X-Men: First Class Reviews
In large part, the strengths of the film lie with Matthew Vaughn's direction. Up to this point, I liked most of the X-Men films, but even the people who have loved the series would say that there wasn't much "fun" to be had. The original X-Men trilogy took itself very seriously and rightfully so. But there's something to be said for a mutant story that poses similar thought provoking questions and themes like before, while also making a fun adventure out of it. Vaughn does a wonderful job balancing the two.
Setting an X-Men film in the 1960's meant having to recast all of the recurring characters. Luckily, casting was something 20th Century Fox had no problem with. I don't think we could have dreamed of a better pairing to take over the roles of Professor X and Magneto than James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Perhaps, some would say that the two of them have outdone their counterparts, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan (I, myself being one of those people). Much like the film itself, McAvoy and Fassbender put their own spin on the characters, but bring enough similarity in their performance to understand the connective tissue between the pairs.
Something the new trilogy of X-Men films does incredibly well is use the decade the films are set in to enhance the overall story they were going for. First Class is set in the 60's, and uses the Cuban Missile Crisis as the film's climatic sequence. But it uses it in a way that doesn't exploit that event, instead, gives a reason for there to be tension between Charles & Erik. This film and Days of Future Past nail the relationship between those two more so than any X-Men film to date.
Going back to the fun stuff though, the rest of the mutants are made up of mostly throw away heroes and villains. No one was really asking for characters like Azazel, Riptide, Angel Salvadore, Havoc, Darwin, Banshee, or even more Mystique. But even as much as these characters could have felt like throwaway characters, Vaughn managed to build them into the story in a creative way. Everyone has their own arc and moment to shine. In fact, my favorite part of the film involves Charles & Erik recruiting, and subsequently training everyone. It's classic superhero stuff.
Overall, First Class makes good with its new cast and setting. Matthew Vaughn transitioned what was originally planned as a Magneto origin story into a wonderfully balanced comic-book adaptation. One that nails the characters motivations and mindsets in a refreshing but respectful and realistic way.
+Charles & Erik
+Recruiting & Training
+Setting adds to the story
When we are reminded of the date the last time we walked, talked, sought everything differently when our abilities are enhanced and others abilities were taken away. When we are reminded of how different we are that made us dedicated to the side we chose to fight and make a difference. When we are reminded of a different us that had changed for the good and for the bad. When we are reminded of how history would be totally different if we didn't take the right side, chose to fight and stop those from not accepting differences & preventing those from being different that we made the world see how being different isn't a bad thing. When we are reminded of how different we are when we embrace being different and make a difference on those hated or not accepted for being different to choose a different side to fight for being powerfully different in the world.
Level of Interest-5
Twist & Turns-4.0
At the very least, if you are a fan at all of comic or Marvel films, you should watch this. It is a fresh take on X-Men in a way that has not been done before.