X-MEN:First Class (2011)

TMG Scale 5.0
Starring James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, January Jones

This prequel of the X-Men franchise  might have been better titled: X-Men: How to Fail Film Class. I saw this movie the day after watching a truly great film that never got its due in theatres or huge commercial success, Winter in Wartime (2008). Put these films side by side and one is a masterpiece, the other just a commercial piece of junk. At the great risk of now sounding like an artsy/indie film elitist, I remind folks I am a middle aged average movie fan. I understand why kids and sci-fi nerds like fantasy films with zero plot, irrational storylines and mixed up, disjointed scenes with awesome special effects.  But, I also understand why my kids love gummy bears, McNuggets and pizza 24/7. That said, X-Men is just gummy bear covered, cheese pizza.

This film had some potential. Kevin Bacon is one of the best we have and he does play a very cool villian. James McAvoy is as solid as they come. Jennifer Lawrence gives me goose bumps thinking about her potential in good films. Oliver Platt is one of the greatest actors of all time in my book. This film  had a mega budget and the best special effects money can buy. It just lacked an interesting or even discernible storyline and good writing. I say “just” with great sarcasm.

Setting this tale of genetically mutated humans who have special powers to a time in 1963 was just nonsensical. If these folks really existed in 1963, they would already ruled the earth and we would  have no Cuban missile crisis. Was the idea to just teach young tweens and government school flunkies a little history while watching junk? I did love the music by Freddie Cannon and the vintage Las Vegas scenes. I would liken this film to a weird dream after too much tequila and cheap mexican food. The good part is January Jones shows up and turns the near nightmare into a fantasy dream and then I wake up.

Director Mathew Vaughan who gave us such pieces of crap like Kick Ass (2010) was just in way over his shrunken head for a quality product on this film. Jennifer Lawrence, like Ellen Page in Inception (2010), needs a few more roles playing a teenager before I can buy her as a serious adult actress. She is being made  to grow up too fast.  Gee, imagine Hollywood trying to make a promising young, talented beauty grow up too fast?

TMG admits he never saw the other X-Men films. So what?  All films, whether sequels or prequels need to stand on their own as worth two hours of your life and ten bucks. This one failed film class 101.  You need good writing and a story to tell.

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