I loved this movie so much more than I did Pirates of the Caribbean. Probably because I have a teeny crush on the two male leads but that’s besides the point.
X-Men First Class was a joy from start to end. It starts with a familiar scene from the first movie and builds from there. (I’m trying to make this spoiler free for the most part). I must applaud the writers for not doing the cliche resolution to one of the first ‘moments of tension’ but made it perfectly heartbreaking that you would understand a character more. I’m very pro-Israel and I love me a Jew, so I felt for Magneto’s character from the start. The horrors of a concentration camp like Auschwitz is something a person never gets over which builds his character’s critical view of the world and his mistrust of people in authority.
Charles Xavier’s character and Raven’s (aka Mystique) are not 100% true to the comic books when we are introduced to their relationship; unless I am inept in X-Men history, correct me if I’m wrong. (Random fact: the boy who played young Prof X looks like Rory Williams from Doctor Who. and Jennifer Lawrence’s version of the blue lady as a young woman reminded me of Amy Pond. Sorry for the unnecessary DW references :p) The contrast in the two lead characters’ backgrounds are so evident that it makes their later friendship controversial.
I did love the bromance they created between Erik and Charles. Although it will probably be the stem of many ‘slash’ fanfictions online, it was clear through Fassbender and McAvoy’s portrayals that the two characters have a very strong bond. The light hearted scenes of the show then to be the most touching such as the scene when Charles helps Erik maximise the use of his power. Those guys can act. That scene and the one near the end of the movie is probably the most emotional parts of the movie which they pulled of with such panache.
Another important plotline is the evolution of Mystique who starts of wanting to be accepted by the world but ends up learning to accept herself (prompted by Magneto). Jennifer Lawrence is a lucky girl to share the screen with two leading men and she holds her own in those scenes. The change from ‘shy girl’ to ‘proud mutant’ could really be seen in the way Lawrence spoke and even from her posture. The only critic I have for her is the fact that she sadly lacks the bone structure of Rebecca Romijin which is evident when she’s in her original form.
The other mutants are pretty cool too. Alex Summer’s (AKA “Havoc”) powers was probably the weirdest to see because of the animation that didn’t really look that convincing, to me at least. Hank McCoy AKA Beast was dear character who’s dabble to make himself normal pushes him to the other end of the spectrum (obviously this is not a spoiler since we know Beast to be Beast). Many characters are killed off quickly within the first hour of the show which prompts the twist of the plot to its climax.
Sebastian Shaw played by Kevin Bacon does excellent accents and is the perfect villian. January Jones’s Emma Frost is the perfect ice cold bitch, perfected by Jones’s practice in her portrayal of another Ice Queen in Mad Men. Rose Byrne plays a very different version of Moira MacTagget from the comic books which has been a point of contention amongst fans. I don’t mind it as much but it would have been nice if they stayed true to the comics. The supporting cast who play the Russian and American soldiers/navy must be credited for making the ending a good one. Their simple lines show what they really think of ‘doing their duty’ and ‘following orders’.
So all in all, this movie was a good watch. How do I know that? I wanted to be part of the X-Men once I left the cinema. The little things like Prof. X’s hair and his hand-on-temple thing link this to the future characters we know and love. Magneto is fleshed out very well and you cannot help but feel for him. I’ve always liked Magneto especially Ian McKellan’s version but Fassbender brings a vulnerability to the role, a side to the villain we may not always be acquainted with.
If you do watch the movie, take note of the two cameos by future cast members. I bet you, you’ll laugh at one and maybe be a little surprised by the other. Another thing is note the use of the name Stryker (which you proper fans will know) and the ‘Brotherhood’. NOW go watch X-Men: First Class with my blessing. 🙂