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9/10
A prequel that does not, in any way, suck. Amazing, isn't it?
Rachel Hyland26 May 2011
There came a point, about half way through this film, when I emerged from the world of wonder on screen, took stock of my emotions in that instant, and realized that yes, by God, I am LOVING this movie.

I didn't really expect to, of course -- although certainly, I hoped for it. With such an incredible cast, an able director at the helm, a story of Bryan Singer provenance and the inclusion of some of my favorite, if lesser known, X-types (Darwin! Tempest! Havok!), I was eager to see this beloved band of merry Marvel mutants redeem themselves after the massive failures of X3 and X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.

Which they do. And how!

One thing that the avid comic fan must do when approaching this movie, however, is to divorce themselves utterly from almost all established four-color X-Men continuity. Oh, some bears up, but by and large this is a whole new origin story, a reboot of epic proportions, and yet it is a retcon so cleverly done, and one that offers up a such a delicious mélange of complex relationships and sensible motivation, that all of the many discrepancies inherent in having Mystique on the side of good or having Moira McTaggert a CIA agent simply do not matter.

Speaking of McTaggert, Rose Byrne is both comely and convincing in the role, and almost every other actor is perfectly, one might almost say forcefully, cast. McAvoy brings a kind of laddish charm to Charles Xavier that he mixes nicely with both decency and naïveté, and Michael Fassbender's nascent Magneto is relentlessly, even heart-breakingly, compelling. Their chemistry is electric -- theirs' is one of the most multi-faceted and sincere bromances the screen has seen in a good long while.

The younger cast all impress, though particular praise must go to Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the petulant but pitiable Raven/Mystique (The Academy Awards have been good to young, hot X-chicks; let us not forget that Rogue herself, Anna Paquin, won for THE PIANO). Former child star Nicholas Hoult is also outstanding as the troubled Hank McCoy, and perhaps the most surprising kudos must go to teenage dream Lucas Till, who conveys the particular anti-social asshole-hood of the turbulent Alex Summers very convincingly indeed.

The biggest letdown in the movie, acting-wise, is January Jones as Emma Frost. True, she is appropriately ravishing, there can be no denying that, but she lacks the… the zing of the written character. There is very little intelligence, snark, or even personality behind her interpretation of this most intriguing of mutants; she's just kind of Stand There and Look Pretty -- which, for one playing Emma Frost, is something a travesty.

The only other weight under which this movie really labors is the fact that it is a prequel, and it therefore suffers from the feeling of inevitability that besets all such endeavors. Anakin Skywalker HAS to go Dark Side. Bilbo Baggins HAS to find the One Ring. And Magneto HAS to turn against humans; Mystique HAS to join him; Xavier HAS to end up in a wheelchair. With these definite plot developments looming, their eventuation is bound to be a bit of an anti-climax.

And yet the fun part about X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is the journey it takes us on to get us there. Offering up plenty of surprises, some kickass action sequences, mighty fine special effects, sly humor and a killer cameo, it is without doubt the best comic book movie of the year – nay, decade – thus far. And considering how overcrowded that list is, this is really saying Something.

Huh. A prequel that does not, in any way, suck.

Amazing, isn't it?

-- Rachel Hyland, geekspeakmagazine.com
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X Marks again marks the spot! Great Film!
Yumpin Yimany31 May 2011
There are plenty of big action scenes throughout but it's the first half of the film that really impresses. Establishing these characters and the entire universe is done remarkably well and in a remarkably moving manner. This new spin on familiar "bad guys" Magneto and Mystique does give the actions and emotions for the characters a new level of appreciation and helps give them so much more depth and pathos. Both sides of the fence (Xavier's vision and Magneto's contempt) are advanced and the brilliance of the plot is that both sides are understandable and relatable. The viewer can simply sit and watch it unfold but also be emotionally invested in the journey. During the second half, plot threads move towards resolution and action picks up. Xavier is a shining example and his journey throughout the film matches that of Erik.

First Class never undermines the audience nor talks down to them and does all that is expected of it. It delivers great action, humor, effects and a strong connection between heroes, villains and those developing in between. The retro design is suave and making this a period piece gives it a cool and unique flavor. The collaboration between Singer and Vaughn apparently was a perfect blend. Vaughn did a brilliant job and Singer's vision from the first two films stayed in tact and was enhanced. I have to add that the score had a perfect heroic theme but was also moving and very well done. The overall impact of this film leaves you with a great sensation of a job well done. Fast paced yet filled with depth, spellbinding visual effects and a gripping finale. In the end, they succeeded in re-establishing these characters in a superb and interesting manner. There is more to offer and more depth to appreciate. I certainly can't wait for a sequel and inclusion of Scott and Jean from the original trilogy.
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Grand-Scale Storytelling Mixed With Superb Action
Logan888824 May 2011
Fox can breath easy again because I think it's safe to say the even the extreme fanboys will be putting down their pitchforks and torches and smile after seeing this amazing film. I know for a fact that general audiences are going to love this movie. I know some fans can be irrational and hold on to their hate because they expect certain things they read in their books but I can't seeing anyone being that irrational when faced with a result that delivers what First Class manages to deliver. It honestly is a genre-defining movie on a level with any comic based film that has come before it. Everything in this movie is exceedingly better than what Fox delivered in their last two efforts with this franchise. Going back to the beginning and re-hiring the guy that brought us those films was a splendid idea. The acting here is superb and the dialogue is rich. Every character feels absolutely believable no matter what abilities they have on display. No cartoonish villains or cheese in sight, every side of the issue is presented by people who believe they are the ones who are in the right and the underlying message of tolerance and bigotry only add to the depth of this film. If not a genre-defining movie than maybe it redefines the comic book genre. It restores the sense of epic adventure and grand-scale storytelling that we saw in X2. In fact, it perfectly complements that great film and probably surpasses it.

