Tuesday, June 7, 2011

X-Men: First Class

Truth is, I've been sick of comic book movies (i.e. superhero movies) for a long time now. They just don't float my boat. Super heroes never really have, not even when I was a kid. I was always more taken with Tintin, or Indiana Jones, or James Bond (I know these are all variations of super heroes but they don't have super powers, so there's the difference). But I do like X-Men movies, enough that I own the first one on DVD, but not quite enough that I went to see the last couple of movies. But as soon as I saw that the new X-Men movie was going to star Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy plus it was going to be set in the 1960s, I knew I was going.

And it was worth it. The first half of this very good film was amazing. We get the back stories of Professor Xavier and Magneto, leading up to the formation of the Westchester, NY school. The early scenes with Fassbender hunting Nazis (in particular a showdown with a couple of "pig farmers" in Argentina) are easily my favorite movie sequences I've seen in a long while. McAvoy is good too as the too-moral professor. What else is good? Well, about half the young mutants, about half the villains, and about half the action sequences. The problem with these movies is that eventually all the characters have to put on costumes and become involved in an over-the-top set-piece. So the second half is pretty good but I truly loved the first half, especially some of the set-design, an obvious homage to one of the greats, Ken Adams, he of early Bond fame and Dr. Strangelove.

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