X-Men: First Class
What do you do when you fuck up a movie franchise? Go back in time. This is the strategy that was used by 20th Century Fox with the production of "X-Men: First Class" in an effort to make us forget just how shitty that Wolverine movie really was.
Trouble is, if you can't make a decent film about arguably the most popular character in the series, then what chance do you have when it comes time to delve into the undoubtedly fruity beginnings of Professor X and Magneto? It would seem as though giving everyone Beatles haircuts, short skirts and a token black superhero who gets killed almost immediately after being introduced wasn't quite enough to save "First Class" from being anything more than a rehash of tired genre clichés and poorly-paced directing.
First of all, the flick suffers from too-many-powers-itis. I guess it's cool to shoot lasers out of your chest, or but who really fucking cares about a stripper with dragonfly wings? Honestly, those wings would have been torn out and pawned for meth money by the time she was 17 years old anyway, so that totally took me out of the movie. And what about the guy with the mutant feet that are oh-so-horrific that he has to risk everything by drinking some kind of secret potion that inevitably makes things worse. Are you trying to tell me that the stigma of huge feet was so powerful in the 60's that it was plausible to present it as the worst possible mutation out of the bunch? I guess it was a different time.
Second, what's up with Kevin Bacon. It seems the he has entered into that awkward "child molester" phase of the aging process, where no matter what role he takes his demeanor and wardrobe choices present him as some kind of playboy pederast. I almost expected him to be followed by a crowd of 10-year old boys, stay just out of reach of the terrible anger of his drunken rage. Instead of playing up the pedophilia angle, director Matthew Vaughn instead chooses to focus on Bacon's posh private submarine, which in my opinion was a mistake. History will judge who was right.
History will also judge how good of a decision it was to cast a soulless supermodel non-actor as a lady mutant who can transform into pure diamond (fantastic) and a somewhat chubby, always frowny-faced blonde as a shapeshifter (terrible). Seriously, if you could pick any form you wanted, why would you pick the girl-who-looks-like-she-had-an-eating-disorder-and-could-suddenly-gain-50-lbs-in-two-days-at-any-time? Is the reason she looks so worried because she is deathly afraid that her fantasies will get the better of her and her hands will transform into Snickers bars, forcing her to self-cannibalize in front of everyone?
Maybe the answers will be found in "X-Men: Third Class, No Carry-On." Or maybe not. Maybe I will go to my grave wondering about chocolate hands and Bacon's proclivity for little boys. I'm comfortable with either scenario.
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