The Twenty-First Century

X-Men: First Class [2011]

Ever wondered how it all began? How Charles Xavier became to be Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr his nemesis Magneto? Of course you have. Now 11 years after the first “X-Men” movie, and 2 years after its spin-off “Wolverine”, “First Class” reinvents the franchise in a refreshingly new way. From the opening scene, the film sends all the good vibes as it begins in 1944’s Poland during WW II, where young Erik (Michael Fassbender) is forced to witness a tragedy and finds he can control metal with his mind, but only when he’s angry. It’s a dark start for a movie based on a Marvel Comics, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for those who have lost hope in the series, “First Class” might just make you believe in it all over again. Make no mistake, it’s one hell of a ride. Back to our story: At Oxford, we meet the telepath Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) as a young man before he was paralysed. He will eventually operate a school to train mutants, in hope that one day they would be able to help the world. His archenemy here is Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon in a role he was born to play), the same man who tormented Magneto in the nazi camp. But the beating heart of the movie is when Michael Fassbender and McAvoy are on screen. Because let’s face it, “First Class” is ultimately the story about how two friends drift to differing sides of the fence (Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker anyone?).

Both actors are terrific too. Fassbender is intense and strong, while McAvoy is wise and smart (he nails his protrayal of Professor X, and he nails it brilliantly). If you had any doubt that McAvoy might be a future oscar winner and Fassbender the next James Bond, let “First Class” dispel it now. Kevin Bacon makes a sinister villain, both creepy and funny (a suitable enemy for our mutants). But the hero here has to be director Matthew Vaughn, who walked out of “The Last Stand” at the last minute, and directed last year’s “Kick Ass”. He certainly managed to revive a franchise many thought was dead and buried. I was impressed big time.

After the huge success of “Thor” earlier this year, 2011 may just go down as a very strong year for superheroes (“Green Lantern” and “Captain America” will be out soon). Meanwhile, there’s no reason for you to miss “X-Men: First Class”; it’s an absorbing, clever and enjoyable piece of big screen entertainment, and best of all, it’s showing in glorious 2D only. Wouhou!

Rating: 3/4

10 replies »

  1. yes gr8 movie and 3/4 well deserved! im not a huge x-men fan but i loved this one and Wolverine! The cast is well put, the story has some kind of deepness in it and kevin bacon in the middle of it all was something:P well done!

    • Yea Kevin Bacon was well cast in it :p and loved the Hugh Jackman appearance. Certainly one of the better Marvel movies out there.

    • hehe we all love the series :p but i didnt like part 3 much. This one totally kicked ass! loved it

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