Okay, let's get the technical bit out of the way first. The opening title simply reads "X: FIRST CLASS," but the end title spells it out all the way, so I'll take "X-MEN: FIRST CLASS" as the official title.
I essentially enjoyed the three original X-MEN films without being utterly blown away by them. Specifically, I wasn't in complete and utter awe of the second one and I didn't loathe the third one (hell, it beat SUPERMAN RETURNS easily enough in my book). And I didn't even bother with the WOLVERINE prequel. The trailers for this latest movie didn't do much for me, but when it came to my son's birthday weekend, I didn't mind making a family day out of it.
And am I ever glad I did. This isn't just the best superhero films of the current crop--this is one of the just plain best FILMS of the year. What a perfect idea to bring in Michael Vaughn, who had done such an excellent job depicting all-too-human superheroes in KICK-ASS, to tell this story--kudos to him AND to superb all-around casting (including, of course, the villain of SUPER--the OTHER humanistic superhero film I lauded here previously).
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS starts off by reprising the opening of the original film, in which the young boy named Erik (who will become Magneto) discovers his powers in the setting of a Nazi concentration camp. But now we stay longer, to see Kevin Bacon show up and make it much, much worse for Erik.
Meanwhile, back in the States, young Charles makes the fateful acquaintance of the shape-shifting Raven... their introduction isn't quite as gripping as Erik's, but by the time all three principals have grown into young adults in the 1960s, we've grown to like and sympathize with all of them. Credit Michael Fassbender (Erik), James McAvoy (Charles) and Jennifer Lawrence (whom I'd just seen in THE BEAVER) equally.
There's no need for me to recount the plot from here--the initial team is assembled, the villains make their plans known, the CIA gets involved (Rose Byrne becomes as crucial to the team as any superpowered member), lines are drawn and the situation unfolds as the Cuban Missile Crisis heats up.
Despite the two-hour-plus running time, the movie crackles throughout. There's action, there's drama, there's comedy, there's pathos, but there's never a dull moment to be had. Familiar, welcome faces also keep popping up to add to the fun, such as Oliver Platt, Ray Wise and Michael Ironside (curiously billed simply as "M. Ironside"). Oh, and there's also one of the best cameo sequences EVER (and it's part of the real movie--there's no post-credits surprise or anything like that here).
This is the sort of movie I tell my parents about. Even if you've never seen (or never LIKED) an X-MEN movie, this is still one I'd tell YOU about. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is outstanding entertainment from beginning to end.
In other words, I liked it.
As in not off. If you want to post about mainstream flicks, this is the forum.
Moderator: Chris Slack
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
Even though I liked all of the other X-MEN films (as well as the WOLVERINE prequel), I didn't really have any high hopes for this one either. But I have to agree that this one was a nice surprise. The cast was top-notch and that "surprise cameo" was terrific and very well done. I really enjoyed Kevin Bacon's performance as well as January Jones and Oliver Platt. The appearance of Michael Ironside was also cool but I hate to say I missed Ray Wise:( I also liked the recreation of the early 60's as well as the look of the "Devil" mutant. This movie was definitely more entertaining than THOR and will probably be better than GREEN LANTERN (at least from what I've seen so far).