This film is to X2 what Godfather 2 was to the Godfather. Seriously, First Class is an exceptional "flashback" look that links the best of the X-Men trilogy to the past. Instead of DeNiro playing young Vito Corleone we get James McAvoy as young Charles Xavier. Marlon Brando and Patrick Stewart made their respective characters popular but both were more fleshed out by incredible younger talent. I'm not placing the X-Men film itself on a par with the Godfather but both have become legendary in their particular genre. I am, however, saying McAvoy has a bright future as a complex and talented actor. Just like the young cast of Godfather 2 was legendary, the young cast of First Class has many great days and projects ahead of them.

Love this entire cast but Michael Fassbender delivers the best performance with an amazing presence and command of the screen. Everyone was extraordinary. What many expected indeed happens. By that I mean every scene that Fassbender and McAvoy are in together absolutely sing. It won't surprise anyone to know that Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and Jennifer Lawrence are superb in supporting roles but Nicholas Hoult did stunning work as the Beast and deserves some love as well. January Jones and Rose Byrne are hot as can be but aren't just simple eye candy. Sure, the story is compelling and the action is amazing but the performances elevate this movie far above a common summer flick.

Movie of the year so far...
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10/10
Superb! Rock-solid script, two amazing lead performances (the film is basically a bromance).
RikerDonegal1 June 2011
What you need to know about this movie before you go and see it. 1. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are superb. Each one, alone, would have made the movie terrific, but together? Forgetaboutit! Every step of the way, every scene, every emotion, these two men own the movie and watching their bromance is a treat from start to finish. Make no mistake about it, even when the world is on the brink of utter destruction what really matters is how these two men relate to one another. And when you watch the movie, you will care. 2. Everyone in the cast is good. Kevin Bacon has never been better, and Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful. Rose Byrne and January Jones aren't given much to do, Ray Wise and Michael Ironside only have a few short lines, but - across the board - the entire cast are a delight. 3. The story is tight. You've got a bad guy with a plan, which he sets about executing in A/B/C fashion. Against him, the good guys work together. Their motivations are different, of course, but they pretty much want him stopped so they unite. That's it. 4. Charles and Erik are fascinating characters. They debate. And viewers can debate endless about them, and about who is right, etc. As you watch you desperately wish they could stay friends, but you understand why they ultimately can't. Even if they themselves, in these early days, don't understand it yet. To have that so perfectly captured in a Summer Blockbuster movie is part of what makes this a treat and a future classic. But, aside from their relationship to each other, the movie takes time to make each of them interesting in his own right. We get to see Charles as a teacher, for instance, and come to understand how he impacts upon the lives of those he tutors. Some of Erik's best moments (away from Charles) are in his comments to Mystique about her appearance, making it clear that this man has more to him than the shadow of his past. 4. Most supporting characters have very little screen time. But that's okay, since this isn't THEIR story, really. Of the bunch, it is Mystique and Beast who are best served. Both have terrific character arcs that - in a lesser X-Men movie - might have been the highlight of the film. Here, their stories serve as quality background material to the main event (Charles and Erik). Beyond that, we just learn enough about everyone to know what they can do and like them a little bit, mostly through their banter and most obvious character traits. Once scene where most of the supporting characters are clearly terrified will certainly go a long way towards making you care about them for the rest of the movie. On the downside: Shaw's two henchmen don't get ANYTHING to do except use their powers, and at the end of the story we know as much about Emma Frost as we did at the beginning. But these are the exception, not the rule. 5. Visually, this movie is a treat. The FX are good, no surprise, but - much better - the actual sets/costumes are beautiful. Whether it's a remote CIA lab or a lap-dance club, whether it's the Magneto helmet or Mystique's everyday clothes, you are always admiring 'the look' of what's on screen. 6. There are action scenes all during the movie, but - having said that - the movie builds as it goes. The first half is more story-heavy/character-heavy so that when the action REALLY starts we care about everyone. And, again, it works. Even with the scant details given their characters, when Banshee and Havok (for example) go into battle you are invested in them to a certain degree. 7. There are surprises. Deaths, betrayals, cameos and name-dropping. But, as well as being cool, all of this makes perfect sense for the story/universe of the movies. Superb! Rock-solid script, two amazing lead performances (the film is basically a bromance). Haven't been this excited about the X-Men franchise since X2: X-Men United.
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8/10
A franchise is reborn...
the_rattlesnake252 June 2011
Beginning with a crime-thriller and a fantasy film on his directorial résumé, it is safe to say that Matthew Vaughn may have already found his niche genre in the super-hero field despite only directing four films in seven years. His first super-hero project, 'Kick Ass,' opened in 2010 to solid critical acclaim and a finalized gross of three times the film's ordinary $30 million dollar budget. And after only two years, Vaughn returns with 'X-Men: First Class,' an origins story to accompany the Bryan Singer/Brett Ratner X-Men trilogy released between 2000 and 2006. It's intelligent, enthralling, well-acted, stylishly directed, and most importantly by focusing heavily upon the relationship between the two central protagonists, it does not feel like a conventional super-hero film.

