Film Reviews

Film reviews: X-Men: First Class

In amongst the excitement for X-Men: Days of Future Past I have been watching all of the X-men films, and my favourite by far is First Class closely followed my X-Men.

First Class follows the journey’s of Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and Charles Xavier (Professor X) as they meet and come in to their powers. The film starts with Lehnsherr being seperated from his parents in a concentration camp during the second world war and having a Nazi officer force him to use his powersby killing his mother. Meanwhile in New York Xavier discovers an unusual blue girl in his kitchen who can disguise herself as other people.

Eighteen years later we see both Erik and Charles as grown men in their prime. They find each other on the route to take down, in a sense, former Nazi Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) who is a mutant himself and is plotting to use the Cuban Missile crisis to provoke the human race to go to was. However the most important element of this film is the transformation of Charles and Erik in to Professor X and Magneto.

This film is exactly what the series of X-Men films needed, especially after The Last Stand! It felt really refreshing to finally have a live action X-Men film that wasn’t based around Wolverine, and it came just before we got sick of the Wolverine orientated films. Mcavoy and Fassbender gave a faultless performance capturing the younger lives of our beloved mutants.

Kevin Bacon, however, really stole the limelight from the star studded cast with his performance as former Nazi Sebastian Shaw. He was definitely the highlight of the film, I have never been much of a Bacon fan but I have to admit that his acting was top notch in this film and not to be missed. The character was great as well, one of the things I love about the X-Men films is the fact that unlike most films we can actually feel the danger of them losing. There are many points in this film where I felt like Sebastian Shaw was actually going to outsmart Xavier and that really adds to the experience.

Jennifer Lawrence gave one of her best performances as Mystique, the beautiful blue mutant who can transform herself to look like others. She managed to get the perfect balance between naive and manipulative which was impressive. We also saw the character grow as she realised how truly wonderful her natural form was through Magneto’s compliments.

Personally, I think this is the strongest of the X-Men films because the storyline has so much action, but it all feels 100% necessary which is rare for a film of this scale, particularly Marvel. Often with Marvel I feel like there is action added in just so we can see the superhero’s in action, but not in First Class with the Mutants. The film also gives us a lot to look forward to which is so important in a series of films.

The film looks great, which is one of the things that is consistent in the films, including the costumes of the characters and the make up. However there was one giant flaw in First Class when Xavier gets crippled by Magneto on a beach, but in the other films Xavier gets crippled years later. I am hoping Days of Future past clears this up.

What did you think of First Class?

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