Tuesday, August 28, 2012

X-Men: First Class

June 9, 2011

Another Marvel X-Men film, another excellent summer blockbuster! Of all the characters in the Marvel universe, I find the X-Men to be the most interesting of all. This story which explores the beginnings of not just one, but the two most powerful senior X-Men can certainly do no wrong. 

At first, I was worried about this film being a teenage movie with a lot of teenage angst going on. Wrong. This film is a very mature treatment of the close friendship that developed between the brainy privileged Charles Xavier and the troubled angry Erik Lehnsherr, and how they forged the beginning of the mutant organization on Earth. We are brought into the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis as the historical backdrop of this story. The main antagonist is the mad and greedy Dr. Sebastian Shaw who also has his own army of mutants. 

The acting of the cast was also faultless, led by James McAvoy (as Charles) and Michael Fassbender (as Erik). As can be predicted, the turn of Erik to the Dark Side was the more intense character arc, but the Charles angle was not left weak. There was a touching subplot featuring Raven (Mystique) and Hank (Beast) about mutant appearances, which actors Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult also portrayed very well. Veteran Kevin Bacon does his slimy best as the maniacal Dr. Shaw, with the help of the sexy January Jones as the icy Emma Frost.

This type of movie, being a prequel, is the type where the beginning and middle are more interesting than the end, which we already know what happens beforehand. I loved how they tied everything up very neatly in the details about each character we all know very well. Director Matthew Vaughn navigates the main story and its subplots into one coherent, entertaining and exciting whole. Bryan Singer, director of the first two (and best two) X-Men movies, is also on board here as one of the writing team. Awesome special effects complete this overall excellent package. A must watch, most certainly!

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