Monday, June 27, 2011

X-Men First Class - Review

Sarah and I took full advantage of our Friday night babysitter (somewhat of a rarity these days) and saw X-Men First Class at the Yaoori-14 Cinema here in Cheonan.  We're not huge comic or fantasy fans, so we weren't excited like some of our aficionado friends.  However, we weren't disappointed.
The basic story line is that this is a prequel to the X-Men series, explaining how Professor Xavier's school for mutant superheros developed.  This movie also lays the foundation for some of the other basic themes of the X-Men series primarily - how will normal humans treat mutants and how will the mutants engage a society which engages them with mixed hostility and deference.
I appreciated a few basic things about this movie. 
1. Xavier's relationship with the mutants is significant.  He is helping each of them harness their own personal power and fulfill their potential.  Sometimes he does this through encouragement, sometimes through technical development, and sometimes through deep empathy - helping them to tap into their own heart-level feelings.
2. This is the classic story of people who don't fit social norms, only this the cause of the maladaptation is exaggerated into actual physical (or mental) mutations of super-human powers.  However, within this exaggerated story, we can see a depiction of very common social exclusion for very common reasons: appearance, finance, social awkwardness, mistakes, choices, preferences, diseases, etc.  As I see it, one of the basic undercurrents of the X-Men series is that all people are genuine human beings and worthy of love and affection - despite our various differences.

At various times, the plot, directing, or dialog struggled.  January Jones' acting was pitifully subdued; she seemed almost robotic sometimes.  Some of the plot movements seemed forced and unnatural.  And on occasion, the comic book dialog shone through - and not in a good way. 

Overall, unless your a big comic fan, it's worth a rental, but it's only worth full-ticket price if you don't have other good options (like us).  The Josh rating: JJJ.
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