Set within the political context of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960's, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is an up-and-coming Professor whose life is drastically altered when he is introduced to the other members of society who also share the same mutant gene as himself that supplies them with super-human abilities and traits. After stumbling upon the shape-shifting Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) within his mansion, the telepathic Xavier then encounters Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), the son of Jewish parents who were murdered during the holocaust by the narcissistic former Nazi scientist, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Erik, who can manipulate all metal objects around himself, wants retribution and nothing more from Sebastian who is now a successful and evil underground figurehead who commands a team of mutants (Azazel, Emma Frost and Riptide) to do his bidding for him. But, once his plan for world domination is revealed, they find that it far exceeds the constraints of humanity, and Xavier, Erik and a rag-tag band of young, hide-away mutants (Havok, Beast, Darwin, Angel and Banshee) who were discovered by Charles, must combine their powers in one last attempt to stop Shaw from destroying the planet and humanity as a whole.

Instantly where 'X-Men: First Class' works is in regards to its two central characters; Charles Xavier played by an incredibly affluently sounding James McAvoy and a rage-fuelled Erik Lehnsherr played by a stern-faced Michael Fassbender. Their instant on-screen chemistry provides the drive and ammunition for the plot to carry itself forward. Both characters have differing ideologies and their constant clashes due to this aspect allow the script to be brought to life. Instead of simply infusing their relationship with formulaic violent clashes, Vaughn has instead opted for more articulated verbal battles between the two characters regarding their stance within the society they are now becoming a part of. Xavier is an intellectual being who believes that humans will eventually be accepted within society as equals alongside humans, while Lenhsherr believes that mutants will always be hunted and unable to live peacefully side-by-side with the human race, his evidence for this resides in the anti-Semitism and hatred he received at the hands of the Nazi party during the holocaust. This heavy-set contradiction in ideologies allows their relationship to be imbued with pessimism, while they may be shown as friends and fighting together initially, fans of the comic books and films in general know this does eventually turn into a bitter rivalry and it's this development which drives the plot forward.

Aside from the script, it would also be rude to not praise the action-sequences which take place within the confines of the 1960's X-Men universe. With a modest running time at two hours and ten minutes, there are more than a few well-choreographed action sequences that would adequately satisfy any of comic-book-to-film aficionado's wishing to see this film. Each character's power or ability is at some point represented in a destructive or defensive capacity, taking full advantage of the fact that while many super-hero movies tend to concentrate on the aesthetic nature of the artillery characters can be seen to withstand from governmental agencies or blindsided human opponents, here it is shown and constantly emphasized that human reaction would be futile due to the overwhelming power the mutants possess. These scenes also allow the less important characters to show their physical presence on-screen. For example, during the climactic fight sequence at the conclusion of the film, every mutant character that is identified to the audience is finally shown using their abilities to full capacity, most notably the henchmen of Shaw and the rag-tag team of Xavier and Lehnsherr. This therefore accounts slightly for the lack of depth that has been attempted in these secondary characters due to the time and story constraints.

While it is a very good and accessible comic-book/super-hero movie, 'X-Men' does also contain two central flaws. The first is superseded in a way by the strength of both McAvoy and Fassbenders performances, as Kevin Bacon is constantly overshadowed as the one-dimensional antagonist of the piece. His plot to ultimately destroy humanity becomes second fiddle to the ever intricate complex relationship between Xavier and Lehnsherr, and his appearance seems too modelled upon that of a James Bond villain. He has the slick hair, the beautiful women and the villainous underground Club to boot, but Bacon unfortunately doesn't have the charisma to be accepted as a worthy opponent to the protagonists. The other flaw has to do with a minor aspect of the production itself, as the non-diegetic music, most notably during the action sequences, begins to diminish in its impact as the film carries on, leading to it eventually becoming the generic, genre-related fanfare associated with the conventional comic-book films.

