X-Men: First Class
Set to tell the tale of the early days of how the X-Men came to be is the prequel of sorts to the previous X films is X-Men: First Class. Matthew Vaughn directs this film to show the origins of the two main leaders of the warring factions in the mutant community Charles Xavier aka Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto.
After showing almost an identical scene from 2000’s X-Men where young Lehnsherr bends some metal gates with his mind, we meet up with the big bad of the film Sebastian Shaw. Kevin Bacon gives an all-star performance. I haven’t seen Bacon in much lately but after this performance I’m sure his agent will be getting a few extra phone calls. Thanks to Shaw we get to see where Lehnsherr gets his rage and hatred from. Of course we get to see a young Charles Xavier as well. In the brief scene as a child we see a well-proper and kind kid that will become just that as an adult.
As the story progresses we see these two a little more older and based on upbringings how their lives have gotten them to where they are at. James McAvoy oozes charm as the now older wise and kind Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender brings excellent appeal to the man who becomes Magneto.
The film’s plot is a new storyline not seen in the Marvel Comics the characters are based on and for that it feels fresh. I enjoyed the 1960’s timeline and felt the feel of that era was true. The costume design and the set background gave you just that. Of course I’m not one to talk since I’m a seventy’s child. Vaughn and crew did a great job on storytelling while still giving you the CGI you expect from a comic film like 2008’s Iron Man. When you compare this film from the three X-Men movies plus the Wolverine one, some continuity is off when it comes to some of the characters. X:Men Origins: Wolverine is a big culprit in that regards. Personally X-Men: First Class feels more of a reboot with flashes of the other films thrown in including a couple cameos.
Besides the big three of McAvoy, Fassbender, and Bacon some of the supporting roles for me were hit and misses. I enjoyed Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy aka Beast. He did very well in his scenes and gave a good performance. Lucas Till as Alex Summers aka Havoc was just as good. On the other flip of the coin are three female characters. Jennifer Lawrence, fresh from her Oscar-nominated role in last year’s Winter’s Bone, plays Raven aka Mystique. I never got into her character. I’m undecided if it was a weak written role or if it was her acting. I just was underwhelmed with her as the shape-shifting blue mutant. One thing I didn’t care for was that she shifted her feelings towards men as much as she shape-shifted into other people. Emma Frost was portrayed by January Jones. Another underwhelming performance but not as bad as her role in this year’s Unknown. For the 3rd and final weak performance goes to Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggart. Her role had minimal impact and her love interest angle at the end came out of left field and forced.
The only other thing that I can go either way with is that by the end of this film Xavier and Lehnsherr already went their separate ways where I could have liked to see their bond develop more before that happened. Their background has always been told that the two were longtime friends before their following out but based on this film they knew each other under a week before that happened.
Overall X-Men: First Class was an excellently written movie that will entertain everyone not just comic book fans and I can’t wait to see where they go next with the series.
Posted on June 9, 2011, in Comic Book Films, Film Review and tagged James McAvoy, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Michael Fassbender, movie review, x-men, X-Men: First Class. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.