I enjoyed the first two "X-Men" movies -- I thought Bryan Singer did a great job of bringing the characters to life on screen. The casting was excellent, the effects were well-done, and the stories held together.
Things started to fall apart with the third "X-Men" movie, which had a few good scenes but really started to devolve into an embarrassing mess about halfway through… and the big battle between the mutants had some really bad fight staging. And the less said about Hugh Jackman's solo "Wolverine" outing, the better.
So when I heard there was going to be another "X-Men" movie, I did not hold out great hope that it would turn out well, especially when I heard it was going to feature all young mutants, in a prequel of sorts to the other three films. There would be no Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen, sadly.
However, as time went on and I started seeing trailers for the upcoming film (titled "X-Men: First Class"), I began to feel somewhat hopeful. It actually looked interesting.
And on a recent short visit by our daughter Emily to this side of the country, I got to see it with her and Jeannine. Em had already seen it, but was willing to go again (she wasn't so willing to see "Green Lantern" again, but that's another story).
We all liked it, quite a bit. I especially liked seeing Hank McCoy realized much like he was in the original "X-Men" comics, although I do feel the actor they chose to portray him should have been a bit shorter and stockier, But it was still cool to see the bespectacled, slightly nerdy "Beast" in his pre-blue furred state. I would have liked to have seen the complete original team from those first comics -- Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman -- but I guess that wasn't possible if this film was to fit into the established continuity of the first two.
And as far as I could tell (from that single viewing), it did fit -- I did not detect any glaring errors. Maybe when I see it a second or third time, something will jump out at me, but it appeared pretty seamless.
I did feel that January Jones was not terribly impressive in her part of Emma Frost -- she seemed for the most part required to stand around and look sexy, which I guess she did, but her energy level seemed far below that of the other actors. Not so much as to ruin the film, but it was a little distracting.
There was one great cameo appearance which lasted all of about ten seconds -- I won't spoil it by revealing who it was, but it made me laugh.
I would definitely recommend this movie, especially for fans of the "X-Men" movie franchise who thought it was all over after "Wolverine". -- PL