UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Republicans lead to complications.
PEOPLE: Well… When I first saw the Professor X, errr, Charles Xavier character, I think I blurted something out like, “What a prick!” He just looked like a collar-popping douchebag. (This is before he became crippled.) I don’t know if he was the best casting choice, looks wise. James McAvoy (Wesley from the movie Wanted).
The guy they picked to play Magneto, errr, Erik Lehnsherr — was not as bad. He was played by Michael Fassbender (Stelios from the huge disappointment movie 300, Lt. Archie Hicox from Inglourious Basterds). But I still found him slightly unsettlingly incorrect. This may be that I’m suffering from trying to compare a real life actor to my rose-tinted nostalgic view of X-Men comics. But then I stop and think — I had no problem with the choices they made for them as old men in the “real” X-Men movies. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were awesome choices! So maybe I SHOULD be irked here? Since this is a prequel of sorts, they are much younger here (it’s 1962), so they look a bit different. I get it. But they still didn’t quite remind me of the young versions of those characters from the X-Men comics. I’m probably being too purist or complainy here — but I think it took a tiny bit away from the movie.
Can’t believe they tried to cast Taylor Laughtner (Twilight werewolf) as Beast. The guy they picked — who was in Clash Of The Titans 2010 — was alright. Kelsey Grammar is still better though. But the change here made more sense, as this was pre-blue mutation Beast. This was nerdy, un-confidant Hank McCoy. He may as well have been one of The Venture Bros. at this point.
January Jones (Mad Men, Pirate Radio/The Boat That Rocked, American Wedding, Anger Management) is really hot, and was a pretty good Emma Frost — but I still feel like they should have used somebody with starker features (but just as hot).
Kevin Bacon was a really interesting choice for Sebastian Shaw, though. It’s another choice I never would have made in a million years. Shaw should be bigger. I tend to think he should be somebody more annoying and bulky looking — like Henry Rollins And His Neck Of DOOM.
QUIRKS: Superheroes. Based on the comic book. Duh.
VISUALS: Yup. Powers used, cool fights, awesome teleports, shapeshifting. Modern effects done nicely.
POLITICS: Something about governments employing people who deliberately try to start wars. The conspiracy theorists have always been right about this; but they focus too much on trying to prove the actual conspiracies. But it’s plainly obvious — without any necessary conspiracy theory being proven — that there are always parties who profit from war and destruction, and who will do whatever they can to make that happen. Why this is still up for debate with some people is beyond me.
Anyway — this intersected with the Cuban Missile Crisis and John F. Kennedy’s administration QUITE interestingly.
GOOD STUFF: Azazel was pretty badass. Some people were confused that they had taken Nightcrawler and changed him around (i.e. idiot Hollywood executive involvement). But I thought it obvious that he was Nightcrawler’s father (since Mystique was his mother), even though I didn’t remember ever running into Azazel in the comics.
BAD STUFF: Azazel was pretty badass, but he’s not actually part of the team he was in the movie.
Why is Moira McTaggart always modified or not included? They haven’t gotten her right since the 1990’s animated series! Okay, maybe they got her right in X-Men 3 (The Last Stand). I don’t know. I tried to forget that one. But she’s a mutant researcher, not a CIA agent! In the X-Men anime series (2011), they changed her name. In X-Men Evolution, I don’t think they had her at all.
“Darwin”? huh? Is this like “Spike” from X-Men Evolution? Another meddling character randomly added, which doesn’t exist in the comic? OH WAIT HE DOES, but c’mon, he wasn’t even in the comics ’til after the movies were coming out. You add a token black character, and [highlight for spoilers]→ if it’s in a cartoon he lives, but if it’s a movie, he of course dies first. Cliche.
AND WHY THE FUCK IS ANGEL A STRIPPER? WHY THE FUCK IS ANGEL A STRIPPER? Just so we can have Zoe Kravitz, who I didn’t give a shit about in It’s Kind Of A Funny Story OR Assassination Of A High School President … And still don’t give a shit about. I want my Warren Fucking Worthington back.
There’s lots of continuity “fuck ups” here. But hey, then you simply call it a “reboot” instead of a “preqeuel”, and everything’s just dandy, right?
I like cover songs.
I like re-interpretations of things.
I liked this.
I just would have liked it more if they had been truer to comic canon. That’s all.
But such a thing would never actually make me *hate* this.
It just makes me angry, because I like this so much, but they’ve changed it slightly. Like an ice cream sundae with an orange slice on top instead of a cherry. I want my cherry. Give me my cherry back. Yeah, I’ll eat it. I’ll like it. I’ll even enjoy the orange. But I would have preferred my cherry.
CONCLUSION: If you consider every X-Men movie (and cartoon) to be in it’s own universe (and not necessarliy the “Earth-616 universe” that is the “real” X-Men universe in ths comics), then the changes they made aren’t such an affront to the original canon. They changed things for the worse (Angel as a stripper? Really?) — but it’s still pretty damn hard to take something as awesome as the X-Men and make a bad movie out of it (though they really, really, really tried hard with X-Men 3:The Last Stand). So this was still awesome to see.
Clint: Netflix: 4.4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Parthena: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.0/10, Netflix: 4.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars).
RECOMMENDATION: Worth seeing.