Robert Chesley

Mini review – X-Men: First Class

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Probably the only comic book series I can legitimately say that I care about. How did Matthew Vaughn’s take on the classic 60s comic “prequel” fare?

It is safe to assume that most people by now know about the “X-Men” universe. Behind Spider-Man, I would argue that Wolverine is Marvel’s most bankable property. Nevertheless, you should never assume that people are familiar with a certain comic. Well, the next step in the evolution of the X-Men films pits us in a pseudo-prequel to the popular X-Men movie franchise. Traditionally, if I remember my comic books correctly, the “First Class” of X-men features, Hank McCoy (better known as “Beast”), Scott Summers (Cyclops), Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), Bobby Drake (Iceman), and Warren Worthington III (Angel). This was the first X-men team from the early 60s to the late 70s and has since been revived in the “First Class” comic books. The film however takes a different approach as this is meant as a sort of “Prequel” to the earlier films so we see a different set of mutants for this go around, although, I’m not sure how Angel and Beast fit as they are in the later films, but Angel was re imagined for this movie.

This film focuses on the budding friendship of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr. We see how these two determined mutants help shape the entire socio-political landscape of the early 60s. Throughout the film we are introduced to other mutants, such as Sebastian Shaw and the rest of the Hellfire Club. We also meet Mystique for the first time as well as a team focused around Havok, Beast, and Banshee. I thought that this group of mutants, while not contextually correct, served as a great starting point for this new series. The acting was top notch with a special nod for McAvoy’s Xavier and Fassbender’s Magneto for providing such great chemistry that we really feel for each of the characters when the juice, so to speak, is finally served. I felt the movie covered a lot of ground in a quick amount of time and that my entire time watching this movie was rather enjoyable experience. It was definitively the best of the X-Men films thus far and one I would enjoy watching a second time.

The movie is nearing the end of it’s theatrical run and you can probably catch it at a local discount theater.

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