Let’s get it right out there: this is a summer blockbuster movie whose source material is a comic; if you don’t like those, don’t see the movie. For the rest of us, this is one of the more clever, even at times surprising, super hero movies I’ve seen. While I won’t squee the way Ms. Hather of Bright Eyes Long Lashes fame, I quite enjoyed this movie, even more than I anticipated.
Not that you want to analyze the time travel thing (of course, it’s never wise to do so in a movie) nor is it a particularly novel idea to fix the timeline so we’re not wiped out in the future (Terminator anyone?) but this is a particularly interesting expression of the ideas executed in a brilliant way. This fabulous cast with Singer’s direction takes the theme of living and working with and caring for those different than ourselves being key to peace and survival from the original X-Men movie (and it’s source material) to a new conclusion. We all have our pain and difficulties; we have our desires and goals. These often conflict. We seem to be OK in managing this conflict if we see those with whom we have conflict as like us; if we view them as not like us, not so much. There is, yes even in a blockbluster, some thoughtful interaction and relationships among the cast of characters. Xavier/Charles & Mysticque/Raven, Xavier/Charles & Magneto/Erik, Logan and, well everybody.
The film had an amazing cast, many of whom were under-utilized due to the narrative and overwhelming casts of characters. The characters who did have screen time really shined through. Jennifer Lawrence brought Raven/Mystique to an integral role with some depth and emotion where before she was an amazingly flexible fighter, morphed to someone else and looked great. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender both were amazing in their roles (about which more below the spoiler lines). Peter Dinklage as evil scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask was brilliant
Evan Peters was brilliantly funny as Peter/Quicksilver. Mark Camacho did an amazing job with President Richard Nixon; that was a tour de force. Hugh Jackman makes it all look easy, but he perfectly mixes angst and action with subtle comedic timing.
X-Men was so much more than a mere super hero action vehicle. It had real drama, solid relationships and even character growth. I highly recommend it.
***SPOILERS BELOW – DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVE***
Mr. McAvoy brought a great range to the character from washed up druggie to the Professor. His transition was believable and his pain, care and concern palpable.
Mr. Fassbender was great. He has cool and intense down. However, he had less of an opportunity to shine and was, somewhat arbitrarily, made the über villian. Why Erik immediately goes for the kill on Mystique doesn’t quite make sense. When that doesn’t work, we’ll let’s just go immediately to kill the president and others. Killing seems to be his first option, not last resort.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie was Quicksilver’s enabling Erik’s escape; it was hilarious. Sure they came in, used him and left. All of that was a bit abrupt, but seriously, do you want to rely on Peter if you don’t have to? He’s a bit like using nitro glycerin – great stuff but touchy.
Humor, action, amazing cast, well directed and a great depiction of the 70s and Nixon to boot. What’s not to love about this film? Bryan Singer did a great job and redeemed the X-Men franchise (The Wolverine anyone?)
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Three nice reviews that provide some different perspectives: