X-Men: First Class

Uncanny X-Men has been overloaded with mythology for some time now, and First Class was one attempt at recapturing simplicity and accessibility, riffing on the Stan Lee 60s series (Astonishing could be seen as doing the same thing, but in an 80s Chris Claremont vein). So the comic did one- / two-issue arcs full of bright colours and teen energy. When it came to adapting it to film, they got O.C. creator Josh Schwartz to direct.

But then reading the wiki, you learn that Marvel were also planning to make an X-Men Origins: Magneto film, and that as Brian Singer pushed Schwartz out of the writing chair, the two projects were merged into one. Which explains it all, really. X-Men: First Class is actually two films, and they don't fit together that well.

So there's very good drama! drama! from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender... and there's some fine japery! japery! from Banshee, Havok and Darwin trying to take down the Hellfire Club (sidebar: really strange line-up, but a lot of the bigger names have been used already...) BOTH these stories are handled very well (what with the drama! and the japery!) but there's just not enough time invested in either, so e.g. when the yoots have to pick sides, you don't really know what their motives are.

Other blunders: accents go a little haywire; January Jones is miscast, then given nothing to do; Moira McTaggert isn't Scottish; the period fittings aren't prevalent enough...

...but the above gets wiped clean by an absolute killa of a cameo.

Verdict: not bad. Thor absolutely destroys it, however. Capt. America is up next...


  1. I pretty much agree with the review. I think January was hired simply because Mad Men is set in the 60's and well so's this film so surely it'd work.
    I'd love to see an X-Men Origins about her character, a retro Wolverine one (I STILL havent seen the wolverine origins one they did do) or the magneto one, shame it got canned. But I fear the X-Men stories have too many characters and intertwined to ever really work as a film.
    Finally, Thor was dull, predictable and its greatest crime of all was making Natalie Portman 2 dimensional. Bad Thor, bad.

  2. You've read Astonishing, so you know HOW BADLY Emma Frost was ruined in First Class. Hadn't thought of this before, but yr right, there's deffo enough story and depth to the character to justify an Origins: Emma Frost film. I don't think she should be played by January Jones, tho.

    That Wolverine film was pretty shit, although I over-thought it and concluded that it wasn't so bad. Because I have my ways. As for too-many-superheroes syndrome, watch when Whedon's Avengers shows everyone how it's done! ...Maybe.

    Also, Thor is seriously, seriously, awesome. So far my favourite film this year, no joke. Disagree with everything you say about it, apart from perhaps the Portman bit... if you make the dimensions REALLY small, she's got more than two.