Friday, June 10, 2011
Marvelous and Marvel-less: Thor and X-Men First Class
So the other night I did some serious catching on my geek movie quota, seeing a double-feature of X-Men: First Class followed up by Thor. I had no idea what to expect from Thor, and the third installment of the X-Men series (are we even counting the Wolverine solo movie?) left such a bad taste in my mouth I was very hesitant on First Class.
But I owe thirty-five years of comic book reading to do my duty. I'll start off with Thor, far and away not only the best movie of the night, but probably the best of all of the Marvel films to date. I'm thinking I may have to do a new "all-time comic book movies" post, the last one is a bit dated. Thor was great, 'nuff said. The way Asgard was handled was amazing and straddled worlds both sci-fi and mythical fantasy.
The actors in Thor could act, period. The action wasn't overbearing or used as filler, plus it was perfectly choreographed and exciting to watch. It had a storyline that meant something with both humor and seriousness, romance and over-the-top comic book action. I loved this movie, I'll see it again. If you haven't seen it, go see it. If you don't even read comics or know who the Marvel-version of Thor is...still go see it. If you want in-depth reviews that detail point by point, well you know where to go, but shooting from the hip here at Mik's Minis I'll just say, Thor was rocking, and it was a quality movie that was fun to watch.
I'll be even briefer with First Class. It was an awesome idea; X-Men heroes set in the early 1960's amidst international intrigue and action. A near-James Bond styled storyline. A darker, more sinister storytelling with an edginess that wasn't present in even the 'good' X-Men movies (all two of them). Legitimate interaction and development between Professor X and Magneto and their relationship. All of these were great ideas, and kudos to the bold movie-makers who went in this direction. But my kudos end there.
Great ideas are only as good as the application of said ideas, and where First Class had lofty ambitions it fell short of meeting them. If you've seen the previous three X-movies, you're going to see this regardless of the reviews. There's plenty of 'easter eggs' sprinkled throughout to make even a casual fan go, "Aha!" But in the end, the magic died after X2. The franchise has been limping along on the power of the fans making their own inferences and ignoring the obvious blunders. As I said, if you're a fan, you'll go see it, and you'll remember only the best parts and mentally block out on a subconscious level the worst.
I just found this YouTube clip that actually sums up how I feel about the new X-Men movie rather well. Enjoy!