X-Men from Mayfield

“[A]s “First Class” roars to its final climactic scene, it appeals to an insidious suspension of disbelief; the heroic mutants of America, bravely opposing bigotry and fear, are revealed as not so much a spectrum of humankind, but as Eagle Scouts from Mayfield. Thus, “First Class” proves itself not merely an incredible film, but an incredible work of American historical fiction. Here is a period piece for our postracial times — in the era of Ella Baker and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the most powerful adversaries of spectacular apartheid are a team of enlightened white dudes.”

— Ta-Nehisi Coates, from his NY Times op-ed about X-Men: First Class. First Class is solid summer fun; it’s told with ruthless narrative efficiency and features excellent performances from Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon, among others. It combines ultra-modern CGI with charming pseudo-vintage SFX. It even includes my personal favorite X-person, the bouncing blue Beast. It’s also, as Coates observes, a bizarrely white movie, given its driving themes.

[via Sean T. Collins at Robot 6]

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One Comment on “X-Men from Mayfield”

  1. Nathan Says:

    Agreed. There’s one shot in particular–where someone mentions slavery in a foreboding manner and they cut to the one black dude on the team, looking properly disturbed–that makes me wonder if Matthew Vaughn completely fails to understand how racism is propagated in this country, or he fails to realize that fans no longer look kindly on black superhero roles as novelties. It’s like he’s trying to play to 60s racial politics by being as ham-handed as his source material. It is absolutely insulting that the only black people in the movie are either latently evil or cannon fodder, especially given what the X-Men supposedly stand for.

    It’s not as bad as Michael Bay’s jive-talking black robots, but only just.


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