★ ★ ★ ★
I think I saw the first two X-Men movies soon after they came out. I’m sure I saw the first, but after that I generally lost interest; not because I don’t like the X-Men, the films just didn’t seem that appealing. Wanting a break from thought-provoking films for a night or two, I put this film and the new Captain America movie on my Netflix (review of it forthcoming).
X-Men: First Class, as could easily be assumed from the title, explores the beginnings of Doctor Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) “mutant league”. In contrast, it also explores the beginnings of arch enemy Magneto, whom is portrayed by Michael Fassbender. It is interesting seeing the beginnings of these mutants as they begin to unveil the power of their abilities, not quite knowing how to shape them for positive use. It is especially interesting seeing the friendship, and eventual decline in the relationship between Professor X and Magneto. Original line-up mutants appearing throughout this film include Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz), Emma Frost (January Jones) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), among others. The arch villain in this installment is expertly portrayed by Kevin Bacon, the character of Sebastian Shaw.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I might even say that is was my favorite comic book movie of all-time, which is quite a statement. But, really, it was that good. It has a good story, solid character building and enough visual eye candy to keep even the most torrid of CGI junkies happy. Though not a surprise necessarily, I was intrigued to find out at the end of the film that it was directed by Matthew Vaughn; that makes three for three good movies I’ve seen directed by him (I have yet to see Stardust).
In conclusion, check this one out. It’s a real treat for comic book fans, but still a great flick for those who come from a none X-men perspective.