Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 12 min
X-Men: First Class takes us back to the beginning. When there wasn’t a Magneto, only a kid called Erik being brutally treated by the Nazi’s. When Professor Charles Xavier was still able to walk, and find a young Raven stealing food out of his fridge. There are plenty of other characters from the X-Men universe introduced to us too, and yet somehow this movie manages to weave all these characters into a cold war era story centered around the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
This film just works on a lot of levels due to the steady direction from Matthew Vaughn. Great performances from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender give this film a great deal of credibility too. It’s just so entertaining and strikes a great balance between the serious topics of prejudice and the threat of nuclear war, with the simple fun of watching all these characters explore and use their cool abilities.
While the story for the most part is solid, it does have a couple of minor plot holes here and there. There are also a few questionable moments during the film when it disregards some key events in the franchise history. None of these problems though are so serious that it would spoil your enjoyment of the film, and to be honest they’re the kind of thing you notice after repeat viewing.
X-Men: First Class is a big improvement from The Last Stand, and in my opinion this film is on the same level as Bryan Singer’s first two efforts directing the popular Marvel franchise. Expect plenty of action and fun, but don’t go into this expecting a brainless CGI fireworks show. If you’re a big fan of the other X-Men films, you may spot some inconsistency’s with the story and how it fits into the time-line set in the other films, but I doubt that will stop you enjoying this.
This is a big screen movie all the way, but at home a HD viewing is required to get the most out of this film. Watching this on a tablet or phone will lessen its impact.
Best Moments: << Spoilers >>
Hugh Jackman’s cameo as Wolverine was hilarious. I also really enjoyed the scene when Magneto uses his power to pull a submarine out of the ocean. It’s really epic and a great superhero moment perfectly punctuated by Henry Jackman’s superb score.