From doing these reviews over the past few months I have learnt that it’s a lot easier writing reviews of really bad films than really good films. This is one of the reasons I have been putting off a review of X-Men: First Class – coz all I really want to say is IT’S BOSS over and over again…

So yeah…IT’S BOSS. But I’ll try and expand on that and be a little less fangirl…

The X-Men series has recently gone a bit…awful – there was X-Men 3 aka. X-Men: The Last Stand aka. The shit Brett Ratner one and then there was X-Men Origins: Wolverine aka. Wolverine beats lots of baddies up for no reason and Ryan Reynolds is completely underused.

So going on from the excellent Kick-Ass, director/writer Matthew Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman seemed to be just what the X-Men franchise needed (especially since Vaughn was meant to direct X-Men 3 in the first place: stupid studio – if you’d given him more time, look what you could have gotten).

And the one thing that really works in X-Men: First Class is the story – it takes a little while to get going (especially coz you spend the first part of the film just waiting for it to hurry up so you can see Magneto and Prof. X together), but when it does, it REALLY gets going. The way they’ve brought some of the existing X-Men characters we’ve seen before with a few new ones is excellent, and the back stories  for them are cleverly executed – especially in the case of Magneto and his mission of revenge.

There’s a few excellent scenes that really stand out too: the whole bit with Cerebro and the following search for other recruits is brilliantly done. And the montage used to show the new recruits being trained (complete with proper cartoony split screen) which could have been boring is really exciting and fun.

However one of the big, big reasons the film works so well is the combo of Michael Fassbender (aka. The Irish God) and James McAvoy (aka. …The Scot God?) as Magneto and Professor X respectively (or Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier for purists). They have brill chemistry together and keep the film interesting and more importantly keep it funny.

Also good is Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique and Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast whose relationship makes for an interesting subplot. And it’s also great to see a brill evil Kevin Bacon again (who looks really young for some reason like he’s doing a Benjamin Button but anyway…) as Sebastian Shaw.

X-Men is actually one of my favourite cartoons of all time (I’m humming the theme tune in my head as I type) and I used to be obsessed with it when I was little (I’ve not read the comics before – so what, shoot me) and I loved Bryan Singer’s first two films, so I couldn’t be happier that X-Men: First Class works so well. Sequel please Mr Vaughn.


~ by square-eyed-geek on June 16, 2011.

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