X-Men: First Class Movie Review
“X-Men: First Class” provides a great background and history of how “X-Men” first came to be through the combined efforts of Charles Xavier/ Professor X, played by James McAvoy, and Erik Lehnsherr/ Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender.
However, the film may be a disappointment for avid readers of the X-Men comic series, as the film, like the rest of the series, doesn’t follow true to the comics. It does however stay true to the comic book character biographies and powers which makes it more personal.
The film starts off by introducing Magneto and Xavier as kids and the environment they grew up in. It contrasts their lifestyles between the dark depressing Jewish encampment of WWII that Magneto was forced into with the plush and lonely life of Xavier as an only child soon to come across the young Mystique. The film then flashes forwards to the present narrative of the Cold War era as it depicts each scenario the soon-to-be best friends go through.
The film constantly switches between these two characters and between the dual enemy governments of United States and Russia. The film also focuses on the film’s main antagonist, Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon. He leads a team of evil mutants that include Emma Frost, Janos Questad/Riptide, and Azazel. His goal: For there to be a World War III.
In order to combat him, the U.S. government is rushed into awareness of the mutant population and forced to recruit a new team of mutants to combat Shaw. The first class team involves the young mutants Sean Cassidy/Banshee, Armando Munoz/Darwin, Angel Salvadore/Angel, Alex Summers/Havok, Raven Darkholme/Mystique, and Hank McCoy/Beast.
However, as the film progresses and lines are crossed, it becomes unclear which side is the enemy or the ally. This film really keeps you on your feet. There is even a surprise cameo appearance in the film, but I dare not say and thus ruin the surprise.
The action and graphics effects are great. However, the plot could use a little re-tweaking with the story line, but not every movie can be perfect. Some of the cast performances were brilliant such as the comic relief of the characters Havok (Lucas Till) and Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), and the intriguing Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) as she makes her own inner transformation from a shy self-conscious girl to a seductive young woman.
Nicholas Hoult even pulls off a great performance as the super-intelligent young scientist, Hank McCoy, who has to constantly learn to embrace his beast-like appearance. Kevin Bacon was a little disappointing though as the antagonist, but still pulled off a somewhat great performance.
McAvoy and Fassbender were by far the best in both their magnificent acting performances and their abilities to really show the true characters of the series which made the audience really connect with the suave ladies man, Charles, and the dark tormented Erik. This film is definitely a must-see for fans of the previous films.