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Review: X-Men First Class

Posted September 9, 2011 by Max in Review


In a sea of comic book adaptations, it must be difficult to stand out from the pack. Amazingly, X-Men First Class has accomplished just that. With its sixties era jive and re-imagined cast, X-Men First Class is a notch above most of its contemporaries.

When the project for a new X-Men film were first proposed, there were going to be separate Professor X and Magneto chapters. Well, thank goodness that idea was scrapped. X-Men First Class works the best when James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are in the frame.

Director Matthew Vaughn decides to start the picture eerily similar to the first X-Men film, following Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) suffering at the hands of the Nazi’s. This was one of the few missteps of the entire film. I could’ve sworn I saw the same sequence from years ago and I suffered crazy déjà vu. Not a good idea when your supposedly rebooting a franchise.

After the rough beginning, things seem to seamlessly fall together. Michael Fassbender is a tour de force as Magneto. After appearing in such films as Jane Eyre (2011) and Fish Tank, Fassbender has definitely shown his mainstream appeal. James McAvoy isn’t as captivating as Professor Xavier, but when he shares the screen with Fassbender the two share a great chemistry. The cast is then rounded out nicely with Kevin Bacon as the villainous Sebastian Shaw and Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique.

The plot is really superfluous to the action on the screen, but in typical fashion the X-Men must fight for their existence in one form or another. The most interesting aspect is that it takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the characters grow into their most memorable forms. There’s a great deal in common with Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. From the brotherhood between the main characters to the unfortunate turn of events that turns them against each other.

X-Men First Class feels more like a gift to the faithful fans of the franchise and not an easily digestible summer blockbuster. There are certainly moments when First Class decides to give a wink to it’s most loyal fans and miss everyone else entirely. That being said, it is an excellent reboot of a franchise in desperate need of a facelift. The early box office return isn’t as promising as the picture, but hopefully it will be enough to continue with this cast of mutants. X-Men First Class has all the superhero trappings wrapped up in delicious 60’s flair and is well worth your attention.

4 / 5 hearts 


X-Men: First Class
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Bacon

About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.