Tuesday, June 7, 2011

X-Men First Class: Totally Worth It

When X-Men: First Class was first hitting cinema screens across the nation, I was excited. The previews made it look far superior to the disappointing X3 and the abomination that was Origins: Wolverine. The majority of me was hoping that this would be a restoration to action and honor for the potentially awesome series.

And damn, I was not disappointed.

Following are reasons why you should love this film: spoilers are most definitely ahead. And for those of you who seem to read selectively:


Let's get started:

1. The Casting

When it comes to comic book movies, casting is possibly the most decisive and important thing to address. For example, do you think that the feel and direction of the Spider Man movies may have been changed if someone besides Tobey Maguire played the role? Absolutely- whether for better or for worse, there would have been a different presence there on screen. If Heath Ledger didn't knock out the perfect performance as the Joker, then would people still be saying "Why so serious"? Who can tell?

So, when I looked at the lineup for First Class and saw a lot of unknowns- rather, a lot of hardly knowns-it initially gave me pause. The only actor I really recognized was Kevin Bacon- and I suspect he took the film to further promote the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon myth. This was initially a concern which I found hard to not worry about going into the movie.

I was so wrong. So, so wrong.

James McAvoy plays Charles Xavier perfectly in his early years- he captures the negotiator, the diplomat, and the starry-eyed younger version of Professor X very well. He even comes across with a bit of naivety.

Admittedly, this could be directly because of the seriously badass performance of Micheal Fassbender, the most awesome incarnation of Magneto that may ever grace the silver screen. I mean, did you daddy's version of Magneto go on an international Nazi hunting/killing spree to avenge his dead mother? Nope.

Speaking of Nazis, Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw is such a devious type of character, the type that is trying to convince the world to consume itself in nuclear war so that he and the other mutants can rule the Earth; or, really, rule that ashes the world used to be. He poses as a Nazi in the 1940's, then in current day plays both sides of the Cold War fence, pushing forward events like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. The Message

The X-Men series, whether in print, cartoon, or film, has always carried a sort of undertone to it: Mutants are a minority of the majority of regular humans. Mutants are feared and looked at in an often hostile perspective. They are avoided and shunned, unwanted unless, say, other mutants are busy causing terror.

Sound familiar?

It's no mistake that the X-Men series quite effectively mirrors itself with the civil rights movement. Mutants, as the protagonists and antagonists of the X-Men series, were always shown to be discriminated against and were shown extreme prejudice if their mutant identity was known on a more public level.

In this movie, though, the anti-mutant movement culminates into one crucial moment, where the United States and the Soviet Union (mind you, still the middle of the Cold War) come to a temporary agreement and decide to use their militaristic might to entirely decimate the beach on which the entire surviving mutant cast stands. This moment is crushing for Charles Xavier, who had hoped for an ultimate peace between humans and mutants, and merely a confirmation for Erik Lansherr (aka Magneto), who had always suspected that it would come to this. One scene of awesome later and the mutants are alive, if potentially entirely divided.

3. The Awesome

This seems like a half-assed reason, sure. But go see the movie and you'll understand. There's a certain spectacle to every scene, a balance of understanding and emotion with explosions and mutant aerial combat. Towards the end of the movie, there are literally four or five duels going on between mutants at once, which is captured and rendered perfectly.

There's only way you can know what I mean by this last point, and that's going to see it.

So go see it.

Proud member of the Brotherhood of Mutants,

Daniel, of course.

UPDATE: I've decided to go see it again today after writing this review. As the title states, totally worth it.


  1. Wow man, nice review. I TOTALLY AGREE! I loved the movie, overcame my expectative :)

  2. Every review talks positive I think its high time I watched the film:)

  3. High class blog as usal, keep em coming!

  4. I might actually try to catch this one in the theaters. I'll be back to read this review after I see the movie. Following for more man!

  5. I saw this the other day, great movie. I loved the way everything came together in the end.

  6. Nice review.


  7. I'm an ex-biology major and this is X-Man.
    ....you get the joke

  8. Indeed, Scanon.

    Thank you every one for your feedback. It is always appreciated!