'X-Men: First Class,' is not your typical comic-book movie, it may contain certain elements associated with the comic-book genre, but by placing a heavy emphasis upon the strength of the plot and the script at the film's core instead of the action-set-pieces taking place, Vaughn has intended, and succeeded, in transcending the stereotypical conventions of the genre and has created a film which will appeal to a wide range of audience members.
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9/10
Almost pitch-perfect!.... An X-tremely good job!
wafeys3 June 2011
What stands out in this movie (besides the look of some of the mutants), is the clever way in which all the pieces fall into place as a prequel which cements the backdrop and tone for the previous X-men offers. This one however, stands above them though for the consideration and tact that has gone into developing these understandably complex characters. Resulting in a more complete movie experience.

The leading cast do a brilliant job in giving you a sense of their conflict with ingredients such as prejudice, ignorance, a sense of belonging and bitter revenge giving the film a more humane feel than a lot of dramas allowing you to connect with the characters more easily.

The special effects- lets not forget, are top notch as expected, but surprisingly very in-keeping with the film and doesn't take away from the other elements of it. The violence is clean but present, pitched right between a young and adult audience. There's also a decent amount of ironic humour thrown in, which, considering the party tricks on offer (by that I mean the powers and peculiarities of the mutants), just comes and goes naturally without feeling forced as like a lot of comedy moments in films of late.

Bottom-line, this is a well-constructed, well acted Marvel film. I wasn't totally convinced beforehand, casting James McAvoy as the young Xavier, a full head of hair and northern accent doesn't seem the best fit after all. I can say that he fully realised that role and showed his range in playing a more commanding lead. Michael Fassbender has great screen presence and does a good shift as the Magneto to-be and Mr Bacon adds another interesting element to the story. All the supporting cast give a solid performance with everyone focused on the exciting job at hand and no weak links.

Easily worth the cinema admission and thank god they didn't make it in hit-and-miss 3d, there's just no need! The best of the X-men franchise.
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9/10
Best Xmen film yet!
Jacob Mounter1 June 2011
Xmen: First Class is simply fantastic. Strong emotion and explosive action. The acting is top notch. Delivery from every actor is at it's best, more so from Mystique, Beast, Xavier and Magneto.

The story is more character based than action, however the action sequences are still superb. Personally i'd have liked to of seen it being a 15 and have a more adult but it wasn't a big issue. Also some more background story from the bad super's would have been good but again this wasn't too much of an issue and would leave some nice room for upcoming xmen movies.

I don't want to say too much but to break it down... Go see this film no matter what you are into. There is something for everyone. 9/10 easy
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8/10
The best prequel movie ever made... period
Joejoesan27 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Normally prequel movies are made because the main characters of the first movie died (or in the end achieved their goals) and the producers still want to make money out of the franchise. Think Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Psycho, the (still to be made?) I am legend and of course George Lucas's Star Wars saga. X-Men First Class also falls into that category, but I cannot imagine that anybody will be complaining about that. Director Matthew Vaughn created a great, thrilling and sometimes even moving picture that without any doubt will get raving reviews and be a huge commercial success. God knows both movie and director deserve it.

What makes X-Men First Class really work is the great story. It tells us about the beginning of the mutants and especially the friendship between professor X (a charming James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr/Magneto (an impressive Michael Fassbender). Although they will drift apart at some time, you know that they will always have respect for each other. In this stage they even become close friends.

The movie opens during World War 2, when young boy Erik is taken to a concentration camp (like the opening of the first X-Men movie). There he meets Sebestian Shaw (a great Kevin Bacon), a scary Joseph Mengele-like scientist who likes to experiment on Jews and is especially interested in mutants. In order to force Erik into helping him he shoots his mother. Erik never forgives him for that and spends his whole life looking for revenge. Unfortunately he learns that Shaw is also a mutant. The scientist is even so powerful that it's almost impossible for Erik to kill him. Luckily he bumps into Charles Xavier...

What I also like about First Class is that the movie takes place in the past (the sixties) and uses historical events (the Cuba crisis and the Cold War) to make its point. Erik claims that no matter how many times mutants save the world, normal people will always see them as enemies. Professor X still wants to believe in the good of the people. With that message the foundation is laid for X-Men 1-3.

The performances in First Class are first rate. Kevin Bacon is a brilliant villain. His German is actually quite good and his opening scene can already be considered as a classic. He also speaks Russian in the movie by the way. Michael Fassbender (Magneto) represents the most exciting drama in the story. He's kinda like Darth Vader. You know he will turn to the Dark Side but you still hope that somehow he will stick with professor X.

First Class will be the beginning of super stardom for actress Jennifer Lawrence. She plays Raven in the story, a girl Xavier adopts as a real sister/best friend. She later becomes Mystique. Jennifer won critical acclaim with her role in Winter Bone and will play the lead in the much anticipated The Hunger Games movie, to be released in 2012. She is a great, vulnerable Mystique who later on chooses Magneto over 'her brother' Professor X.

