I don’t actually have too many major thoughts on this movie, other than gosh it was a nice gift to all us Charles/Erik shippers. (/cough) It was explodey and colorful and pretty much everything I’ve come to expect from one of these movies, which is in some ways good and in some ways bad. I thought it was well-shot, the soundtrack was…all right but I won’t run out and buy it like I did for X-Men: First Class. No complaints about any of the actors. This movie definitely takes the promise (and apology) of X-Men: First Class and delivers on it.
Stuff that made me happy:
- While I wanted more Mystique, I loved the fact that the plot ultimately hinges on her. And not just on her, but on the choices she makes of her own free will. The plot easily could have gone that bullshit place where, say, Mystique was captured and she had to be rescued or something, but it didn’t. That made me happy. Also, while at times it felt that Erik and Charles were trying to frame things as some sort of choice between them, she ultimately made her own decision and walked out under her own power. I appreciated that immensely.
- Loved all the new mutants.
- I actually really liked Quicksilver and I’d been kind of dreading him from the moment I saw the costume design and seriously what the fuck was his hair. But the whole bit of the movie that involved him was excellent, and fun, and I loved how they also did the special effects for it. The entire prison break subplot was definitely my favorite part of the movie.
- Peter Dinklage was excellent as Trask (and as Mystique pretending to be Trask on one occasion). He does a very banal sort of evil well and makes an excellent villain. The movie also never went the cheap route and explicitly tried to make his actions about his dwarfism. Also, excellently tailored suits.
- So much epic bromance with Charles and Erik, and in two different time periods. It was lovely, and the four actors involved were amazing, leaving absolutely no on surprised.
Stuff that really could have been better:
- I think they did Mystique’s makeup/costume differently for this movie than First Class, and I can’t say I liked it. In close-ups, there was a weird lack of texture to it that just bothered me.
- For all that I loved them, we didn’t get to see much of the new mutants. And most of what we did see involved them getting slaughtered. And considering that most of the cast diversity was seen in that group, that made me very sad.
- And because of the above point, Mystique was functionally the only developed female character in the film. And she was awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I still found that immensely disappointing. There are just so many amazing women in the X-Men universe.
- Still not over the fact that they decided to have Wolverine go back in time instead of Kitty. Yes, they came up with a reasonable(ish) bullshit reason to do it within the movie plot. But still.
- Wish that there’d been a bit more actual 70s in the costume and set design, or maybe I’ve just got the wrong idea about what the 70s looked like since I wasn’t actually alive back then. It just didn’t seem nearly colorful enough in that sense.
All in all, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the next movie, which definitely puts this one way ahead of X-men 2. (Before the credits had even started rolling on that one, I’d already decided I wasn’t going to see X-Men 3.) And it’s going to be Apocalypse! Which could be… interesting. Cautious optimism. Here’s hoping we’ll get more of the amazing female mutants than just Mystique next time around.