just to reveal a little of what they were all about, it would have enriched the story and might have gone a long way to connecting together scenes that seemed disjointed and even out of context. I mean, I couldn’t see myself wanting to buy one of their action figures if I didn’t know anything about them. Did the guy with the whirlwinds even have a name? Was he a mute?