Erik was put through experiments by a cruel Nazi scientist
in a concentration camp in 1944. Meanwhile, young 12 year Charles takes in a blue skinned
girl who can look like anyone. Flash forward to 1962 where Charles is going to college in the UK with the blue
girl named Raven as his travelling companion and Erik is tracking down the scientist ruthlessly around the world. Erik
and Charles will cross paths where they find they are after the same person, Sebastian Shaw, who is out to cause World
War 3. They put together a team of mutants together with the help of the CIA and naive agent Moira MacTaggert.
The Cuban Missile Crisis looms during the time of the Cold War between the Russians and Americans
(and the age of the American Civil Rights Movement for blacks).
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is a smart superhero film-
a credit to all of the writers who worked on the script. The 1960s setting
is fully realized as you get to feel the cold war and racism metaphors (because the mutants are different). The actions of the characters drive the story. The
conclusion is a little rushed and most of the X-Men team is thinly realized. I
would have loved to see the team bond more and get trained more while the first half of the film neatly introduces Charles
and Erik. Yet the characters the film does develop fully are Charles, Erik,
Raven, and Sebastian Shaw. Moira MacTaggert starts out as a character that
is developed only to act more like a character that Charles can play off at times.
This X-MEN prequel is unlike
many superhero films. It feels like a 1960s spy thriller mixed in with a little of James Bond films (I think scriptwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz
may have had a hand in writing the film into that feel). Matthew Vaughn
is able to direct a film that is different from his previous two that you wonder what can he not direct. He is a solid film director. He has assembled a good
cast of actors including three or four that stand out from the rest like James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, and
Jennifer Lawrence (who may will soon know as Katniss in next year's adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES). Also watch out for a certain cameo by a certain X-Men in one of the humorous moments of the film
. McAvoy shows off the idealism of Charles while Erik is driven by
revenge and his mistrust for humans. Erik believes mutants are the next
step in evolution and humans are inferior. Michael Fassbender makes you
believe that Erik only does things if it fits in with what he needs to do to get to his goal of revenge. Erik and Charles start out as friends only to see their ideas divide them.
I know there is a division
of where the next X-MEN film should go- Matthew Vaughn wants a film to take place in the 1970s while others may want a sequel
to X-MEN: LAST STAND. I hope they can follow up with the events of X-MEN:
FIRST CLASS as you see Charles develop his school to teach the mutants.
This prequel has re-energized the X-MEN series and it all due to a combination of factors of a good cast, script, and
director. I want to see the series to continue in that direction.
this movie review is (c)6-4-2011
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments