Scolding Reviews: Generation X

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Where a bit spoiled for choice, now, aren't we? I mean, us nerds. Used to be a time when no one thought X-Men franchise was going to exist in live action. That is, until the first X-Men movie: 1996 TV movie pilot Generation X. Finally, we could overlook and ignore the idea for 4 more years!

This weird, forgotten little nugget starts with a dictionary description of what mutation is, as well as the illegal status of having the X-Gene. You're not gonna get no Senate hearings, here, no siree. Just pure mutant hunting! Sentinels, Soldiers...

Just kidding.  What did you think? It's straight to T.V.!

Then we see a scientist called Russel preparing to open up someone crab-handed mutant's cranium. Luckily for the would be lobotomy victim, a lady bursts in the room and starts freeing him. Turns out the thing wasn't quite legal. However, neither was the guy, as he's quickly taken away by the Anti-Mutant squad. Russel is fired, which pisses the lady off because she expects her boss to do some additional course of action that is never explained. In fact, she gets so angry, she uses her mutant powers to create a small storm inside the building. Boy, did you just make Storm white?
Yorrr NEKST!

No, actually she's Emma Frost.  She walks out of the scene despite using her non canon weather powers in the open, where the Mutant Hunting Squad mustn't have even gotten to the elevator. Russel is furious, and we know, because there's a cartoon circle fadeout!
Not so merry melodies...

Then we cut to the tearfull goodbye of a Hispanic family to Hector, a young man headed for Xavier Academy. It's not too bad a scene, that is, until one of his sisters gets a little to attached to him, and as the car keeps moving she holds on to his hand, which stretches. This seems to really hurt him. I guess this was supposed to be both a tender moment and a showing of Hector's powers. Instead, it makes the sister seem psycho.

But evil is afoot, as Russel has been busy putting Subliminal messages on Virtua Fighter arcades ordering kids to "PLEY MOAR", which might seem unnecessary with people involved already ENGAGING IN USE OF THE PRODUCT, but a quick glance at the screen reveals Jubilee is often just hitting the sticks on Demo Mode.


Oh, yeah, Jubilee's in this movie. Only she's not half Chinese, half 90s slang anymore. Before you start another  "Racebending" type site, she was originally slated to be either Boomer, or Dazzler, but  since Jubilee was popular in the cartoon they put her in, changing the character's role. That's right, this 3 where actually considered interchangeable as starter X-Men  characters!
The trial ends in 15 days.




Jubilee's powers are soon made to go haywire by Russel's subliminal messages, making those sparks that she's known for.  As such, the Gestapo IMMEDIATELY show up to send her to "mutant camp".  However, she's picked up by Banshee and Emma Frost, the later of which uses a neat Jedi trick to break her out of detention.

As soon as they are out of the building, Jubilee starts trying to wriggle away from the two, without even  trying to wonder what they want with her. I can see her getting a block away from the Mutant Detention Center, then getting caught right the fuck up again.

Ah, the silliness of X-Men shining through. Where concentration camps exist in a world where you can't say faggot on T.V. Will Smith can't talk about Hitler without getting in trouble, but human beings with literally no rights can just be hoarded of to some non-descript place because they have the X-Gene. I'm just saying, you'd probably have some of them Civil Rights organizations on the  side of mutants.

So she agrees to go with Good Cop and Bad Accent Cop and they tell her, in those exact words, that she's being trained to be a superhero. See, in the X-Men movie series they never used the term because the X-Men are technically meant to be a force for mutant issues. That they fight people that have nothing to do with that like Arcade or the Brood has nothing to do with it. But here, they are straight telling her she's gonna fight crime, even thought Mutant Genocide is well implied. They probably knew Magneto was only gonna show every once in 3 months and the rest of the time was gonna be spent between mourning Phoenix, fighting  Phoenix and trips to the Savage Land.

Speaking of shit that doesn't have anything to do with the Mutant Struggle, Russel is speaking with his exec partner about how excited he is that he found a level 3 mutant brain because this furthers his goals by allowing him to access the dream dimension. See, dreams occur in another dimension, even the weird ones where you cut your brother's thumb off in the Halo universe, and  Russel asks his friend to "imagine the commercial possibilities for a free market omnipotent being." No, don't ask me. I didn't write it.

More importantly, Russel begins down the path to the character he really wants to be.

Yes, he's the Riddler from Batman Forever. The mind devices, the weird overacting, the sudden impersonations. The actor clearly researched that before doing this one. The only thing he's missing is a crush on Val Kilmer.

So, Hector and Jubilee arrive in Xavier's School for gifted youngsters(Charles Xavier not included). It's the same building  as in the future movies, too. However, there are not a lot of open shots of it. Either way, Jubilee has to get naked for some test thing, and since Xavier's institute likes being sued, no one has to leave or anything. The scene is pretty much an excuse for us to see Jubilee's naked back. Hey, she's 19, I checked!

Then it's time for Jubs and Hector to meet their fellow students. There's Black Jock, who can absorb properties of things. Blond Jock, who has both X-Ray vision and eye-lasers(YES!). There's Insecure Girl, who doesn't want people to see she's Superstrong because she has supermanly muscles. And there's Bitch Mutant, who cites herself as being "perfect" and having "level 8 invincibility". Wowee, I never knew invincibility was so nuanced.

3 out of this for foursome act with ridiculous, unjustified hostility toward the newcomers.  Without any reason they verbally and physically harass them, despite the fact they have no reason to. That's what teenagers are like, right? Especially teenagers who have had to live in exile and be separated from their loved ones? They're instajerks, right?

