X-MEN: First Class – Review (No Spoilers)
THE CAPTAIN attends the X-MEN FIRST CLASS premiere – 31st May 2011.
To review in one word? = “Wundervoll” – which is german for ‘Wonderful’. Watch out for its significance in the movie J
Well some of your may remember that a year or two after the X-Men The Last Stand aka X3… they announced that Wolverine would get his own movie. Then later they announced that they would make it a prequel, and title these new projects the “X-Men Origins”. The 2 titles announced were first Wolverine & then Magneto. Then after the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine… the ending did leave a hint of a sequel as well as a new edition – Deadpool Origins.
Now a year and a half after the release of ‘Wolvy Origins’… still no signs of the Magneto flick… until end of last year when we heard of X-MEN First Class. Now after watching the movie, I am thankful that they took this approach to do an “Origins” story of the X-MEN rather than just a Magneto story.
It has enriched the whole story & also added the ‘AWE” factor BACK into the X-MEN franchise which I thought lacked in the first 3 movies. X1 – X3 felt more like Wolverine featuring the X-Men & that they did not get their due being one of the most loved comic teams in the history of Marvel Comics.
The Cast – is pretty good for a movie that was pretty much under the radar until January 2011. The first person… the only person I recognized from the trailer was James McAvoy – the boy from comic-movie Mike Millar Classic WANTED. Haha… I was glad they got some English guy (Scotish btw) with an authentic English accent! Phew, they got one thing right already huhu! Next is this other guy who is supposed to play Magneto,… looks ok from the trailer. Later I find out he was Stelios in the movie adaptation of 300.
Oh yea! Yes, the Spartan with the long hair that runs & jumps to chop off the arm of that fat-ass dark guy on the chariot. He (Michael Fassbender) also is the one who gets to say one of the coolest lines in the movie 300, in response to the fat-ass dark guys remark, “our arrows will block out the sun” – Stelios –“then we will fight in the shade”. Oh yea, definitely BADASS, since that day. Also in the poster was this guy with a hair cut & suit that’s fit for the 60s. I did not recognize him in the movie poster but when I was in the premiere of movie… “OMG, Its KEVIN BACON!”… to me Kevin Bacon is a very underrated actor. He plays Sebastian Shaw… owner of the Hellfire Club which is famous in X-Men comic lore. He has the swagger, the whit & the power to be the kingpin BADASS! Now these 2 guys REALLY steal the show! Now after seeing that Magneto & Shaw were putting up BADASS performances, I thought James McAvoy’s portrayal was weak & border line ‘gay’ because he lacked a sort of macho factor… or mojo if u’d like and you did not even feel like he had much presence. It was something like Sir Ian McKellan’s portrayal of Magneto in X1-X3. I mean I’ve read one website that was rating the top comic book villains of all time that rating Magneto no.#1 Badass… followed by Dr. Doom & Galactus. Gosh that ranks pretty high!
Story – It had enough depth to shape up the characters (unlike Wolvy Origins). They fitted it nicely with the historic timeline. And I really loved the fact that it was ‘super hero versus the world war’ which I first experience in WATCHMEN where Dr. Manhattan took on the Vietnamese soldiers… they never stood a chance. It’s also a time to experience how your can still be ‘brothers on the opposite side of the battle field’. To quote the Wiseman from Sucker Punch, “oh and I more thing ladies, if u you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. So even though there is some lost in (comic to movie) translation, the story does plug a few holes & give some added depth & ‘AWE’ to the X-Men trilogy. Oh by the way, did I mention that Bryan Singer does lead a hand to the writing process? That’s cool too.
Director – Matthew Vaughn is an English guy that I heard of the same time I heard of an English actor named Daniel Craig… who u all know now as Bond… James Bond. These 2 teamed up in Layer Cake where Matthew debut as director & Daniel had his breakthrough performance that got him the Bond role. Since then Matt has directed Star Dust (enjoyed) & Kick-Ass. Matthew is also has a very ‘Guy Richie’ feel of action & twist after producing 6 movies with his close friend who was actually Guy’s best man at his wedding to Madonna. So you put all together & you would potentially see the best ingredients from each of those 3 movies & imagine what X-MEN First Class would taste like.
I’m not a HARDCORE X-Men fan but I know enough to enjoy the easter eggs & cameos which made the movie special. Yes, there were things I did not like & there were things would have add some continuity to this movie like having the same Emma Frost from ‘Wolvy Origins’ or even the same William Stryker. There were actors I did not like & there were some lame things. BUT, despite all that, the movie still had the ‘AWE’ factor that was not weaken by those short comings & the fact that there was a whole row of talkative malay folks who were radio contest winners. The guys would be the ones who would say things to prove that they knew some X-men knowledge while munching their pop-corn & the girls would be the ones who ask the blur questions while the movie was going on.
I’d like to end with this – X-MEN First Class has written its way into history in a way & manner that I can accept, much like super hero comic WATCHMEN & fictional average hero Forest Gump.
Watch out for 3 cool cameos & its meanings.
- a certain candidate to recruit
- a person Mystique morphs into
- what character is actor Oliver Platt representing in the movie
8.5 / 10
And… the ‘helmet’ is TRUE to the bone BADASS!! Even before the repaint! I can’t wait for the next one.