So what's more to tell? January Jones as Emma Frost is sexy as hell, the special effects in the movie are great and there are not one but two cameos from actors from the first X-Men movie (and no, the second one is not Patrick Stewart). Unlike previous Marvel movies there is no extra scene after the end credits and Stan Lee does not have a small part in this one. Overall First Class makes you think of the Sean Connery Bond movies and the reboot of Star Trek (2009).

So... are you convinced? Just go see this excellent movie. Can't wait for its sequel!

9/10
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10/10
Absolutely first class! 11 out of 10.
ongyekcheng1 June 2011
Of the original trilogy, the first X-Men movie still rates the best.....until now.

This prequel is an absolute stunner - from storyboard, script, mutant characters, pace, cinematography, Foley FX, VFX....you get the picture. In fact, the subtitle for this movie could also be X-Men: Origins. The poignant beginnings of Magneto and Mystique are recounted, as well as the extraordinary powers of Professor X. Yes, indeed! The good professor had plenty of goodies (and hair) in his formative years at Oxford University.....^^

I cannot wait to see X-Men prequel II and III, 3D or not.
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9/10
A first-class summer blockbuster that packs awesome action, great character drama and outstanding lead performances to restore the X Men franchise back to glory
moviexclusive1 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The X Men movies followed a similar trajectory to another Marvel property "Spiderman"- the first movie was a surprising blast, the second built on the merits of the first to deliver ever bigger and better thrills, but the third just knocked the wind out of the sails. And so like any self-respecting franchise would do, you go back to the beginning and start all over again- well, in this case, much much further back to the beginning.

The director with the unenviable task of rebooting one of the premier Marvel superhero titles is Matthew Vaughn, best known for subverting the genre last summer with the cult favourite "Kick-Ass". Here Vaughn tucks away the subversion for some mainstream summer entertainment and boy does he do a bang-up, and I would say, kick-ass job reviving the franchise.

Sure, it probably isn't as fresh as the first "X Men", nor as insanely brilliant as "X2 United", but Vaughn exceeds all expectations in creating an origins story that captures the heart of what the series was all about. But to do so, Vaughn has gone way back to the 1960s when the United States and Russia were locked in a Cold War and the prospect of World War III came so imminent with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Vaughn in fact begins his story much earlier with a prologue that establishes the childhood days of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. Whereas Charles grew up in an affluent but isolated stately home in New York, Erik was locked up in a concentration camp in Poland. It is there Erik first meets the Auschwitz doctor Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who kills Erik's mother in plain sight of him in order to get him to demonstrate his powers. The contrast is key- it is ultimately their childhood circumstances that will have far-reaching repercussions on their divergent paths in life later on.

And so while Charles becomes an Oxford academic on genetics and envisions a world where humans and mutants can live in harmony with one another, Erik is plotting his revenge against Shaw and cynical of the very utopia Charles cherishes. But when the fate of the world hangs by a nuclear thread, the two find a common enemy- together with the CIA no less- in Shaw and so put aside their ideological differences to fight alongside each other.

It isn't as simple as a union of conveniences- Charles and Erik fast become firm friends, and they band together to start a school for mutants. Among those recruited are the brainbox and soon-to-be-Beast Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), the sonic-screamer and soon-to-be-Banshee Sean Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones), the plasma-blasting and soon-to-be- Havok Alex Summers (Lucas Till), as well as the winged Angel Salvatore (Zoe Kravitz). Shaw also has his own army- icy Emma Frost (January Jones), teleporter Azaael (Jason Flemyng) and the tornado-spinning Riptide (Alex Gonzalez).

There certainly isn't enough time to give each of the multitude of characters a back-story, but at least Vaughn sets aside space within the spectacular action-packed climax for each of them to show off their unique superpowers. Rather, Vaughn and his frequent collaborator Jane Goldman (working off a story by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer) give weight instead to the central relationship between Charles and Erik, emphasising on the bond between the two close friends and their eventual descent into bitter enemies as Professor X and Magneto.

It is in the intimate character drama between Charles and Erik where the movie achieves its greatest payoff. Some of the best lines in the script are reserved for the witty interplay between the two characters, and are especially thought-provoking in their arguments for and against war and diplomacy. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender also share great bromantic chemistry with each other, and their excellent performances- one the dashing yet dangerous individual, and the other the charming and intelligent fellow- allow the friendship between their characters to be the rightful emotional heart of the film.

But to bring home the raison d'être for their disagreement is the budding relationship between Hank (aka Beast) and shape-shifting and future-Mystique Raven (Jennifer Lawrence). Their constant struggle to accept their extraordinary looks (Raven's blue form and Hank's hands- for-feet) or correct their perceived abnormalities so as to better fit into society crystallise the very humanistic message of the X Men series- that of embracing those who may be different from us, but who have every right as us to belong in our society.

Hoult and Lawrence are also outstanding in their own right, and the movie benefits tremendously from strong performances all around. Kevin Bacon is all smarmy menace as Shaw, while Rose Bryne brings a welcome touch of humanism as the rare human in the film to accept these extraordinaires. Veteran character players James Remar, Michael Ironside and Ray Wise add a touch of class to the proceedings, while fanboys will delight over a killer cameo in the movie.

