Friday, June 3, 2011
X-Men: First Class
For generations, superheroes
have been fantasized by many children, adolescents, and
even adults. They are continuously reinvented in
endless comic book series, as well as numerous
They are also used by McDonald's to
successfully hook millions of children to junk food.
Indeed, these superheroes seem to have superpower in
creating a gold mine. The latest superhero movie
"X-Men: First Class"
(USA 2011 | 132 min.) is not trying to
tell a compelling story, but is aiming to drill deep
in this gold mine, and to pave the road for its sequels to
dive even deeper to reach the gold. It is quite obvious that the film
specifically targets the demographic group of young film
goers. From the special effects to casting, it
does everything possible to hook them up with the film. Does
the film achieve that goal? You bet.
In 1944, a Nazi doctor Shaw (Kevin Bacon) kills Erik Lehnsherr's mother in front of his eyes, and engineers him into a mutant called Magneto (Michael Fassbender) who possesses superpower. Fast-forwarding to 1960s, when Magneto seeks out Shaw for revenge, he teams up with young Professor X, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), who recruits a group of even younger mutants. Their challenge is to use their superpower to stop Shaw from starting the World War III during the "Cuban Missile Crisis." They fly around doing just that, and you can easily guess the outcome because we all already know the consequence of the crisis—you can only smuggle Cuban cigars into the US.
Based on characters in Marvel Comics, although this film is the fifth movie in the X-men series, it is the first of a new trilogy. While the characters are nothing new to the X-men fans, the noticeably younger cast sets the tone for the sequels, as well as young viewers, to follow.
If you come to this film looking for in-depth characters, or logical plot, you must have come to the wrong movie. Actually, even the performance is mediocre in this film. You come to this movie to see what sort of superpower these mutants have but you lack. You come to cheer for these superheroes like you follow your favorite sports team—you root for them even they are losing the game and they are performing poorly.
During breaks between actions to save the world, these young cast members repeatedly come together to attend a "support session" for being mutants, that is, for being different from ordinary people. Although they do not sing Lady Gaga's Born This Way together as if they appear in an episode of Glee, surely they seem to be making a clip for the "It Gets Better" project.
There are at least two more movies to follow, let's hope "It Gets Better."