Saturday, June 4, 2011
X-MEN:FIRST CLASS is a fresh new start for Professor X and company
Just got back from seeing X-MEN:FIRST CLASS and I'm pleased to say that it was excellent. In fact it comes close to rivaling my favorite X-Men movie in the series, X2. This prequel focuses on how Charles Xavier (played by Charles McAvoy) formed his initial team of merry mutants to help mankind and battle evil forces. Set in 1962, Xavier is seen as ladies man, using his telepathic abilities to score with lovely co-eds. At his side is the blue skinned Raven (played by Jennifer Lawrence). It's very touching how Charles and Raven meet and become best friends. But that will not last long. On the other side of the world, Erik Lensherr (played by Michael Fassbender) is hunting down the sadistic Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon) who murdered his mom during the Holocaust. Erik is learning to control his magnetic powers but he is not yet the powerful mutant he will become. At least not in the first half of this movie. The villains in this film are Shaw and his Hellfire Club, which includes the striking Emma Frost (played by January Jones) who is also a telepath like Xavier. But she is a little more easier on the eyes than Charles is. Shaw plans of starting World War 3 between the United States and Russia and uses the real life Cuban Missile as the stage to get it started. CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (played by Rose Byrne) gets wind of this and once she finds out mutants are involved, she calls on Xavier to help her out. When Xavier and Erik finally meet, things start to come together quickly. They have a common enemy and go about recruiting mutants to help their cause.
There are some nifty new mutants making their first appearance in the X-Men film universe including the super sonic screaming Banshee, the bad boy Havok (Cyclops brother) and the amphibious like Darwin. Also look for Hank McCoy who will turn into the furry blue skinned Beast. It's cool how so many things are finally explained like Hank creating Cerebro and the Blackbird. And how Xavier helps Erik reach his full potential with his powers. And while there is plenty of action in the film, its the story and the characters that are so fully fleshed out, that we understand and realize the dangers and the dilemmas these mutants are facing. As for the performances Michael Fassbender is magnificent as Magneto. His tragic story is finally brought to life and we understand why he took the road he did and why he despises humans. His scenes with McAvoy and then Lawrence are the best scenes in the entire film. Lawrence is a revelation as Raven/Mystique as she is constantly struggling with her appearance and longs to human. Her scenes with Hank are quite touching. Fassbender and McAvoy scenes are quite emotional as well as you can see these two men being conflicted about their differences. Kevin Bacon makes a formidable adversary as he is a mutant who can absorb energy and then re-channel it. Kind of makes him hard to bring down. Also of note is Jason Flemyng as the red skinned teleporting Azazel. He looks positively wicked.
The finale is awesome as The X-Men try to prevent the United States and Russia from launching an all out nuclear war. At this point, the film becomes Magneto's show. And he doesn't hold back. It's like in X2 when Wolverine cuts loose at the mansion against the invading soldiers. Magneto, thanks to Charles has full control of his powers and he lets go. From lifting The Hellfire Club's sub from underwater to going against Shaw one on one to staring down over 100 missiles fired by naval warships, Magneto gets to show his stuff. The design of the film perfectly captures the era of the 60's and it makes it feel new and fresh. Also the music score is one of the best I've heard. It's a good blend of heroic and dramatic themes that swells often and is very pleasing to the ears. I enjoyed this film tremendously and so far it's my favorite film of the summer, even better than Thor. Yeah, it's that good. Just check out my rating I'm giving it.
Oh and one more thing, the film has one surpising and cool cameo. I'm not gonna say who it is but it is freaking awesome when they show up.
Sebastain Shaw and Emma Frost
Xavier and his team
Oh yeah Magneto cutting loose
Mystique all suited up
Emma Frost looking serene
Banshee taking flight
Professor X in action
The devil looking Azazel