The person who deserves credit for pulling it all together is Vaughn, who so deftly mixes fact and fiction to create an awfully plausible version of alternate reality. Ingenious was the move to situate the might-vs-right dynamic between Charles and Erik against the backdrop of the Cold War, the events of history providing both significance and gravitas, and Vaughn stages the events with terrific pacing and much aplomb.

With "X Men: First Class", Vaughn has breathed new life into a franchise that ran aground with its bland and formulaic "Last Stand" and an otherwise unremarkable "Wolverine" spin off. Admittedly, the storytelling could have been smoother, but Vaughn's reimagining of the X Men universe is more than robust, especially with an intelligent tightly-plotted script, outstanding lead performances and thrilling action sequences. It may not match the brilliance of Bryan Singer's first two films, but this is perhaps as close as it gets.
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8/10
Clever, exciting, funny and stylish. What more could you want?
Jay Johnson1 June 2011
I love the Xmen, I won't beat around the bush. There are so many mutants, heroes and anti-heroes that you relate can to at least one of them. The franchise has had its ups and downs. The first two films made the superhero genre what it is today. Stunning set pieces, breath taking special effects and a group dynamic that was brilliantly cemented in the second film. The third struck a middle ground where the spectacle overshadowed the narrative but was still a fun ride, and the last title Xmen Origins: Wolverine, was the only miss-step in the series. Xmen first Class is really very good. It manages to keep up with the first two whilst retaining an originality in its own right.

The Direction is great, Vaughn's clearly got a knack for angles and keeping the audience engaged whilst the story chops and changes. The look of the film is modern, yet still has a 60's and almost retro look about it. The special effects are very good, though some how not quite up there with Xmen: The Last Stand. The energy is fast and relentless and the action sequences blend in with the dialogue sequences seamlessly.

The acting is very good, though Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellen are definitely missed, McAvoy and Fassbender do excellent jobs and really are in keeping with the characters you already know and love. Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw are deliciously malevolent and Moira Mctaggart is perfectly pitched. My only reservation about the acting in the film is of Mystique, who I believe wasn't quite right, her motives in the film don't seem in complete continuity with the rest of the films.

A sequel has already been planned and I shall be eagerly awaiting it. Having Storm back in the series would be a personal highlight for myself, but not necessary. I would highly recommend this film to anyone that has watched the original films and even for newcomers.

One thing I will add that I have noticed since watching the original trilogy is that in 1980 Charles is walking, but according to First Class he loses this ability in the 60's...
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1/10
Truly terrible film benefiting from its own hype
timbob827 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Rarely have I seen a film professing to be good that ended up being as bad as XMFC.

The back story altogether was silly and not just written to be taking place in the 60s, but seemed to be written as if the writers were living in the 60s. There was soooo much cheesy and corny crap. The yacht that turns into a submarine, the overly trusting CIA that takes super-powered people and lets them run wild recruiting kids to be super-secret agents for the government (what is this, Spy Kids?), the bad guy with the secret passageways behind the bookshelf and the table that spins around when you touch the secret panel...I mean all of that late 60s/early 70s James Bond flotsam that no one ever really did or had, but was all part of the "isn't this cool, daddio" culture of the time and so popped up in every action movie. I was waiting for there to be a mad scientist with a death-ray on the moon. So much for Vaughn's determination to bring these characters into a realistic setting.

Then, the most interesting characters were the ones most under-utilized. Havok, Banshee, Darwin, Azazel and Riptide were completely glossed over in favor of the already over-exposed characters. People complain about the X-films over using Wolverine and that they are tired of it? Well, absent him, who are the two characters most heavily utilized in the X-films? Magneto (the ever-villain, whose constant inclusion negates the use of far more interesting villains) and Xavier. The other two character focal points, Mystique and Beast, have also been done. So anyone hoping for some good character exposition on the new blood...sorry, you are S.O.L. Nothing here but the same old, same old. But then, on the topic of the characters who actually did get exposition... --Magneto. You get his initial entrance into the concentration camp, and then he is 30. 12 to 30...just like that. What happened in between? What happened between when he got liberated and the first scene with him in the hotel room spinning the coin round his fingers? It was bad story telling. They wanted him to be completely unencumbered with a job, friends, a home...anything that would ground his character in reality. They wanted him to be a clean slate of a character with one thing only: revenge on Shaw. Talk about a one-dimensional character. Plus, his turn-coat to being a bad guy was practically instantaneous. Yeah, he and Xavier had that very brief convo about mutants/humans sitting across the chess board, but that was really it. Then, a few meglo-maniacal words from Shaw in the reactor room and Magneto is ready to turn coat on the only people in his entire life that he has ever been able to call friend. Almost as silly as Darth Vader's turn in Episode III.

