Friday, September 9, 2011

A Just In Time For The DVD Release X-Men: First Class Review

For the above title, read: "I'm too cheap to go see this movie except at the dollar theater."

Here's the deal. There's a lot to like about the new X-Men movie. Mr. Tumnus made a fantastic Professor X. Performance-wise, that is. I don't exactly see the resemblance:

It doesn't even work if we make Tumnus bald...

Maybe if we give Captain Picard Tumnus' rockin' 60s hair...

Nope? Just sayin'.

So there's a lot of good to X-Men: First Class, but I just don't know if all the good outweighs the bad. For example, there's a big problem with sloppiness. There are a couple of scenes where Tumnus' Scottish accent starts to come out. Same with Magneto's Irish accent. Seriously. It would've taken like 5 more minutes to re-record that ADR. Also, Beast's prosthetic make-up is really bad:

The actor can't even make the mouth move right so that it looks like the blue cat-man is talking. It's really kinda pathetic. Harry of Harry and the Hendersons looked better.

Also, Professor X isn't the only character we've seen before whose "young" self doesn't really look like their older counterpart. Except, of course, when they actually brought in the old actors to do pointless cameos. While I'm on the topic. Really? Cameos by Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos? Dear, dear, X-Men: First Class. You had so much going for you, but then you allowed yourself to fall into some of the standard "prequel" pitfalls: pointless cameos and kitchy "I think we should call ourselves (dramatic pause for forced thought) the X-Men!" dialogue. When you do that stuff, you cheapen yourself. You make it look like you need to prop yourself up by referencing that other (better?) movie. Show some self-confidence.

There's also the fact that you went back too far. I get that you want to tell the X-Men's origin story. Cool. The problem is, in order to do that you have to go back to a time when there aren't really any links to the stuff we know already. Take a concrete example: Professor X isn't bald or in a wheelchair. In my book, that kinda makes him, you know, not Professor X. Those are pretty life-changing events, no less so for a character. In other words, pre-bald and wheelchair Professor X really isn't Professor X, he's a different character entirely.

It's a lot like Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. One of my major complaints about Episode III (underscore "one of") is that the first thing Vader does when he dons the suit once and for all is ask about stupid Padmé. Once he had the suit on and "became" Vader he should have completely done away with that old life. Anakin was the one who loved Padmé. He's not Anakin anymore.

Also, going back so far kind of prevented them from including many recognizable characters. So, Professor X, Mystique, and Magneto. Anybody else? Oh, right, not born yet. So they have to create a basically whole new cast of characters. (Where were they in the original movies, by the way?) These are the ones you pick? Diamond boobs, the devil, and a dragonfly? Come on.

I think I've just decided prequels are always terrible. J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek not being a prequel, but a reboot. You just can't tell a compelling story when you automatically know where everything's going to end up. At best, a prequel makes you go, "Ohhhh." It never makes you care. The first movie did that. That's why you're here to begin with.

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