I’m generally sick of remakes and relaunches and reboots — it seems borderline obscene that it only took 10 years for Sam Raimi’s awesome Spider-Man movies to get kicked to the curb in favor of new blood — but this revamped X-Men origin story is kind of fun. Set a couple of generations ago, when fear of the Cold War still cast a long shadow over the swinging 60s and memories of the Holocaust still festered like an open wound, it’s a period piece into which has been injected a tale of two mutants.
I’ll say this first: Wild Things has the best courtroom scene in recent memory. Matt Dillon’s upstanding high school guidance counselor has been accused of rape by a student of questionable moral standing. The trial builds to a head as a witness cracks under cross examination, and someone in the peanut gallery starts screaming and throwing things. In a cultural miasma populated by Monica Lewinsky, Jerry Springer, and Court TV, the superbly timed invocation of the ultimate 90s epithet (“You skanky bitch!”) is pure pop effervescence.