Monday, June 6, 2011

X-MEN: First Class Review



Even though the trailer looked amazing, I was still a bit apprehensive in seeing X-Men: First Class, considering the last installment went straight to the pooper. I'm referring to The Last Stand. BOO! Hollywood doesn't like giving up, though. And when a movie ends up being one big fat stinker, they attempt to make things right again (i.e. reboot, prequel, sometimes both). And I have to say I believe they succeeded with their latest efforts. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

There’s just something cool about a prequel. It’s always interesting seeing how it really began. And when done right a prequel can sometime surpass a sequel. While First class doesn’t quite match/succeed X2's success, it still delivers one powerful punch.

The cast is a sprawling collection of recognizable faces that will be familiar to comic readers, notably CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and a scantily clad telepath Emma Frost (January Jones, who was embarrassingly rigid). Set back in the 60’s, the film does an good job breaking down the story into a few heavily underlined X-Men themes, i.e. adolescent confusion and self-rejection, learning your own strength and how to control it.

Charles’ (James McAvoy) childhood of privilege and power leaves him smug yet bent on helping other troubled mutants cope, while Erik’s (Michael Fassbender) youthful misery focuses mainly on revenge against his mother’s Nazi killer, Shaw (Kevin Bacon - he's so good at being bad). As adults, not only do they become best friends, but the two plan to recruit more mutants to beat down Shaw’s outsized super-villain scheming and plotting, which shows real history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, complete with footage of JFK’s speeches sprinkled throughout.

You will not be disappointed with the action scenes, costumes and special effects. There were some great cameo’s as well. Running 2 hours and 12 minutes, some say it was too long, but I didn’t really notice. I was entertained the entire time. The film largely does what it sets out to do, by turning out another crowd-pleasing comic-book film designed to bring in new fans while satisfying the old ones.
RATING: B


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