X-Men: First Class Review

After the abysmal spinoff to 20th Century Fox’s money making character, I was done with this studio’s level of stupidity. But with Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) directing and Bryan Singer (even though he lost my trust after driving Superman into the ground) returning to executive produce, this franchise has made a somewhat decent comeback.

For once in Fox’s incompetent life, this actually felt like a Children of The Atom film as opposed to Wolverine: Guest Starring The X-Men that has been for the last four years at The Cinema.

First and foremost this movie is a reboot (as stated by Vaughn in his Slash Film interview), but tips it’s hat to the first two with some of the same aspects (plus cameos by Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijin). Examples being a section of The Government run by a short-lived CIA Executive played by Jimmy King himself, Oliver Platt knowing about The Mutant Phenomenon prior to the start of the 2000 film. Hank McCoy aka Beast (Nicholas Hoult) being the one that built Cerebro in opposition to Erik Lehnsherr (Ian McKellen) and Charles Xavier (Patrick Strewart) as the exposition in the first one provided.

Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Magneto and his on-screen chemistry with James McAvoy (Wanted) as pre-Professor X stole the show. The performances of their respective characters’ friendship turned sour was just so damn good. You’ll never read this from me, but I actually prefer this version of Charles’ paralysis happening through Magnus’ superiority as a opposed to a costumed Devil. It absolutely hit the right emotional cord that The Filmmakers were going for. Kevin Bacon seemed to be having fun playing the antagonist, Sabastian Shaw. While Moira MacTaggert (Rose Bryne) was a CIA Agent instead of The Scientist, it was still a proactive role.

But aside from Magilla Gorilla and Sean Cassidy alias Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), I didn’t care for the other Mutants on the team. Armando Muñoz / Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz) didn’t need to be there, for they were entirely pointless. I especially didn’t like Alex Summers / Havok (Lucas Till) being Cyclops’ father instead of brother (as stated by the actor on his Twitter account) before release or post. I also found the brother / sister relationship between Chuck and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) to be really off-putting. So then later you have Raven Xavier (instead of Darkhölme) spontaneously embrace her Mutation after one scene with Erik (plus the needless fling with Hank).

While I commend Beacon’s acting, Shaw wasn’t his own character. I mean he had the same powers as his comics counterpart (being able to absorb energy, then unleash it), but his only usage was to be a prelude to what Erik ultimately becomes with his World War III scheme. January Jones’ Emma Frost was mainly there to be just eye-candy and be a lousy actress while doing it.

Overall, this isn’t the great X-Film nor the best adaptation ever but the saving grace were the two leads. It would’ve been more beneficial if they just made that Master of Magnetism offshoot instead.

Rating: 8