X-men, first classI give the most up to date reviews.
I am going to go ahead and give the new X-men a thumbs up. It gets the fundamentals correct, with the main thrust of the story being about a battle between idealism and pragmatism, with Xavier thinking the best of people, and Magneto the worst. Both McAvoy and Fastbender do splendid jobs, although the latter slips into an Irish accent somewhat into the film, which is a tiny bit embarrasing. Still, their stories are compelling, and this is what drives through the film, and powers past many of the flaws that the story possesses.
Along the way there are other effective tales- the younger x-men are mostly forgettable, but Raven and Beast's struggle reflect their "parents", and as a result are the most interesting. The other mutants are, sadly, decoration, and they are given paper thin personalities- the film probably spends more time with them than necessary, as we have no real incentive to care about their struggles.
The script is probably the films weakest part. While its fine when dealing with Xavier and Magneto, everything else seems to have come from film cliches 101
"God help the russians if they cross that line."
"God help us all."
"Can you fly this thing?"
"Fly it? I built it!"
URGH. Not only are both those selections terrifically cliched, they actually add nothing to the film. Theres no reason to actually have them there other than to fill dead air.
But, for the most part, the film works. It could have been better, but it could have been worse, but the central conflict is compelling and fun, and worth a watch.
Now for nitpicking time!
-Kevin Bacon was a lot scarier with a moustache, rather than a groovy submarine dwelling villain who wears a goofy helmet.
-January Jones can't act. Also, her diamond form can be crushed by metal. Huh?
-The CIA agent wears ludicrously sexy underwear to work
-Apparently Kevin Bacon can absorb all force except a shiny penny. I guess he was killed by the force of irony?
-Xavier decides to hide from the government. In his massive mansion, under his own name. Lets hope the CIA didn't do any paperwork!
-Urgh, every single time they had to say someone's name, it felt like a massive wink at the audience. "No.... X-men!"
-I love that Azreal and whirlwind man (did he even get a name?) have NO lines in the film.
-Beast's face mask looked really, really silly.
-When magneto decided to cause an international incident by invading the Russian base, Xavier looks utterly powerless. If only he had some way to control Magneto's actions!
-I love that the expert in genetics they choose is a newly graduated phd student. Man his supervisor must be PISSED. Admittedly his supervisor doesn't have mind powers, but thats just sheer blind luck on the cia's part.