What you need to know: X-Men First Class charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

 

What you’ll love

X-men: X-men has always contained classic themes that resonate with its audience.  The subject matter makes for very rich story telling.

Cast: The casting is dead on, with the roles of Professor X, and Magneto being especially inspired. January Jones steals every scene she’s in as the White Queen and even the minor characters seem perfectly cast.

New Characters: At this point we’ve seen almost every X-character on the big screen. In this interpretation of the X mythos we get several new characters that haven’t gotten much screen time. It adds a sense of freshness that the X franchise has been lacking.

Climax: The crescendo of the movie is amazing; it’s fun of summer popcorn fun. The actions scenes are fantastic, shifting between the various match-ups effortlessly. The X movies have always done a great job of balancing its large cast of characters during actions scenes.

January Jones: I’m a big fan of Mad Men but I raised an eyebrow at the casting of Jones as Emma Frost. Jones herself has even said she didn’t physically feel comfortable in the roles, even citing that she didn’t have enough time to fully train for the role. Ignore that she looks amazing; stealing every single scene she’s in.

 

What you won’t

Metaphor: At its best X-men stories were always a metaphor of life and society as a whole. X-men First Class misses the boat on this. Set in the sixties the movie only chooses to address Cold War tensions. Completely missing an opportunity to examine the racial dynamics of the times.  The attempt is made to show the struggle mutants go through, but only the mutants that look abnormal (i.e. Beast, Mystquie) But these efforts falls flat.

Poor motivation: Almost across the board the characters in this movie have poor motivations for doing what they do. Take Angel for example (no not that one) she crosses over to the dark side simply because two guys gave her a hard time calling her a freak.

Pacing: The movies most glaring flaw. They were just trying to accomplish too much. Watching the first act was like being a school bus. You knew where all the stops were and you had to sit and wait while they got them in.  While it is nice to see the events in X-history take place for the first time, it was done

Clumsily as times.

 

Bottom Line: While it has its flaws and it is certainly not among Marvel’s best movie offerings, X Men First Class is a solid movie that’s lots of a fun. A must see for X-Men fans.

Grade: B


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