I was sort of indifferent about seeing 'X-Men: First Class' because the last 2 'X-Men' films were pretty bland, plus the marketing for this one was not very enticing...like at all. However, I adore James McAvoy & January Jones, plus the reviews were mostly positive. I am happy to say that it was better that I expected, but it was also very bad in some ways.
Here is why I loved it:
1. James McAvoy makes every film better - I've never seen him in a bad performance (bad films...sure...ahem. Penelope. ahem). He is usually the best part of a film, and in this film he is truly fantastic.
2. *****spoiler alert*******Hugh Jackman's 10 second cameo is worth the price of admission - I heard there was a spectacular cameo but this was really, truly freakin' hilarious - best part of the whole film.
3. The back story - There was an article in Entertainment Weekly about how re-telling historical events is trendy in films right now, they mention this films version of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I agree, that this gives the film a real sense of urgency and realism (which is usually not found in "super hero" films). I would love to see how the X-Men were involved in other historical events - all kinds of awesome.
Here is why I hated it:
1. The women - The reason women fail in superhero films: They cast "hot" over "talented". Let's face it these types of films are cheese central, so it really takes a TALENTED actor to truly pull off the ridiculous scenarios and simple dialogue. I thought for sure that Matthew Vaughn actually got it right by casting odd choices like Jennifer Lawrence and January Jones. Unfortunately, they both failed miserably. So, what went wrong? I think it is simply too early to tell if Jennifer Lawrence can actually act or if she just fit the role in Winter's Bone so perfectly. The true test will be The Hunger Games. I was more disappointed by January Jones because I love her! She is truly fantastic on Mad Men - why wasn't she able to display the same amount of "iciness" in this film? Come on January - I can only stick up for you for so long (especially after the embarrassment that was SNL).
2. The mediocrity - Although the film was better than I expected, I wouldn't say it was great. The story was a little choppy, the "other" X-Men weren't very interesting and actually pretty forgettable, the action and special effects were less than spectacular especially for a summer blockbuster - all in all pretty mediocre.