X-Men: First Class Review
“With This Series Quality And Well Developed Characters May Be The Driving Factor Instead Of What Is The Obvious Choice. It Would Be Cooler To See Mutants We Haven't Seen Before Then To See A Terrible Rehashing Of The Same Old Mutants From The Other Movies”
June 12th, 2011
When Charles Xaiver meets a shapes shifting girl named Raven Darkholme in his kitchen at age 12 they realize that genetic mutation may be happening and the world should embrace it. At the same time Erik Lensherr is being ruthlessly tortured in a Nazi concentration camp. As they grow older Charles goes off to explore the idea of genetic mutations while Erik vows to exact revenge on the man who killed his mother. The year is now 1962, and the Russians and the Americans are on the brink of war, and Sebastian Shaw captures this as an opportunity to try and kill the human race and let the world be run by those who are deemed different by humanity. Xavier with the help of Lensherr and the CIA put together a team of "Mutants" to help stop the threat of war.
The X-Men universe has always been such a diversified world, with many different mutants coming from many different backgrounds all of whom have their own exceptional gift. When the original X-Men was released back in 2000 we were treated to a blockbuster delight of the original players we had grown up with including Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm. A long with them you had the Brotherhood consisting of Magneto, Toad, Sabretooth and Mystique. When they had a string of mildly successful sequels and a Wolverine spinoff, it was essentially a matter of time before they made another. When the concept of X-Men first class was released, going back to pre first film dates it was a bit of an iffy idea because everyone believed it would be a direct lead in to a series that grew increasingly worse as it went.
However, the final product that is X-Men:First Class has the potential to become either a direct lead in or another series all together, and I would much prefer it to become its own series. The main reason it would work much better as a new series is because it would be cool to see the same mutants re-used while adding more as they go. Instead if they lead into the old series they have major plot holes to overcome, like the brotherhood and the first class already have been formed with different members. What X-Men first class does rather well, which the previous films failed to do was establish the connection between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr before the events of the first film.
MacAvoy and Fassbender had chemistry that the multi talented Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen never seemed to have. They acted like brothers, a bond that was unique and fragile but a bond none the less. Their performances capture much more emotion then those of Stewart and McKellen which is a tough thing to do. Where McKellen and Stewart drew the crowd and gave good performances, X-Men first class drew the crowd because it was an honest and true adaptation featuring many talented young stars. Nicholas Hoult provided a well rounded depiction of Hank McCoy/Beast, a very true and real transformation took place through out the film and it worked rather well. Jennifer Lawrence replaced the beautiful Rebbeca Romijn-Stamos as Mystique and proved that Mystique is a beautiful character in her natural and human forms. Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw was such a fun character to watch take form on the screen. Bacon fit in with such and ease that his villainous Shaw was grand and portrayed the way villains should be. January Jones was exquisite as Emma Frost, who had the least affect on the films overall plot, but to see her in diamond form was just another piece of eye candy in a solid flick.
Perhaps the one thing that really brought the film down was the slightly cheesy cameo from Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, rather unnecessary and did not make any slight difference to the plotline. In fact it brought back memories of the horrid conclusion to the original trilogy and the spinoff that destroyed many of the cool characters found in the comic books. With this film, Marvel had a chance to begin what could be a lengthy but well developed X-Men series, and cameos likes the one here bring down hope slightly down that they can maintain quality films without just cashing in for money.
Second thing that really got me down was the ending; it brought us back to what we had already established about the X-Men universe. Xavier was going to teach, and Magneto was going to call himself Magneto, we really did not need cheesy lines to tell us this was going to happen. As X-Men fans, it was safe to assume this was going to naturally happen. With the old X-Men films as mentioned, there was the standard core of the well known X-Men.With this series quality and well developed characters may be the driving factor instead of what is the obvious choice. It would be cooler to see Mutants we haven't seen before then to see a terrible rehashing of the same old mutants from the other movies.
Marvel has a tendency to follow up with terrible sequels, Including Iron Man 2 and Fantastic 4: Rise of Silver Surfer. Heres to hoping that we are about to see a brand new take on the X-Men universe as well as some of the lesser known characters and storylines from such a diverse world. X-Men: First Class proves that telling the story from beginning to end is the only way to tell a story. Capture everything that happens a long the way and it will be one magnificent story.