Friday, February 11, 2011

X-Men: First Class Trailer -- Thoughts

All right friends. It's here. The first official trailer for the newest X-Men film.

My feelings on this are just all over the board. I went through stages of ranting, denial and acceptance after the release last night, commiserating with fellow fans and explaining my disappointment to the less initiated.

I also read the following analysis's on comicvine, which did help me come to a more grudging acceptance, if only because unanimously all of us fans are agreed on the worst points, yet we can admit some elements of coolness all the same.

So, without further ado, let's plunge into examining this piece of advertising, shall we?

The first 30 seconds are purely for grounding. "Before he was Professor X... Before he was Magneto..." Which of course makes perfect marketing sense and explains to fans exactly what they should be expecting. It does however make a pretty tight connection with the existing films, which will cause problems further on.

That said, as a James McAvoy fan, I am pretty excited to see what he does in this role. He may not look exactly like what we might expect a young Xavier to look like, but there's no questioning that he's a fantastic actor.

Also, I've been a fan of the young Magneto for ages. Since Magneto regenerated long ago and has spent most of his time in comic books as a pretty buff powerhouse, I always felt that Ian McKellen's casting was a letdown. Not that he isn't a brilliant actor because he is, but he just is too old to really embody everything that Magneto is. So even if the rest of the movie were going to be trash, I would probably still want to see it just for the sake of a properly done young Magneto. Only I really do miss the white hair...

Next we're shown into what is presumably the X-Mansion (although it could also possibly though not probably be an estate belonging to Xavier or Moira in Britain), and a glimpse of the main team in street clothes. This includes:

Havok (who? I'll explain in a minute)
Young Mystique
Moira MacTaggart (Scottish Scientist and Xavier's early love)
And what we think is probably our first glimpse at Sean Cassidy (Banshee), an Irish mutant who uses his voice to do awesome things like fly.

JFK on Television also sets this up as the 1960's.

Retro is totally cool. And I love the music they're doing here. As for the line-up... Magneto, Xavier, Moria and Mystique are all the right ages (Moira MacTaggart makes me SO VERY HAPPY). You could make a fairly strong case for Banshee as well.

Beast... well maybe. The First Class of X-Men consisted of Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Bobby Drake, Warren Worthington and Hank McCoy (Beast). For the longest time the filmmakers were actually making it sound like we'd get to see at least Scott and Jean (though probably not Bobby or Warren). In the end we just get Beast... and Scott's younger brother Alex (Havok.)

Yeah, a LOT of fans are wondering why Scott's younger brother is joining the team before Scott, especially when Scott couldn't even have been born in the 1960's if they want to connect with the previous films AT ALL.


Moving on.

At 0:50 we get a shot of Xavier opening up what appears to be either a future Cerebro or a vault. One of the students, however, is carrying a dress form which leads me to suggest two other options --

a) it's an early danger room, and the dress form is some sort of test dummy/practice victim to save, etc

or b) it's going to be where they store their cool supersuits and the dress form is for holding them (think of Wolverine's discovery of the suit room after freaking out on Jean in X1)

0:53 we see Emma Frost (in a pretty cool Emmaesque suit) in a weird looking room. Based on the fact that we've also seen Magneto in this room in promo pictures, it seems that it might possibly be something for containing mutants/subduing their powers. A mutant prison, perhaps? Or testing center? I'm wondering if Emma is being held there and is going to get offered a deal to get out and join the Hellfire Club.

...Emma. Oh I'm so picky about Emma. As she's currently written, she's my favorite female mutant. Her confidence, her poise, her intelligence... I just think she's awesome. So while I'm excited she's making an appearance here, I'm also extremely skeptical. Especially because what makes Emma most awesome is her relationship with Scott Summers... who, again, according to the X-movie-verse hasn't even been born yet. Not to mention that Emma herself appears as a teenager in "Wolverine" which takes place fifteen years later. Is someone going to use some sort of anti-aging thing on her?

0:56 -- okay, this is the scene that really makes me go WHAT THE HECK? I didn't actually notice it on my first time through, so I owe a thank you to the cool people at comicvine for pointing it out. WHY are Xavier and Magneto sitting on a bed, and WHY is Angel (this is the FEMALE Angel -- don't ask why they give two mutants the same name) stripping for them? I agree that this is probably some infiltration of the Hellfire Club or something of the sort, but it seems incredibly tasteless and offensive. OY.

