X-Men First Class – Movie Review

3 06 2011

Spider-Man and X-Men have always been my favourite comic book characters, but I have a deeper attachment to X-Men because of the awesome animated series that ran during the 90s. Now we have a film titled X-Men: First Class, showing us how this superhero team was formed. First Class is from director Matthew Vaughn, who previously directed the extremely violent superhero movie Kick-Ass. Vaughn’s X-Men is definitely more energetic than previous film adaptations of the material, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The entire cast, or should I say, the entire class, is great. James McAvoy, also known as the guy from Wanted, plays the mind-reading mutant Professor X. You don’t get a lot of back story to this character, which is a pity since he is the one that will eventually form the X-Men. There is, however, a very small smidge of romance going on between him and the Rose Byrne character, which is, I repeat, just a very small smidge. Rose Byrne plays a CIA agent who is not a mutant, and her characters feels quite redundant for the most part.

Michael Fassbender is Magneto, and he is without question the star of this film. Fassbender is exceptionally good as the magnetic powered mutant, and he has a slick retro coolness which made the character that much more captivating. There’s a great deal of time being spent on Magneto and his relationship with Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon. Sebastian’s mutant power is interesting and you have to see it for yourself. The conflict between Magneto and Sebastian is riveting, and escalates to one of the most emotional and shocking climaxes in superhero movie history.

There are plenty of other mutants in this film, including the scaly blue-skinned Mystique. This shape-shifter is played by Jennifer Lawrence of Winter’s Bone, and is the most interesting character among the bunch of young mutants. There is a subplot involving her and Beast, but it didn’t really amount to anything in the end. One of the things I was looking forward to seeing in this prequel was the reason why Mystique is naked in the original X-Men trilogy. The reason for her fashion choice is in line with one of the morals being emphasized in this film, but I hope kids don’t start walking around without clothes after watching this.

January Jones of Mad Men plays Emma Frost, the mutant who can turn her skin into diamond. The CGI used to create her glittering body is very impressive, and does not look as cheesy as it could have been. In fact, most of the CGI and special effects in this film are top-notch and brilliantly executed. All the powers flying around on screen looks legit, and it brings back that feeling of awe when you first saw the X-Men in 2000. The score by Henry Jackman adds an extra punch to this dramatic story, and also reinforces the hard-hitting tone that Vaughn dishes out with full confidence.

What I like most about First Class is that all the mutants are making full use of their powers. You see Magneto using his magnetic abilities to kill people in violent situations, although nothing too gory ever happens. One of the kid mutants is called Banshee, and he learns how to use his sonic scream to fly. There is a red-skinned mutant similar to Nightcrawler, and I love the scenes where he’s teleporting all over the place and slicing people up. However, I was a little disappointed by the under-usage of Mystique’s power. Unlike in the previous X-Men films, we don’t see her shape shifting mojo being put to much use here.

When you are an X-Men fan that just want to see your favourite characters on the big screen again, it’s very hard not to love this film. I don’t think X-Men: First Class is as good as the original X-Men or its sequel X2, but it’s definitely more entertaining than X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So if you want a good action flick to heat up your summer, don’t be late for X-Men: First Class.

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26 responses

3 06 2011
50yearproject

Great review. Can’t wait to see the flick!

5 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks, 50yearproject!

12 06 2011
TBM

I saw the film yesterday and loved it! It’s so nice when a film has a lot of hype but it doesn’t let you down.

13 06 2011
Ipodman

Yea, I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time and it didn’t disappoint! Glad you loved it too!

3 06 2011
Smart Girls love SciFi

[…] Ipodman gives X-Men First Class 3.5 stars, saying “if you want a good action flick to heat up your summer, don’t be late for X-Men: First Class. See the full review here: https://iamipodman.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/x-men-first-class-movie-review/ […]

5 06 2011
Kay aka Babygirl

Hey I just wrote a review about this film as well. I loved it and it was better than most prequels that movie companies push these days. Very nice review

6 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks, Kay!

2009’s Star Trek was an excellent prequel/reboot as well.

6 06 2011
dirtywithclass

I wish i could see this in theaters, but i don’t think i have the money for it right now

6 06 2011
Ipodman

Definitely watch it as soon as you have the chance.

8 06 2011
dirtywithclass

Oh, btw thanks for being one of the few reviews to not have spoilers. I’ve avoided a few reviews of this because they had potential spoilers

8 06 2011
Ipodman

You’re welcome. All my movie reviews have no spoilers, so you are safe.

6 06 2011
Bluej

great review I totally agree with your opening statement about being a fan of the 90’s cartoons makes you form an attachment to all X-men movies even if their bad lol

7 06 2011
Ipodman

X-Men The Animated Series was one of my favourite TV shows growing up 😀

7 06 2011
George

I also thought this was a great movie and a return to fun for the X-Men franchise. Great review!

8 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks! First Class definitely re-energised the X-Men film franchise.

8 06 2011
scarletsp1der

Good review! a good point about Mystique. I, too, was hoping that they would touch that and was glad they did. Was glad to see them use a lot of the mutants, including Azazel, to help show the background of where Nightcrawler came from (Azazel and Mystique). Wish January Jones would’ve had more time to show off her acting capabilities as opposed to just her beauty.

Looking forward to a sequel. Great review!

8 06 2011
Ipodman

Thanks! I’m definitely hoping for a sequel!

11 06 2011
cineramaetcetera

I havent seen it yet, and this week, they’re released Super 8 :s what to do? good review though 🙂

11 06 2011
Ipodman

Hmm…flip a coin?

I always tell people to go for the director…

11 06 2011
scarletsp1der

that is a pretty good general rule of thumb!

11 06 2011
secretriddle

For what it’s worth, I think Super 8 is a better film, but if you’re a fan of X-Men at all..you’ve got to check out First Class.

By the way, good review dude! It’s a shame you didn’t like it quite as much as the first two, but the possibilities are endless going forward!

Also, do you post on Superherohype? Saw your name, and your Avatar there and it blew my mind…

12 06 2011
Ipodman

Yes, I’m on Superherohype as Ipodman. Do you post there as well? o.O

25 06 2011
secretriddle

Yah, as Secret_Riddle. Joined in and around the time X3 came out.

Sorry for late reply. I’m still getting used to keeping up with wordpress comments =P

25 06 2011
Ipodman

I knew your name sounded familiar, lol… I joined around The Incredible Hulk time =p

17 06 2011
Corpse Cant Laugh

[…] This movie will explain the origin of Magneto & the origin of Professor X… Hmmm, yeah, I want to say more but I believe I could spoil things. SO any questions just ask below & I’ll see what I can answer. If you want a DEEEEPER read, I suggest reading Ipodman’s review of X-Men on his blog site. […]

30 04 2012
X-Men: First Class is One Class You Don’t Want to Skip (X-Men: First Class Review) | Snow Addy… iBlog, uRead!

[…] This movie will explain the origin of Magneto & the origin of Professor X… Hmmm, yeah, I want to say more but I believe I could spoil things. SO any questions just ask below & I’ll see what I can answer. If you want a DEEEEPER read, I suggest reading Ipodman’s review of X-Men on his blog site. […]

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