Saturday, June 04, 2011

X-Men 1st Class: A 1st Rate Movie With Only One 2nd Rate Actor

I've enjoyed all of the X-Men movie adaptations … to date … X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been my favorite.

X-Men: 1st class is, as the name may indicate, another "origins story". It does a great job of showing the beginnings of relationships and interactions between the mutants and humans and has quite the commentary and comparison for mutant struggle versus Jewish torture and genocide in Nazi Germany.

Certain cameos will make you laugh, but I question one of the major casting roles; Kevin Bacon, as Sebastian Shaw. It was awkward to see him play a German official, and then "later in life" see him talking like Kevin Bacon with no German accent whatsoever - just sounding like Kevin Bacon.

Before this movie, I had thought one of the best casting jobs ever to make a fantasy role seem realistic was Hugh Jackman's Wolverine (from the X-Men series of films). I also think James McAvoy as young Professor X (Charles Xavier) and Michael Fassbender as Young Magneto (Eric Lehnsherr) are amazing casting jobs as well. Both play their parts perfectly. Both of their stories of transforming from youth to extraordinary leader is convincing and, at times, touching.

I have to admit, that seeing Magneto in the movie trailers, he looked silly - but once put in context - it's a very convincing role.

Jason Flemyng as Azazel
Another convincing and almost frightening role was Jason Flemyng's disappearing devilish character; Azazel.

On a side note: While I enjoyed this movie greatly, I have an ongoing issue with how the Lord's name is taken in vain in movies - especially movies specifically marketed to children. I honestly don't think this is even a "Christian issue" … it's more of a respect and reverence thing with me. Even if you don't believe in God, or a God - reverence and respect should come from someone (anyone) for one's deep spiritual connections. I honestly think there'd be a huge uproar if "God Damn" were replaced with something like "Fuck Mohammed" throughout a movie and said at every opportunity of surprise, anger, or emphasis. It's not something I'll ever get used to hearing in a movie. Kudos to any modern screenwriter that gets his actors to avoid making this comment - especially more than once per movie.

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