--Mystique...same exact problem. Her brother, best friend, only person in the world she really cares about. Not only does she betray his dream, not only does she go against every other one of her friends, but she up and leaves Xavier shot and possibly dying. I'd be one thing if she were a stalwart "mutant and proud" booster from the start, but she has only ever wanted to be normal and has known love, friendship and acceptance and she immediately turns away from her entire life and the beliefs she has had her whole life after a few kind words from a guy she threw herself at (who ultimately rejected her advances, btw). Her turn was sillier than Magneto's. At least he had the bad childhood to fall back on.

--Shaw. His motivation was wholly unbelievable. He was a completely one-dimensional villain. Why exactly did he want to do what he was planning? Here he is, a wealthy and powerful man who has never known anti-mutant prejudice due to his ability to pass for a human, as well as the fact that there was no anti-mutant prejudice at this time since mutants were an, as yet, undiscovered species. And yet, he is looking to destroy all of humanity. Oh yeah, and exactly how were the mutants to survive the nuclear holocaust? I don't recall anyone claiming all mutants were immune to radiation poisoning. So he was just a cartoonish Bond villain with no reasoning behind his motivation.

So characters were bad, style and execution of the plot was bad, action and FX were Michael Bay-esque in that it was random explosions and jump cuts that had too many things happening too fast to make an impact. Clichéd training montages. Terrible effects on Beast. Silly one-dimensional human characters. Some of the acting was passable, but some was flat out bad (January Jones, the Kravitz girl) and the ones that were good were really just OK. No stand out performances. And even if Fassbender and Macavoy could be seen as great, they weren't so good that the entire movie can hang on their performances.

Frankly, I think this film is a beneficiary of its own hype. Maybe a lot of critics who grew up in the 60s/70s were swept up in the nostalgia for their lost childhood and looked fondly on this film because of it. High critical praise and constant...never...ending...PROMOTION for weeks had people hypnotized into thinking this movie's release was going to be the event of all events. I think it got to a point where the people who were moderately excited about its release started hyping themselves up more and more at every positive review and every new trailer. Every new viral character spotlight and every crossover (come on...a Statefarm Insurance crossover?!?). Eventually, they just told themselves that this was the movie of the year and, for those people, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I'd recommend passing on this one. Hopefully, they will reboot the whole series and make an X-Men movie that does the characters justice.
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2/10
Silly, cheesy, contrived, bomb.
Vinegaroon313 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Once again, I was prompted into seeing this movie because of extremely high IMDb reviews.

I could not disagree more with those who are rating this movie highly. Frankly, I thought it was terrible.

Where to begin....

I understand a movie dealing with a subject like X-Men requires a large suspension of disbelief. I was actually a fan of the first X-Men movie, but this latest incarnation was bad in so many ways I am not sure I am a sufficiently proficient writer to articulate them....

It was cheesy, silly, contrived, largely poorly acted, and simply ridiculous. The plot and antagonist reminded of the worst of the "James Bond" franchise, with the villain traveling around in a luxurious submarine with an attractive woman (who could turn herself into a diamond....riiiiight) hanging on his arm. He is going to destroy the world, of course, and smile and laugh while doing it so we will know he is really bad. Lame.

Despite spending a lot of time examining the history of the major characters, the film has almost zero effective character development. There is a "Tinkerbell" like character who flies around on dragonfly wings and spits fireballs. She of course is knock-out gorgeous, and is discovered while working as a stripper. Yes, I am capable of "suspending disbelief", but there was no point here. This was simply painfully stupid.

I know nothing of the X-Men comics, but I think the idea is mildly interesting as long as it is kept within limits. They managed to do this with the first movie. However, since the first installment they have become less and less focused on story and character development, and more and more based on ridiculous spectacle.

In the larger picture, I am simply going to have to stop paying attention to the "Best" ratings that show up first on IMDb when a new film is released. I have wasted too much money seeing highly rated films, like this one, that are simply terrible. I am convinced these reviews are not genuine and are quickly posted when poor films are released in an attempt to salvage some commercial success.

I sincerely hope this review will save some of you from making my mistake. This latest X-Men film is awful. Hopefully this review will be visible among the dishonest hype, and save some of you from wasting your time and money.
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1/10
Are You People Insane!?!?
WallyDee4 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Am i the only one who thought this movie was bad and i mean REALLY BAD? Im not the best writer but i just cant resist writing something about this movie.

X-Men Origins Wolverine was one of the most disappointing movies I've ever seen, and i honestly thought that this one was worse! and in my book thats saying a lot!

I mean THIS WAS IT!!! This was the big prequel story that started the rivalry between Professor X and Magneto and THIS was the only history they had of being friends!?!? Thats it????? Was THIS the origin story that jump started the war between humans and mutants? Are you serious??

