So X-Men : First Class seems to generate two kinds of responses:
“OMG! I loved this!”
“OMG! I hated this!”
Personally, I think I fall on the side of enjoying this film.
One of the typical fan boy knee jerk reaction I saw online and heard in the local comics circles was people being really critical of the film not following established continuity. To that, I roll my eyes.
If I wanted to read a story that follow the comics and its continuity, they I would have read the comics. To me, the question of whether X-Men: First Class was good or not was did the film tell a compelling story, and did it do a good job adapting characters and concepts from the comics in a way that pays tribute to the source material?
Then yes, it was a good film. I would go as far to say that I had a blast watching it. It was entertaining. It dealt with two serious themes/situations (the beginning of WWIII as well as the issue of civil rights), but never did either feel forced. The movie was also light when it needed to be.
One of the biggest complaints I read about the film was all the January Jones hate, which is ridiculous. There was a lot of negativity about her, and that her portrayal of White Queen was hollow. Were they paying any attention to the movie?
In the comics, White Queen is a really well fleshed out character. Over the years they’ve expanded her motivations and what not. You have to do that if your going to switch an antagonist into a protagonist, especially if one is going to become a central character.
The White Queen of First Class was nothing more then a henchmen to Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw. That’s it. She was there to protect him and to “influence” the Soviet general. That’s it.
How can you tell? She had no dialogue of importance. Just her acknowledging her orders, or the occasional snarky villainish comment. Since that was all that was required of her character, Jones did a fine job. Really…what were some people expecting?
The producers obviously wanted White Queen to be a hot blonde, who looks good in vintage lingerie and a period hair-do. Anyone who has seen Mad Men can vouch for Jones on that. That’s all that was expected form that character and if you wanted more, then your nuts.
Part of what happened is that everyone aggrandized the importance of White Queen in this film, much like Star Wars fans have done for years about lesser characters like Wedge Antilles or Boba Fett, who as cool as the were, didn’t really add anything to the plot. They’ve been romanticized for whatever reason over the years.
Jones falls victim to this in the way that they wanted more out of White Queen’s on screen appearances, and are misdirecting their frustration on Jones, as opposed to the writers who did not want to have a White Queen centric film.
If you want to be mad at a portrayal of a character, be mad by James McAvoy’s portrayal of Professor X in the first quarter of the film, where he seems to be a caricature of Austin Powers. Somehow, imagining a 30s something world-renowned geneticist being giddy and calling things groovy didn’t work for me, but I digress.
The one thing that was odd to me in the fanboy sense was the fact that Banshee was turned into one of the younger (if not youngest) character in the film, which contrasts the “I’m old enough to be your youngest uncle” way the comic book character is.
Getting back to the film, yes I enjoyed it enough to want to see a sequel. So what did you think?