Review: X-Men First Class

Thanks for checking out our X-Men: First Class Review

Genre: Comic Book Action
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Staring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence
Released: June 3rd, 2011

THE GENERAL IDEA

Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-MEN.

THE GOOD

The setting is likely my favourite part of the movie. They really push into the 60s with an almost campy feel but never quite get into the over the top caracature of the decade as pop culture would remember it. Despite adding a totally foreign element into that decade, we are constantly aware that this is certainly in the 60s.

The twist to the Cuban Missle Crisis was a risky one but one that they pull off very well. They insert “unknowns” into what is already historically recorded to the event.

Every comic book film needs its villain, but with an origin story that villain cannot overshadow the development, and in this we get Sebastian Shaw, wonderfully played by Kevin Bacon. He is effective enough without being too much of the movie. Seeing Magneto oppose Shaw is delicious to watch as they illustrate how similar the two men are in their ideals about Mutant Supremacy.

Buf Fassbender steals this film and his portrayal of Erik Lensher is hauntingly foreshadowing Ian McKellan’s portrayal. And I wouldn’t be the first person to say that Fassbender could easily be the next Bond if Craig gives up the gig. This can also be said of James McAvoy, who easily fits the role of the caring nurturing father figure of the mutant race.

And all of this is just the icing on the cake for some great cinematic style action scenes. The special effects are incredible, and add more than just some beams of light and prosthetics. Really top knotch fun visuals here.

THE BAD

The supporting cast is great but the “first class” students are just window dressing and a purpose to showcase the creation of Xavier’s school and the relationship. I don’t mind these characters being so secondary as I would rather see the ProfessorX/Megneto relationship play out.

I didn’t like January Jones in this at all. Her costumes were attempting to be sexy revealing and just looked like they didn’t fit. And her acting was supposed to be cold and stern, but end up being stiff and flat. If they do more in this era, I hope she is recast.

Jennifer Lawrence still looks awkward to me. She might be a Mystique before the sex appeal, but still the character doesn’t work for me in this movie. Thankfully her “I just want to feel normal” contribution to the student’s theme in the film is more than fulfilled with Hank McCoy and his evolution into the Beast.

Most of the students are background noise, and just there to fill out the roster. Riptide had no character development at all. Maybe they an get more into these roles in future installments. Not an overwhelming bad thing, as this left room for the core character’s story.

OVERALL

Prequels tend to suffer from the “we know what inevitably happens” syndrome, but this film works WITH that and does it so well. This really works into the more current films and I really hope that they make more X-Films in this era.

Lots of action and fun, with some show-off moments and good character developement all make this film worth seeing.

I give X-Men:First Class a 9 out of 10 and is now my new favourite X-Film.

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