Monday, June 13, 2011
X-men First Class Review
Lets get something out of the way: I've been a long time DC fan. If I had to choose between Batman or Iron-Man I would choose the Caped Crusader anyday. That being said, Marvel has been on a hot streak lately, not only with me but with the whole film community. So does First Class keep up Marvel's growing list of A-list movies?
Short answer: yes. Hell yes. Oh god yes. Not only is First-Class the best of the X-Men movies, but it ranks up there with The Dark Knight, Kick-Ass, and Watchmen as one of the best superhero movies ever made. The action is great, the acting is superb, and the story is a great time-piece and will send you through an emotional ride.
OK so now for the long answer. The X-men movie series has had a roller-coaster ride. X1 was a solid movie. Starring an a-list cast playing some of the most classic superheroes. X2 stepped up even further. focusing on one of the greatest anti-heroes of all time: Wolverine. That's when things went downhill. I remember enjoying The Last stand when I first saw it, but looking back it was baaaaad. the plot was incoherent, and everything seemed half done. Origins was even worse. I could see the thought behind making it. Who wouldn't want to see a movie about Wolverine? Well, turning out the way it did, I wouldn't. It was a 3rd rate action movie, that had some potential (Dead Pool and Gambit?) but didn't pull through and ended a garbled mess of a film.
So I had my worries about First Class, and who could blame me? But Director Matthew Vaughn has pulled a comic book adaption once again in a big way. Michael Fassbender as Eric Lehnsherr, (Magneto), a holocaust survivor looking for the man who killed his mother, and James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier, a fresh out of Oxford, man looking to unite mutants and humans, steal the show. Fassbender is pure screen candy in almost every scene. You feel his pain and constantly root for him. He's a Strong lead and I look forward to seeing more from him. Kevin Bacon as main protagonist Sebastian Shaw is..well...Kevin Bacon... but don't worry that's a good thing. The Secondary characters all shine too. Raven/Mystique's (Jennifer laurance) relationship with Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult) is built nicely, but even better is its decomposition as Raven starts falling for Eric, and his philosophy. The only week spot is January Jones as Emma Frost who falls a little flat. But you won't mind, she wasn't cast for her acting skills.
One of the highlights of the movie, is the two leads doomed relationship. There's a bittersweet feeling to their relationship, as we know that it will only end in them becoming arch rivals. while on oneside we want Eric to get his revenge against Shaw, we want Xavier to keep him from turning. But this film isn't all drama, there's alot of good action scenes in it. The last set piece, set on the coast of Cuba is Intense and gratifying.. We've seen everyone's powers up to this point, but now we actually see them put to use, and its done amazingly.
The cornier moments in the film come in when it starts returning to its comic book roots. the very last scene in the film, without giving any spoilers, will most likely have everyone but X-Men fans cringing.
Oh yeah, this film probably has the best cameo I've ever seen.