Friday, 27 April 2012

X-Men: First Class (Movie Review)

After the shoddy X-Men: The Last Stand brought a disappointing end to the previous series, I was more than pleased when it was announced that a reboot of sorts was in the works. With the new series, they planned on focusing on the individual characters' orgins. Thus X-Men Origins: Wolverine was born, with Magneto's origins next in line for a similar treatment. But after being largely panned by critics, it seemed all hopes of a sequel were dead in the water. Until X-Men: First Class crawled out of the woodwork.

X-Men: First Class opens with the very same scene from Bryan Singer's original X-Men movie, where a young Magneto manages to bend a metal gate after being separated from his parents in a WWII concentration camp. He is later forced to perform a similar feat by a German scientist named Schimdt (Kevin Bacon). He tries but fails, and his mother is killed before he finally shows the scientist the extent of his powers, which were apparently triggered by emotions.

The movie then jumps to a scene where a young Charles Xavier meets a young Mystique, and the two go on to be best of friends right up to college. Meanwhile, an adult Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is actively seeking to exact his revenge on Schidmt and the other German soldiers responsible for the death of his parents.

Schidmt on the other hand becomes a businessman named Sebastian Shaw, and is revealed to be a mutant as well. He believes in the superiority of all mutants and thus sets into motion a number of events that would eventually lead to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, with the hope that regular humans would end up destroying themselves. Now Magneto must set aside his quest for revenge and join forces with Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his First Class of mutants if they plan on stopping him.

My first concern upon seeing First Class was how were they going to do an X-Men movie without Wolverine in it. Those initial doubts were put to rest the moment I discovered James McAvoy's take on the character of Charles Xavier. Apparently, Professor X was a real swinger, and a bit of a playboy, back in the 60s. He was the spark that would eventually set the movie on fire, and was helped along the way by an equally competent ensemble.

It's anybody's guess why they didn't call this movie X-Men Origins: Magneto as originally planned. But after what happened with the previous movie, I think I understand why they'd want to distance this one from it. The good news though is there is another Wolverine movie in the pipeline, slated for a 2013 release, and supposedly set in Japan. Hopefully, this would give Wolverine the origin story he truly deserves.

12 comments:

  1. Agh! We diverge, good sir. I chose Last Stand. I loved it. Was not as wild about First Class.

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    1. Wow. That's a first, but bound to happen I guess. Off to read your review. :)

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  2. Michael, I had a LOT of reservations going into this movie and came out pleasantly surprised. You're right James McAvoy's performance carried the film brilliantly. The Wolverine cameo didn't hurt either. Nice blog. New follower!
    The Geek Twins

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    1. Thanks Maurice. The Wolverine cameo was what sealed the deal really. After that I was convinced that I was indeed watching a decent X-Men movie.

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  3. Seriously, it's like we've been coordinating posts haha. All I can say is we BOTH have some terrific taste.

    Gotta say, I hated the last Wolverine origins movie. I expected better, especially for Wolverine. I was kind of glad he didn't feature in First Class. He wasn't one of the original X-Men anyways. I loved seeing more about Magneto, especially since they didn't show him as this evil guy. I can't WAIT for the next installment. And I'm hoping the Wolverine sequel will do him justice.

    Your book sounds cool. You should definitely do it for NaNo. And then post it so I can read :)

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    1. Thanks. I guess I will. I really hope The Wolverine doesn't suck too. Was excited when Darren Aronofsky was named as the director. But then he stepped down. His unique vision could have very well made the difference between an average action movie and something truly special. Still, I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. :)

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  4. I was hesitant about this movie too, but I really like it. Just watched it again the other night.

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    1. Yeah. It's one of the better superhero movies out there.

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    1. Me too, especially the way they linked it to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

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  6. This was my fave comicbook movie (until The Avengers happened). Nightcrawler's red daddy was in this movie, Azazel. Cute. LOL

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    1. I still haven't seen The Avengers, but I have no doubt it would surpass First Class in terms of pure awesomeness. And with The Amazing Spider-man and The Dark Knight Rises almost upon us, this most definitely looks like a great year for comic book movies. :D

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