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The First Class Earns An “A!”

June 5, 2011

X-Men: First Class. The prequel which “introduces” the mutants of Marvel’s highly popular team of superheroes, the X-Men. First Class tells the origin story of Professor X and his colleagues and beloved team. After three X-Men movies that either were tremendously fantastic, or tremendously failed (depending on your point of view), and a horrific origins story entitled Wolverine, X-Men: First Class entered the theatrical franchise with big expectations to meet in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere.

The storytelling for this origin tale set in the 1960s is superb and unique. At times it is as if X-Men: First Class is not even a superhero film (in the sense of the cheesy-ness of others past: Wolverine, Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four 2, etc). Director Matthew Vaughn (Snatch) and Screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (both wrote for Thor) excelled in the depiction of the mutants, their beginnings, passion, strife, and their powers. With so many characters involved, the amount of time spent to develop each of the primary characters is neither too much nor insufficient. The comradery/rivalry between Xavier and Magneto, the background of Mystique, Beast’s origin, and more! Get ready to either 1-learn more about the X-Men that you never knew, or 2-enjoy the story you may already know, except on the big screen in a way never told before!

But any movie can have great storytelling and be ruined by a second-class cast in place. Major congrats to the casting directors and their choices! Am I the only one who ever came up with a cast for an X-Men movie before any of the films ever came out? (Come on! Many of you did before or after X-Men released!) It is somewhat easy to pick the cast of actors for the characters as we know them, but to pick accurate actors to play the characters as they were decades before what we knew them to be…talent!

Take a look:

  • James McAvoy/Charles Xavier: Uncanny!
  • Michael Fassbender/Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto): Astonishing!
  • Kevin Bacon/Sebastian Shaw: Delightfully Evil!
  • Jennifer Lawrence/Raven (Mystique): Full of Character!
  • January Jones/Emma Frost: Chillingly Cool!
  • Additional Cast and Characters: Completely Appropriate

Major kudos though to the first three: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Bacon. McAvoy as the idealistic and almost stoic Charles Xavier makes the future Patrick Stewart’s version even more believable/understandable. The same goes for Fassbender’s Magneto. However, Michael Fassbender truly shows off his acting prowess as the mutant with mommy issues and magnetic personality! Bacon performs his most enjoyable/memorable role for the first time since 2003’s Mystic River, or perhaps even 1995’s Apollo 13! A great job by all.

The film revolves mostly around Magneto and Xavier’s beginning plight and story, which it should. However, it does miss out on covering more of the other characters. While  Beast, Emma Frost, and Mystique receive ample attention, the additional members of the class: Havok, Banshee, Azazel, Darwin, Angel, and a few others, missed out. While perhaps, not necessary or possible in 132 minutes, comic book fans will appreciate the inclusion of the characters, but also may remain slightly disappointed with the focus remaining mainly on characters we have already seen, known, and read about.

Several “TRUE” X-Men fans may still complain over certain details not being “accurate” as they may claim to remember them to be from the comic book. My statement to that: Who cares? This movie remains fantastic! It pays tribute to the first X-Men movie very well; the action is not lacking nor does it overpower the story; the story is told in a manner that is understandable and keeps the attention; the main characters are developed sufficiently; the attention to detail in setting the film in the 60’s is noteworthy; the special effects, cinematography, and musical score remain impressive; the cameos are fun; and it is just plain good!

X-Men: First Class earns a good grade from TheScarletSp1der!

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!

TheSp1der’s Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars for “X-Men: First Class

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2011 10:11 am

    couldn’t agree more! pretty much had the same sentiments in my own x-men review, i loved this movie and im so glad they movie brought back the glory to the x-men franchise.

    Like

    • June 6, 2011 7:08 am

      It was so great wasn’t it?! You got a review up for it too?!! Exciting! I can’t wait to read it! I am glad you review older films, but I also love reading your reviews of newer films too!

      Like

  2. June 5, 2011 6:45 pm

    Nice review! I love this movie too… Michael Fassbender as Magneto is awesome 😀

    Like

    • June 6, 2011 7:07 am

      thanks Ipodman. I haven’t checked yet, did you review it? I will be over to your page soon to see what you got goin on! Watch anything else this past week?

      Like

      • June 6, 2011 7:23 am

        Haha yes I have posted my review… Didn’t really watched anything else… in fact I watched X-Men First Class 2 times!! 😀

        Like

  3. June 5, 2011 11:03 pm

    I wish i had money to go to the theaters

    Like

    • June 6, 2011 7:06 am

      understand that Julian! I have to put aside a few coins each week in order to go!

      Like

      • June 7, 2011 7:49 pm

        Oh btw thanks for being spoiler free. There are a few reviews i’ve avoided because they had the possibility of spoilers.

        Like

      • June 7, 2011 8:50 pm

        I appreciate that note! I am one who always hated spoilers, and that’s partly why I started my site! To provide spoiler-free reviews! Thanks very much for saying so! Glad you could visit and enjoy. I’m privileged to be a place for you to visit!

        Like

  4. June 6, 2011 7:12 am

    Hey Mr Spider,

    I need to apologise for two things, firstly, I am sorry for being absent for a little while I have been on my holidays and therefore neglectful of my duties as a blogger!! Secondly I am sorry but I have not read this review. I am so desperate to see the film as fresh as I can be that I am trying not to read TOO much. I am glad that you gave it a good score though. Makes me happy!!

    Custard

    Like

    • June 6, 2011 7:16 am

      I COMPLETELY understand! I normally avoid most reviews prior to seeing any film and go straight to what a score may be!

      also, I understand being off the radar for a few days! I hope your holidays were fantastic with your family! Oftentimes it is work, and work-related travel, that keeps me from my blogger duties as it were. My days off are full of catchup! Tomorrow is one of those days!

      Thanks for dropping the note! I cant wait to read your review on the film!!

      Like

  5. June 6, 2011 8:26 pm

    I enjoyed this one immensely as well, T. I was too involved w/ my fantasy movie pitch (perhaps too much so) that I haven’t got around to reviewing it. I have to say I’m glad the film focuses mostly on Magneto and Xavier, I don’t even mind that they don’t really have time for the rest because let’s face it, there is no X-Men without these two and I think there are adequate time spent with the young’uns without derailing the movie. It’s when McAvoy and Fassbender are on screen when the movie truly shines, for me anyway.

    Like

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