Friday, August 10, 2012

X-Men Movie Marathon: Episode 6: X-Men: First Class Take 2

    On the last episode of the X-Men Movie Marathon, it the first movie I ever reviewed! This is X-Men: First Class!

    Way back when the movie first came out last June, X-Men: First Class was the first movie I ever did a full review of. Naturally, being the first review I ever wrote online, I have never been quite satisfied with it. So, while going down the list of all the X-Men movies, I figured I right my wrongs and give this film a second look.
    Chronologically speaking, First Class is the first X-Men movie. Taking place in the 1960s, the film follows Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), the future Professor X and Magneto, as they are called upon by CIA agents Moira (Rose Byrne) and Oliver Platt to help thwart Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and Emma Frost (January Jones) from starting World War III. They assemble a team that includes Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Havok (Lucas Till), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones) and Angel (Zoe Kravitz) and go to take down Shaw.

He gives the WORST hugs.
    After one lackluster entry and another downright awful one, the X-Men series really needed a good film to stay out on top. And this film is good. Really good. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (He also directed Kick-Ass, one of my favorite films from 2010) and with original X-Men director Bryan Singer helping out as well, it certainly clear that the brains behind this film are a lot of what makes it work. The story is the most an X-Men film has embraced it's comic book heritage and it works spectacularly. The bright yellow jumpsuits, the bright shiny effects and the snappy dialogue help make this film even better.
    Of course, the film wouldn't nearly be as good if it weren't for the stellar cast. McAvoy plays a great Xavier, being both very smart and very naive very well. Lawrence continues her great performances here. She makes you really feel for a character that didn't talk much in the original films. But this is Fassbender show to steal. He is so sympathetic and smooth-talking as Magneto that you'd seriously consider siding with him, if not completely siding with him.

On the set of Kevin Bacon's new talk show,
Cooking With Bacon.
    Thankfully for the X-Men series, First Class is just the kick in the pants that the series needed. By taking us back in time and embracing the series comic book origins, the film is a breath of fresh air in a series that was quickly becoming stale. Combined with a fun story, great action and nice directing, X-Men: First Class is a great new start for the X-Men series. X-Men: First Class gets 5 stars out of 6.

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