Considering I went on a Marvel movie marathon last year, it was only a matter of time until I started to see their X-Men titles, and begin what was sure to be an interesting journey into the world of mutants. X-Men: First Class may be one of my “early days” experiences, but it remains a favorite.
X-Men: First Class (2011) Marvel Film Review
Knowing what it feels like to be unlike others, a young British boy knows others, like him, are out there. People whose DNA is genetically altered, but he doesn’t know who they are until a special girl comes along. Across the world in the cold and war-torn Russia, another boy becomes a human experiment of a man who plans to rule the world.
Some twelve years later, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is an intelligent 24-year-old college graduate with high honors. Then there is Moira. An agent of the CIA, Moira MacTaggert (Rose Bryne) finds herself witnessing plans of a war between Russia and the U.S. The man orchestrating this is Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) who along with his associate Emma Frost (January Jones) is on the CIA’s watch list. What’s more, MacTaggert witnesses telepathic behavior, which sends her to report to her boss. When he refuses to believe her without proof, she seeks out Charles whose thesis is on the subject of human mutations. Along with his “adopted” sister, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Charles believes Moria’s story. You see, he too has the ability to read minds.
Along the way, Charles recruits Eric (Michael Fassbender) who holds a grudge against Shaw Each day that passes strengthens Shaw’s superhuman powers, what he doesn’t count on is the CIA recruiting Charles and his own band of superhuman soldiers to protect the integrity of America. What Charles doesn’t realize is the darker purpose one of his teammates is hiding.
FILM REVIEW | X-Men, Days of Future Past (2014)
As much as I adore super hero flicks and sci-fi, never in a million years did this series appeal to me. When I was a young teen, I ignored anything resembling this sort of movie. Given that I knew next-to-nothing about the series, it was an unfair assumption. My impression was that this isn’t something that can possibly be taken seriously like its Marvel counterparts; how silly a notion this is! After seeing this, my reaction is quite different. This film is absolutely, positively brilliant. Everything about it seems above and beyond the standard of normal Marvel movies and no matter how enjoyable they’ve are, this film may now be in the “top spot” of my rankings.
The script is intelligent (mind-bending, heart-stopping and even sorrowful) and the cast is a fabulous fresh crop of young talent that continuously impress with their respective characters; even when they falter in their expectations.
With the exception of Charles, all of the characters let me down. Raven the most of all. Given that this is the “origins” of X-Men and I’m not up on the time-frame in which the majority of these films take place, I don’t know how everything shakes out but let me just say, I expect more from her. Though I suspect it falls in line as being exactly her typical attitude. Then there is the heartbreak of Eric and Charles’ differences; these guys would have been so much better as common allies than they will be as enemies (little does Eric realize Charles is the only one helping him) yet knowing how engrossing this is, it will be interesting for me to watch everything play out. Seriously, when the credits roll, I wanted to immediately see the as-yes non-existent sequel.
Seeing so much talent crammed into a single movie let alone one frame is enough to make any movie-goer excited. The leads carry this well with McAvoy and Fassbender (Jane Eyre); plus the chance to see Jennifer Lawrence in a different role is a fun. There’s also some neat effects, too. Everything from a submarine suspended above the water to the epic destruction of the safe house, there’s plenty of action. Building this up is the phenomenal score which compliments every mood as does the final credits title sequence. Some of the humor is really sweet including the moments between Raven and Charles. The one common flaw here is the constant emotion shifts, and yet in ‘First Class,’ it rationalizes remarkably well.
Really, this is a character driven piece of fiction that’s impressive. I don’t always like the resolution of things, but I cannot argue they are mostly believable. Bittersweet as it is, props to the writer’s for achieving this.
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CONTENT: In mutant form, there’s a shot of a woman naked (front) and an implication of sex [she is seen lying in a man’s bed, they kiss and the camera cuts away]. One scene shows a man fondling a woman [in an imagination scenario]; there are a few scantily clad women early on and another girl is a prostitute. The body count is high; men evaporate, and receive stabbing or gunshot wounds; all of which is less graphic and is more of an “emotional impact.” Later, another character dies when a coin slices through the brain. One use of the f-word crops up, some abuse of deity [GD] plus some commonplace profanities. The movie rates PG13