We now get some quick flashes of the various mutants in the movie (most of which I've already mentioned). Quick note on Mystique-in-bed. If you didn't know, Mystique is Nightcrawler's mother, and his father is the red teleporting guy who appears later in the trailer. So that's one scenario that seems likely for this particular shot... However since she's also seen kissing Hank later, there's a second explanation as well that I'm much less happy about.

Passing the 1 minute mark, we get to see the Blackbird and the X-Men in action. Bring on the coolness.

1:13 -- quick shot of Hank in his furry blue form!!!!

1:16 -- Magneto doing evil undercover work.

1:18 -- sweet geeky Hank transforming. Why do I get the feeling that I could end up a bit teary-eyed over this in the actual film? Poor Hank.

1:19 -- any shot of Emma Frost makes me automatically want to squeal. And here she's turning into diamond which is that much more awesome. Yes, I know she technically doesn't get that power until later on Genosha, but honestly, it's too cool a power to waste, especially if they don't plan to ever show her acquiring it later. What enrages me about this shot is that Emma does NOT get any sort of cool leather corset, but rather a very skimpy, supportless bra. Which is impracticaland NOT classy. Emma may dress provocatively, but she is extremely classy and would never be so stupid as to wear a bra for combat (as she seems to be here since she's going into her diamond form).

Sebastian Shaw (ringleader of the Hellfire Club) also appears in this shot, and he's looking pretty cool for a slimeball.

1:20 -- interesting little montage. We see a danger room setting, with someone (who I assume is Hank) doing a flip. Cut to Mystique with an expression that says "My kinda man" and then a romantic picnic in this same room with Mystique and Hank. Cute... but... uh... what? (Mystique does get around, though, no matter what universe she's in.)

1:21 -- Havok doing power-y things. I'm interested in exactly what his role is going to be in this film, and especially how he is going to relate to Magneto. See in the real early days of the X-Men, when Havok first joined the team, he was dating a girl who went by the code-name Polaris -- and was later revealed to be Magneto's youngest daughter. Is there any chance at all we'll see Polaris in this film? We HAVE been told that they are keeping some characters a secret, and a daughter of Magneto would certainly be the sort of thing to keep under wraps. It would make for some really interesting characterization on Magneto's part (especially if the badies kidnapped or killed her) and would explain Havok's presence in the film.

1:24 -- Xavier tries out an early (and painful) Cerebro.

1:25 -- Azreal (Nightcrawler's Dad) makes his appearance, apparently in service to the Hellfire Club.

1:38 -- Magneto doing some super-awesome-submarine-lifting awesomeness. (Yes, I know I used awesome twice)

So... am I excited? Yes. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I curious? Yes. Am I fearful? Yes. Will I see it in theatres? Yes. Will I probably rant some more at some point afterwards?...Yes.

All of that said, I DO think, after much consideration, that there is a chance this film may be the best X-Film we've had since the first two came out.

And if they don't ruin Emma Frost, I may even approve of a sequel.


Andy Hauge said...

I doubt that Origins: Wolverine will be considered as strong continuity. I think they want to distance themselves from that movie, substantially.

I'd assume that most things in Wolverine are up to contradiction by this movie. So, that's what would be up with Emma.

Elizabeth Amy Hajek said...

I think there's a strong possibility that is true, however it still places Havok and Emma both 15-20 years older than Scott, which is just plain dumb. However if they're REALLY doing serious retconning, I could see Scott and Jean joining the group at the end of this film or at the beginning of a sequel, thus starting off the Jean/Scott/Emma triangle. That would be more than acceptable in my book.

(In fact, I think it's more that possible that we'll see an ending shot that will hint at or introduce more members of the real first class...)

Victoria Rose said...

Wow. Great review, Elena. I LOOOOOOOVE James McAvoy!!!

I'm really disappointed, though. I hate it when Hollywood messes up timelines. I really like the Evolution comics...AND THEY TOTALLY MESSED IT UP…AGIAN! GAH!

I probably won't see this in theaters, I'll wait till it comes out in DVD so I can skip through the rather risqué looking scenes. ;)

Victoria Rose said...

Elena! It dawned on me yesterday who the Black guy might be that is pictured in the car (1:00)...Storm's nephew Evan/Spike! What do ya think?

Elizabeth Amy Hajek said...

Hate to crush your hopes, but he's actually a mutant named Darwin.

(Also, Spike was just created for the Evolutions show, he hasn't appeared in any canon material.)