So, the kids eventually play some Football, which ends into a sort of friendly pileup. But Banshee can't have that in his school, so he uses his mutant powers to break it up. It's a nice use of his powers, but we could make it better.

So after some more jerking around, Banshee and Emma Furostu show up again to show the kids Cerebro(A room full of monitors. Hey, what was you expecting?) and teach them psychic powers. Yes, they all learn psychic powers.  That's how mutants work in  Generation X. Like in Fable.

Also, we see a small hint at the hatred this kids go through, as in the lounge room, the TV shows an interview with a pundit comparing the X-Gene to Aids. Naturally, Blond Jock destroys the television, which is met with approval by the kids. Why where they even watching that in the first place? And won't they want to watch something else in the future?

So the Excec and Dr Russel have different variations of the same conversation ("Don't fuck it up!" "I'm so weird! I will fuck it up!") which is pretty fillery, but since the actor who plays Russel gets the weridest lines in the world, and turns the camp up to eleven, it's tolerable.

Eventually, the X-kids convince Banshee to let them drive into town. Yes, a jeep full of impulsive teens with aggressive tendencies and superpowers, with no supervision. You know, parents trust the Xavier Institute with this kid's lives. And even though a trip to the town could land them in Gitmo, they STILL let them. Damn.
Also, leave your 90210 jokes at home. They brought their own.

Eventually Hector runs into some lighthearted bullies who  shove his face in Ice cream for liking the girl of the group.  This of course, causes indignation in Hector's current bullies from the Institute. No, I see what you did there, movie. I guess the bullies have their own bullies, too, right?

Tired of it all, Hector uses his hacking skills to  access a restricted room in the school in which Emma Frost's dream traveling machine resides.
Also, it tones your abs.

But he's not the only one with big dreams, as Russel the next day demonstrates his own dream-ey access-ey machine to a boardroom of investors. They're skeptical, so he tells them he implanted in their mind, through dreams a trigger to fart at a particular hour. This, rather than convincing them to invest in a machine, makes them decide to turn him in to the authorities. I guess the same world where a gene can be considered illegal already has legal provisions against mental takeover, huh?

So Russel kills the Exec by throwing him off a bulding. Yes. Just like the Riddler.
Flying menace!

So, Jubilee and Hector try the machine. She enters first, but Russel is also there, and he creeps her out with his weirdness and his harassy nature. She comes out of the machine crying and saying it was terrible. Hector, seeing this JUMPS INTO THE MACHINE. Yeah, not a smart one, that Hector. But  he travels into the dreams of his dreamgirl, which involve her combing her hair, in her room. Wow, what an airhead. Anyway, Russel also shows up and promises to help Hector with his dream-girl troubles.

But then the cops IRL disconnect him from his machine, which leaves his mind stranded in the dreamstate. This seems painfull, then he seems to enjoy it. The scene kinda just ends.

The next night, the kids are allowed into a carnival. You know...I'm kinda seeing the mutant registration  side of things. How am I supposed to enjoy a good  carnival worrying about some unsupervised teens who can kill me without even trying? Bitch mutant shows off, Blond Jock and Insecure Girl make out in the car, and Hector meets his girl outside the Matrix. Then her bully friends show up and try to harass him again, which starts a fight with the Xavier kids. This gets them in trouble with Emma Frost, who could ascertain that it wasn't their fault if she only read their mind. I guess she isn't a telepath anymore?

Wigs where part of this franchise from the start.
Hector sneaks into the Fantasy Zone once more, and executes a terrible dance sequence with the girl, when shock of shocks, Russel appears again. He begs for Hector to free his body from the mental hospital it's trapped in so he can enter his mind again. He doesn't want to, and that's when shit gets creepy.

Russel threatens that he will...and he uses the exact words "mind-rape"  his girl if he doesn't complain. As an added creepy bonus, he brings up his little sister from earlier(I guess her mind), licks her face, and threatens to rape her mind as well. Wow that's another one for the rape tag.
I don't seek these out. I swear I don't. They come to me!

Hector becomes involved and frees Russel's body and mind(eww). But Russel pays him by kidnapping him for purposes of cutting off his brain. I thought he wanted Jubilee. But I forgot: Nobody wants Jubilee.
Everybody hates you.

Hector uses his...psychic powers...to contact Jubilee and ask for help, which brings but to the film's climax as all the X-Kids, Banshee and Emma Frost head out to fight one middle aged guy with no powers. Needless to say it's pretty one sided. The guy gets zapped, punched, fireworked. But after he's blasted through a wall, he comes back and he's all powerful and behind the wall was the Dream Dimension. I did not understand this.

So Frost offers to stay and go down with Russel, but  Hector instead wraps around him and throws both him and the villain down the eternal hole of the dreamstate. It seems both are gone, but Hector comes back using his stretchy powers.

Winding down, we see that the kids are gonna get uniforms. Here's why we can't have source accurate X-suits, kids.
And yet Emma Frost never uses lingerie as her primary wear.

This movie is...a T.V. movie about X-Men, made in the 90s. It's exactly what you'd imagine by that. The action is pretty bad, and the acting isn't great. A lot of this stuff just can't be realized on a low budget.  The characters aren't really that likeable, though the villain is pretty fun, before he becomes too creepy. I suggest if you like obscure films like those Captain America movies or that terrible Fantastic Four 1994 movie,  or if you need to see every superhero movie out there, give this a chance. If you are lactose intolerant, stay away, 'cause this shit is cheesy.

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