Are you holding out for a superhero 'til the end of the night? If so, this summer’s full of blockbusters for you. But which movie will be the real winner? Let’s take a closer look at what is out in theaters right now—Thor and X-Men: First Class.
It’s that time again: summer movie blockbuster time. And that means comic book movies chock full of heroes are coming to a theater near you. In fact, some of them are already there.
If you are a comic book fan and haven’t seen Thor yet, all I can say is, shame on you. Get to the theater and see it. I went in looking for a good time and that's what I got, so it was worth the money for me. Of course, it helps to have some eye candy in the form of a shirtless Chris Hemsworth. Dreamy sigh.
But I also really liked the family dynamics that drive the plot. Two sons wanting the approval of their father. Two brothers with a rivalry even as they love each other. A child who finds out he isn’t who he thought he was. Ah, drama! It makes up for the weaknesses in the movie, which include a hard-to-believe romance and and a rough beginning that could have been better if there wasn’t a need to create a 3D sequence.
But the family drama is nicely written and well acted. Thor is worth seeing for that alone, perhaps even without a shirtless Chris Hemsworth. But I’m so glad I got both.
Then there’s X-Men: First Class, which gives us the origins of the famous mutant superhero team. If you’re a comic book fan and you don’t see X-Men, you’re not really a comic book fan. At least that’s what the fanboys say. Seriously, this is the superhero movie everyone is expecting to explode this year. And it probably will because fans will go see it. But I’m not sure it deserves the success.
Somehow, the movie lacks emotion, which is odd given that there is such potential to feel blasted by the drama that sits there, waiting to be tapped. Michael Fassbender manages to bring the tortured Eric/Magneto to life, and he is by far the most relatable character. The fact that he’s also violent, filled with rage and a desire for vengeance, and an unwillingness to follow traditional moral rules...Well, shouldn’t we dislike that about him? Or at least disapprove?
But we don’t, because the "moral" center, Professor X, is so weak and hard to believe as a character that it’s impossible to feel any sense of sadness for Magneto’s bad behavior. Why does Professor X care to work for the CIA? Arrogance? This is, after all, the same guy who uses his psychic gifts to pick up women in bars. I find it hard to believe he is joining the CIA because he thinks it’s right. Unfortunately, because Professor X doesn’t come across as admirable or likable, it means the drama that should be there isn’t there.
We should feel great catharsis as a result of Magneto’s choices and the loss of the friendship between Eric and Charles. It’s perfect tragedy. And yet it doesn’t feel that way. Movie fail.
Soon, the next two superhero movies of the summer will be released: Green Lantern and Captain America. I will see both. And I will be back with reviews of them. And then I will declare the winner for Summer 2011.
But before then, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like superhero movies? Which movie do you think will be the best of the four comic book movies coming out this year? And why? Let me know. Maybe I will include your comments in my next Monday Mention.
Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.