Michael F. Assbender, assbending like a boss
X-Men: Born This Way
X-Men: First Class is about one obnoxious subplot away from being the movie Watchmen always wanted to be, the huge-budget, over-the-top superhero epic that has as much insight into the human condition as it does spandex and… grunting. Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn manages to turn a Muppet Babies concept with a disastrous marketing campaign (HURRR, DIAGONAL ORIGIN STORY!) into something a lot more ambitious than your basic retread of the superhero story. And that’s good, because X has as its source material a layered allegory for the Civil Rights movement, whereas, say, Thor was mostly an excuse to watch a buff guy hit sh*t with the hammer (though Brett Ratner still can’t tell the difference). Look, I was as surprised as you are. DON’T FIGHT IT! YOU’VE BEEN ASSBENT!
X opens in flashback, telling two parallel backstories. One starring over-enunciating James McAvoy as smarmypants overichiever Charles Xavier; the other, ass-bending Michael F. Assbender (Michael Fassbender, to other people) as hard-knocks Polish concentration camp orphan Erik Lehnsherr. One part of this supposed origin story that’s never explained is Xavier’s British accent, which he already has at the age of 10 when we catch up with him at his palatial estate in, uh… Westchester, New York. Did rich kids speak in British accents in the 40s? Because JFK was a rich kid in the 40s and I’m pretty sure I heard him call a country “Cuber.” In any case, rich Xavier is already a powerful psychic, while penniless Lehnsherr possesses mutant genes that make him far less Jewy than his parents. Later he learns he can control metal when Kevin Bacon shoots his mother. (That’s Kevin Bacon, Nazi Scientist, by the way, before he morphs into Kevin Bacon, international playboy — but I’m getting ahead of myself). As Erik discovers during a mother-murdered-in-front-of-him induced rage, his ability to attract metal is directly related to the intensity of his emotions. Why, if only he had one person on whom to pin all his most intense hatreds! And another who could literally enter his mind and help him sort out his feelings! Why, all that’d be left is some giant metal sh*t to control.
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