Movie Review: X-Men: First Class [2011]

X-Men: First Class [2011]

X-Men: First Class [2011]
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama
Language: English
Country: USA

I feel obligated to admit right away that I am not much of an X-Men fan. I know very little about the series and its characters, and I have only seen the original 2000 film. It’s not that I am opposed to the series in any way, it’s just that I could never be bothered to dig into it. Until now.

X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the original movies, and it focuses on the origins of the groups led by Professor X and Magneto. This concept intrigued me quite a bit simply because it would tell me, a non-fan, how exactly everything came to be.

X-Men: First Class [2011]

The movie takes place predominantly in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. A young mind-reading Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a fellow mutant, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), who shows him that he is not alone in the world. Their paths intersect with Erik Lensherr (aka Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender) who is on a revenge mission to kill the Nazi bastard (Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw) who murdered his mother. The two future leaders team up and recruit a bunch of other mutants including Dr. Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz) and Sean Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones) to take out Shaw and his small band of accomplices, the most noteworthy being Emma Frost (a terrible January Jones), who are now attempting to start World War III.

While the majority of the characters get their fair share of screen time, the bulk of the action is placed on Professor X and Magneto. McAvoy and Fassbender are more than up to the task for their roles, as they both deliver strong performances with impeccable chemistry together. The acting is generally pretty good all around, except for the aforementioned January Jones, whose only duty is seemingly to show off the movie’s required amount of cleavage. Jennifer Lawrence in particular is quite good as Raven, and she is certainly building momentum after last year’s brilliant performance in Winter’s Bone. I also enjoyed Rose Byrne’s role as a CIA agent who is working with the mutants.

X-Men: First Class [2011]

X-Men: First Class doesn’t have any major “holy shit” moments and relies more on dialogue than action, but it still moves at a brisk pace even considering its 132 minute run-time. I found the back story to be quite fascinating, and this movie has inspired me to continue delving into the series — something the 2000 film couldn’t even do. While I feel more could have been done with the film’s 1960s setting, it still made good use of the ongoing Cold War and offered an interesting fantasy alternative as to what really happened. As far as summer blockbusters go, this is one of the better ones to come out this year.

8/10

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6 thoughts on “Movie Review: X-Men: First Class [2011]

  1. CMrok93 says:

    It uses the themes of the previous movies to build an intelligent, fast-paced, and highly entertaining prequel. The performances from the whole cast, especially McAvoy and Fassbender add a lot to these great characters as well. Good Review!

    • amycommunications says:

      A good movie, indeed. Thank you for you have sent it to me.Too bad the ‘bad guy’ who is my favourite one, together with the good one too, is only a teenager, in the real life. (and also looks like one).
      I am only sorry you are not so well documented up, in a scientific manner, for your movies. Like in the British ones. Still, in my opinion, the English S.F.movies are sadic and extremelly social and perverse, while you the Americans: are more commercial and also too violent. Still, good luck to both of you!!
      Please help me to find out immediately, that with Zeta Jones and S.Connery, as thieves and other series and real doccumentaries on the hystory of C.I.A., F.B.I., spion wars btwn. nations and more. Best regards!

  2. chengboiser says:

    Loved your review.
    I have followed the Xmen movie series and the only thing that is good in therms of entertainment and plot is the second, since it comprises the story of Logan, one of the more famous characters in the series. Though the first 3 was action packed, the First class prequel is a fave of mine, since the story is very interesting, and certainly as what you’ve said there is chemistry between the two main actors.

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