X-Men: First Class

MV5BMTg5OTMxNzk4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTk1MjAwNQ@@._V1__SX1859_SY847_Do you know what is embarrassing? When you get about halfway through a review and then realize you forgot one that should have come first. And it’s all the worse in this specific case, because you-the-reader will now inevitably think that my forgetting is a knock against X-Men: First Class rather than a reflection of the truly massive amount of overtime that is happening to me and the correlatively massive lack of sleep that is also happening to me. But my point is, while I only finished that book last night, I saw the X-Men movie on Saturday, aka 40 hours of work ago. And you know, I liked it.

The tricky part is figuring out how to say why I liked it. I’ve seen several one-line reviews, some positive, some negative, some thoroughly tangential, and every single one of them is correct. January Jones either made no attempt to inhabit the character of Emma Frost, was incapable, or the character was flatly written[1]. Some of the mutant powers are really pretty stupid. That was unquestionably the funniest f-bomb in superhero history. And this was very likely the best X-Men movie, or at worst tied with the one about Weapon X. If you can ignore the fact that the villain and his Hellfire Club failed to ever really make it clear what was the underlying purpose behind their efforts to drive Kennedy and Kruschev to World War III, the spectacle of the thing alone will carry you through most of the movie. And when you are able to add to that the interrelationships between the characters who are not quite yet Professor X and Magneto and Mystique, and especially the tragic relationship between humans and mutants that has led to some of Marvel’s best collective writing over the decades, I guess you’ll be able to see why it is so easy for me to say I liked it.

[1] I haven’t gotten to Emma Frost in Marvel continuity, and in the Ultimate continuity, like in this movie, the character is too much of a cipher, relying on what people “already know” about her to flesh out the missing pieces. (Or January Jones was indeed terrible. Beats me!) My point, anyway, is that I have no way of knowing the cause; maybe Emma Frost is just a terrible character and that’s why nobody seems to be able to make me get it, instead?

2 thoughts on “X-Men: First Class

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