June 08, 2011

X-Men: First Class

Saturday morning started with us going to our go-to theatre, the AMC Empire on 42nd Street. Even though our first movie started at 10:05, it was already packed with a magnificent display of riff-raff, loudmouths, and bad parenting. People who can’t go fifteen minutes without illuminating the room to get an update on their social lives? Check (two seats away). Kids who keep asking questions? Check (three seats away). A typical day at the movies.

We were in Theatre 14, one of their better, bigger screens at the Empire. After coming really early to see Pirates two weeks earlier and walking into an empty room, we weren’t expecting it to be this busy. But we’re glad we went to see it early anyway - we could only imagine how bad it would have been later in the day.

X-Men: First Class, the fifth X-Men film and the second prequel of the series, was Erica’s introduction to the series. I guess you can’t really watch these films in order, because Erica left the screening entertained but with a lot of questions. So here is Mike’s take.

X-Men First Class has fun, clever moments and a handful of interesting characters, but is it enough to set itself apart from the run-of-the-mill comic book film? Barely. Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon stand out in the ensemble cast, and Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy are fine. But the rest of the peanut gallery of young mutants are either unremarkable or plain annoying, and their predictable character arcs (they all get to prove themselves!) come close to pushing this movie back to the average superhero action genre flick. I dug it, and while there’s a lot to like about it, it’s really just on the same level as the first two X-Men flicks. Which were okay, but lately have been elevated more than they should by the lackluster third film and the Wolverine prequel.

It’s decent Summer escape, and the 60s setting and groovy Bond vibe make it just slightly different from what we’re used to seeing. If you liked any of the first four, you’ll definitely like this one.

Coming up: Midnight in Paris

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