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X-Men: First Class (2011)

US/UK 132m, Colour
Director: Matthew Vaughn; Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones. Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon

First Class is a terrifically entertaining prequel to the Marvel Comics X-Men (2000) and the series of films which followed. The movie revisits Magneto’s childhood from 1944 onward, as well as introducing the childhood years of Charles Xavier, the founder of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Upon revealing the background stories for these two main characters, and their circumstances which led them to become arch rivals in later years, they reluctantly work together against a small but powerful anarchist group led by Sebastian Shaw, a fellow mutant who can absorb and redirect energy, who plans to pick up the pieces after initiating the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis – a clever plot derived from a thoroughly engaging and well-written piece of revisionist history as screenplay. As with the previous films, First Class is marked by seamless special effects and fantastic mutant powers (Klaus Ming June 2011).

8 comments on “X-Men: First Class (2011)

  1. Klaus
    06/12/2011

    Just thinking about this movie this afternoon and would argue that it’s the best reboot of a franchise since Star Trek (2009).

  2. Anthony Lee Collins
    06/13/2011

    These things are always mixed blessing to me (true of ST, too). There is a pleasure in seeing the familiar elements come into their familiar alignment, but it doesn’t provide much suspense. I liked the use of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the period details were good but not overdone.

    I liked Kevin Bacon a lot. Best performance in the film, I thought. Some on other blogs have complained that he was too one-dimensional (compared to Magneto in the earlier films, for example), but a real dastardly bad guy can be a pleasure in the hands of the right actor.

    The biggest disappointment for me (as a long-time reader of the comics — I remember buying X-Men #1) was Emma Frost. She’s a wonderful character in the comics (smart, imperious, bitchy, witty, complex), but here she was basically just eye candy. Even the “I need ice” scene looked like it was leading up to something and then basically dropped.

    Small Spoiler: Also, as was pointed out at salon.com. did we really need another example of “Early and Unexpected Movie-Negro Death Syndrome”?

  3. movie guy steve
    06/13/2011

    I’ve heard this is great and I’m curious to see it. I don’t see a lot in the theater, but I might make an exception for this one.

  4. Klaus
    06/14/2011

    @ Anthony – good points, I agree, there wasn’t much to the Emma Frost character, but hadn’t noticed the EUMDS.

    @ Steve – Same here, it was worth going to see.

  5. CMrok93
    06/14/2011

    I had a great time with this film and I thought that the casting of Fassbender was a smart decision on Vaughn’s part because he just has that look and feel about him that is so mysterious, yet just so amazingly breath-taking. Good Review!

    • Klaus
      06/17/2011

      Thanks. I didn’t think there was much left for the X-men series of films. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

  6. Anthony Lee Collins
    11/14/2011

    I somewhat underrated Fassbender when I saw the movie in the theater (mostly because I was comparing him to McKellan), but on DVD the power of his performance became much clearer to me. Also, by the time I saw it on DVD I was watching him more closely since I had seen Inglourious Basterds in the interim and he was so great in that.

    (Incidentally, the first moment we see Fassbender in the movie has to be a reference to Kick-Ass, Vaughn’s previous movie — it was like a little in-joke for the Kick-Ass fans. 🙂 )

    BTW, I wrote about this movie on my blog a couple of weeks ago, in terms of lessons writers could learn from it: http://u-town.com/collins/?p=2777

  7. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBCAST #526 X-MEN FRANCHISE MOTM

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This entry was posted on 06/12/2011 by in 2010s, All, Unlisted and tagged .
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