X-Men: First Class
Much better than expected - Eoghan Bolger
X-men first class
Directed by Matthew Vaughan and starring Kevin Bacon and James McAvoy, this superhero action film that focuses on the early days/career of the X-mens lead Charles Xavier, the plot sees Xavier caught up in cold war tensions between American and Russia during the early 60s.
The film is two and a half hours long.
Now this is more like it. Not only does first class offer an extension/development for the X-men/Marvel universe it also allows us to take a fresh look at many of the character, Xavier in particular, successfully showing us how everyone got to the point they are at now, what makes them tick and what moulds them. Combine that with the political messages, overtones and discrimination plot and you've got something a lot more unconventional and deeper than a typical superhero yarn.
The humour this time is a lot wittier and amusing thanks better scriptwriting than Thor and the movie doesn't feel like its wasting time either.
Removing Jean and Cyclops from the story lessens running the risk of the plot getting bogged down by angst too and while the story is fairly straightforward it works.
They had me sold with the cast list here and McAvoy was on top form here, playing a professor X we're not really used to, however it is Michael Fassbender who steals the show in every scene hes in as Magneto.
Though billed as an action movie (and what fights are there are enjoyable) first class is more than the standard gun-ho fare.
I'm not a big fan of the X-men but I found plenty of appeal here.
These Marvel adaptations are becoming increasingly better, this one certainly well better than the horrid X-men movies before it. Best of all the creators of these comic book movies are finally coming out and writing their own original concepts rather than trying to stay blindly faithful to the source and that is first classes strongest, key point for me.
My only real complaints are that things feel a little rushed towards the end, the CG could have been better and there was a distinct lack of Emma Frost, who feels a little underwritten.
Other than the above minor complaints this is a cracking film that turned out to be much better than my initially low expectations.
Review published on the 02 June 2011 00:38
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