[Review] X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class (2011)

Dir: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon

  • Telepathy
  • Magnetic maniputation
  • Shapeshifting
  • Sonic screams
  • Teleportation

Those mutants sure have interesting abilities…

I think what I enjoy most about the X-Men franchise is that – unlike your Superman, Batman and Spiderman – the story revolves around a group of individuals, all with their own unique abilities. While there are leaders – Professor X, Cyclops, Wolverine – everyone is in the same position. They are united in their mutation.

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X-Men: First Class takes place in 1962. Mutant supremacist Sebastian Shaw is trying to manipulate the US and Russia into starting a nuclear war. Genetics expert Charles Xavier joins forces with Erik Lehnsherr, a man who has a painful past with Shaw, to stop him.

I really enjoyed X-Men: First Class. Everything seems a lot more raw – the storyline is more frantic and the characters aren’t the polished, seasoned mutants we’re used to. Out of the franchise, I can only think of Jean Grey/Phoenix to rival Erik’s unharnessed and raw energy.

As pointed out in the trailer, this is the story of two men before they became the infamous Professor X and Magneto. Considering what big shoes they had to fill, I think that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were brilliant. The young Erik was as I expected but the young Charles was a lot cheekier. He has an ego and high sex-drive, as demonstrated by his great chat up line.

The other mutants – Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Azazel, Riptide, Angel, Mystique, Beast, Havok, Banshee and Darwin – are great characters with very interesting abilities. However, I didn’t warm to some of them, one way or the other. While important to the plot, I really wasn’t that interested in Angel, Havok or Riptide. Come to think of it, I don’t think Riptide is ever referred to by name…

The X-Men franchise is one of my favourite superhero universes and X-Men: First Class did not disappoint. It does have a few flaws – a few things don’t add up – but on the whole is an enjoyable couple of hours. It was great seeing a couple of familiar faces, too.

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