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X-Men: First Class

  Movie Maniacs rating:
  Rating: 12A
  Release Date: 01/06/2011  

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction



By Simon Jago


X-Men: First Class was one of those movies I was always going to reserve judgement on. An interesting advertisement campaign and good trailers had left me with a positive feeling on this one. However, it wasn't enough to make up for the last ten years of cinematic rape of the Marvel Comics source material, including Brian Singer's dull and uneventful previous visions of the X-Men universe. Oh and don't even get me started on the mutant shit stain that was 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'.


The film serves as a prequel to the original films, and hopefully a reboot to wipe the slate clean. It follows some of the familiar characters such as Erik Lehnsherr AKA Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier AKA Prof. X (James McAvoy) in their younger years; chasing women, seeking vengence, and this time with full heads of hair. The film really captures that 60's feeling and it's interesting to see the X-Men coming together for the first time.
The story mainly follows Erik Lehnsherr coming to grips with his terrible childhood, suriving the concentration camps of WWII, and seeking a life of revenge. He desires vengence for the death of his mother at the hands of the villian of the piece, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). As a morale counterpoint to this we see Charles Xavier, a mutant of great power who has a more pleasant upbringing and always uses his psychic powers to help and protect both humans and mutant kind.
Both characters for various reasons become embroiled in both personal and politcal missions to stop Sebastian Shaw, who is trotting around the globe trying to start World War III, his reasons being that the nuclear radiation from a nuclear war would cause mutation in humans on a global scale. After meeting for the first time, there is a bond between both Erik and Charles and it becomes their responsibility on behalf of the government to round up a team of mutants that then become the infamous and beloved X-Men. Cue a nice little historical tie in with the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' and your left with a very mutated period piece on the Cold War.
Simon Slates
Towards the end of the film they do take the typical hollywood route and have to have each character battling it out with their villianous counter-parts. This I found extremely frustrating with regards to the character Angel Salvador (Zoe Kravitz). She was originally part of the team and had established friendships with all the others, but after one conversation with Sebastian Shaw suddenly becomes a villian through and through. At the end she desperately tries to kill both Havok and Banshee, her so called friends, with no real remorse of struggle of any kind. This was just weak in my opinion.

I wouldn't go as far as to call the film brilliant or amazing, more that it is of the standard that all super heroes movies should be, the basic level of what to expect. However, because of the wretched slurry that already makes up the majority of the super hero genre, some films so bad that the production companies are already rebooting and releasing the franchises less than ten years on, X-Men First Class stands out above the rest and can hopefully pose as a benchmark as to what all superhero movies should atleast be like in quality. Overall, a small nugget of gold washing in the rivers of previous super hero sewage. Finally something that does justice to the idea of X-Men, I give this movie 3.5 stars out of 5.







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