ManipalBlog Review: X-Men First Class – 7/10

Directed by Matthew Vaughn.  
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Bill Milner.
Genre: Fantasy/Action
Plot- In 1962, Charles Xavier starts up a school and later a team, for humans with superhuman abilities. Among them is Erik Lensherr, his best friend… and future archenemy.

What made me poorer financially, also made viewing the next installment of the X-men a bit richer. Super fantastic and right in-between the epic first X-Men and the super second one for quality and entertainment. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are amazing as Professor X and Magneto, and Kevin Bacon serves as a fine villain.

There is a lot that is impressive about X-Men: First Class. The film’s 60s setting is a masterstroke. While admittedly some of the characters feel more contemporary than others, by placing events against the backdrop of the highly turbulent Swinging Sixties – or rather, on the cusp of the Swinging Sixties – the film is able to strike that difficult balance between being simultaneously believable and comic book-like. Characters are allowed to dress more flamboyantly, and it’s credible. Not silly. Gone are the generic black leather body suits of 21st Century-set X-Men 1 – 3. Instead we’re treated to costuming and a world with much more distinct, colourful comic flavour.

Almost everyone from the previous movies were back this time, although in their much younger form (this is after all, a prequel). So Prof X wasn’t a prof early in the movie, he could walk and he wasn’t bald. Magneto was actually a pretty cool guy back then before he turned into the sour old man that he was. Magneto and Prof X were even BFF then! Mystique was a bubbly and a little too chubby confused teenager. The Beast wasn’t a beast until a self-administered experiment went all wrong (lesson to be learned here – always practice on mice first and get the bloody FDA approval first!!!!). Hugh made a 5-seconds appearance as Logan and mouthed off 4 words – one of which was an expletive. Rebecca Romijn made a 2.5 seconds appearance as the matured Mystique ~ I think she put on weight!!! 🙁

There were new mutants introduced of course including a very short-lived adapter named Darwin (guess he couldn’t adapt very well after all), a teenage girl with dragon fly wings and spits burning lava balls, a guy whose shrill voice would put any Irish banshee to shame, a guy who can whip up typhoons, a red-complete-with-pointy-tail teleporting badass and a sexy telepathic with powers almost equal to Prof X’s and heaps more sexy! It’s pretty thrilling to see any X-characters on-screen, and the movie certainly lived up to the promise on that end. Cameos galore and some real fan favorites like Banshee. Okay, is he even a fan favorite?

And since there were all young, they all behaved badly. 🙂 The origins of the various monikers of the characters were revealed in the movie which makes a comic-universe-virgin like me go, “Ah, so that’s how the names came about!”. It also revealed how Professor X became wheel chair bound and how Magneto came by his ridiculous looking made-in-Russia anti-telepathy helmet!

Kevin Bacon played a post-Nazi era energy-hungry villain whose aim was to dominate the world with his team of rotten mutants. Spin the story into the Cuban Missile Crisis and we have one heck of a roller-coaster ride!

So, was the show good? You bet it was! It wasn’t awesome but it was good. Overall you know I’m only going to give this movie a sterling recommendation. Sure I wish the dialogue was better in parts, there were some clunky scenes, a bit of the movie was a little slow, and Rose Byrne was criminally underused, but overall it’s something I’m going immediately right back out to watch again. “Mutant and proud!” I need that T-Shirt. Okay, maybe not. I still liked the first X-men best. I totally enjoyed this movie.

I rate the movie 7/10.

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