X-men: First Class My Review

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film

Another film I missed at the cinema and only just got around to seeing on DVD.  X-men: First class is a prequel to the X-men films and tells the story of the formation of the X-men.

Poland, 1944: a young Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents in a concentration camp; meanwhile, in an affluent but isolated stately home in New York a young Charles Xavier happens upon a strange blue little girl who’s able to disguise herself as other people.

Eighteen years later, Erik (Michael Fassbender) and Charles (James McAvoy) have matured into powerful, charismatic men with opposing agendas. At the heart of First Class is the story of how close friends become bitter enemies and of how Charles and Erik become Professor X and Magneto.

The first X-Men movie famously began with a scene outside the Nazi death camps, This new film reprises the image. Young Erik Lehnsherr is a Polish boy who is separated from his parents by Nazi guards in 1944, and dragged towards the camp entrance. Unleashing an agonised psycho-telekinetic shockwave from his outstretched hand, he twists the metal gates from afar. A sinister Nazi functionary called Shaw spots him and takes the boy under his wing. He kills his mother to force him to harness these powers for the Reich.

Fassbender plays the adult Erik in the 1960s, not yet called Magneto, fanatically set on tracking down Shaw for revenge. Vaughn interestingly shows how rage-filled grownup Erik is seething, not merely at how this Nazi had murdered his parents, but also with self-hate at having failed to use his mutant powers to kill him at the time, and also, perhaps, at the way the Nazi has schooled him in the ways of ruthlessness.

Meanwhile, chubby young Professor Xavier is played by James McAvoy as a nerdy, slightly CS Lewis-ish Oxford academic specialising in genetics, who lives with Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), a mutant whom he has been brought up with like a sister.  Xavier and Lehnsherr are both recruited by CIA agents played by Rose Byrne and Demetri Goritsas, to track down the evil Shaw, who has himself engineered the Cuban missile crisis to enforce his own global domination. These two very different X-Men must team up, and recruit a new generation of mutants to bring Shaw to justice.

I thought this was a pretty good film! And one of the best of the year. I thought it was explosive and eye-dazzling with some excellent special effects. In addition I thought Mcevoy and Fassbender were superb as friends who turn enemies. And for me Kevin Bacon steals the show as the villain. There is even a cameo role for Wolverine which was a nice touch and made me laugh.

So well worth a watch in my opinion

What do you think?

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