Mystique and Professor X are step brother and sister now!?................REALLY????? He tells her she will never have to feel hunger again and gives her a roof over her head and all that when they are still kids, plus they seem to get a long pretty damn good growing up, not arguing or fighting or anything like that (well maybe a little but definitely nothing serious) and then she betrays him that easily!!!! right after he JUST got shot in the spine!!!!!!!!!..............REALLY!!! You don't need to be a bad guy just to be yourself!! Was that the only motivation for Mystique to betray her brother and join Magneto to later become the evil blue bitch that we all know? And if i remember this correctly, wasn't Professor X walking in the beginning of (X men 3 The last Stand) when he and Magneto were visiting Jean Grey when she was still a kid? I believe he was, and he was a lot older then and already completely bald. Come to think of it! Professor X and Magneto were still friends at that age! which makes not knowing their history about their friendship even more enteresting because you can assume that they were friends for a loooong time! And you can only guess whatever could have happened to make them arch enemies of each other.....

Do you mean to tell me that Professor X can use Cerebro to track down any mutant on the planet and those were the ones they picked to recruit!!! A stupid butterfly girl, an annoying useless screaming kid, a worthless black guy who adapts to the situation for survival and then dies that easily! Havok or whatever with his stupid laser chest, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Then to top it off we have Butterfly girl chasing Screaming kid spitting on him and that was supposed to be exciting!? that is what they call action!?!? Is that one of the dumb action scenes that I read about that other people are so damn excited over!? That actually entertained you people..............?

The special effects in this movie looked like they came straight out of a movie that was made in the 90's. I witnessed some of the worst cgi ever viewing this movie! Every scene that contained cgi actually looked like cgi! Very ugly cgi! For example when Magneto stops the missiles shot at the beach and their just hovering in the air or the entire scene of butterfly girl chasing screaming guy, mystique her transformations looked better in the original X men trilogy, even the big radar a couple of miles away that Magneto uses his powers on to make it move looks fake. THIS IS 2011!!! I believe it has to be possible to make cgi effect that the audience obviously KNOWS about it BEING CGI but actually CANT TELL its cgi, am i right?

The more i think about this movie the more flaws come to mind and if i have to write all of them down its gonna take all night!

There has to be someone out there who agrees with me and who will put the flaws he noticed in a review or something.

Sorry for any misspells, I'm Dutch and my English is far from a hundred percent.
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4/10
X-Men: Economy Class
James Dickson12 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I'm prepared to forgive the film its poorly explained, misconstrued, evolutionary science, as it is a comic book adaptation after all, but that should not excuse the ponderous emptiness of the story, which detracts significantly from the promising beginnings established in the first film(s). Bereft of compelling character development, sinister undertones and brooding tension, the 'climax' of betrayal and inevitable, prophetic fulfilment were so poorly managed I was left feeling ambivalent and detached; while the rest of the film, with its cheesy 'nudge-wink' humour and clumsy, explanatory dialogue left me head in hands, knuckle-biting, inwardly-sighing and fidgeting with disappointment throughout.

I got the impression Matthew Vaughn wanted us to laugh AT the film, with a number of moments where this was seemingly encouraged (Wolverine's cameo, the bedroom scenes, Beasts appearance etc). Was he in fact being a lazy snob toward X-Men just because he had his own little adaptation in Kick-Ass? I had a bad feeling when I discovered Bryan Singer wasn't directing the third film, but little did I realise that X-Men: The Last Stand would actually look good in comparison to First Class. I now await any Kick-Ass sequel/spin-off with unexpected trepidation as I have no idea what Matthew Vaughn was trying here and I was amazed to discover Bryan Singer was actually involved in the creation of this messy film, which ended up being too much of not a lot.

All said and done, Fassbender and McAvoy put in decent performances, although Kevin Bacon as the central antagonist was truly underwhelming and un-menacing and if this is the best he's got to offer then he should go back to doing inconsequential cameo's in films like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, or make a prequel of tremors, or just give up. Any of which I would be happy with.
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1/10
Did not like it
dacifu10 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
8.2 out of 10?...seriously? the first x men was OK...the second was bad...the third was a bag full of puke...wolverine origins was a rape....but this one is worst than any of the other x men movies.

What's wrong with this pile of garbage? 1- Professor X and Mystique are related? WTF 2-Alex Summers and not Scott? Why? Scott Summers is one of the original X Men, not Alex 3-Where is Angel? I mean Warren Kenneth Worthington III not that little butterfly girl.

4- Where is Iceman? 5- Where is Marvel Girl? What a silly plot. Hollywood can't make good movies anymore. They take a good source and just violated the fans with some stupid adaptation.

What's with the romantic relation between Beast and Mystique? Where that came from? Mystique mated with Azazel and that's where Nightcrawler comes from.

Stupid movie. I have no idea why the rating is so high.

The Wolverine cameo was kind of cool though.
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8/10
Action Film Indeed
TourettesPersonal2 June 2011
The biggest problem of these prequels is it's kind of messy to the original X-Men movies. Well, the filmmakers said this is a reboot but there are some references to the original X-Men series. Anyways, "X-Men: First Class" is fun and had a lot of great action. It's the biggest X-Men movie ever made and it's better than the last two X-Men movies.

The filmmakers stated that this movie is a reboot but things from the old X-Men movies had an appearance to this movie. The problem of giving reference from the old X-Men movies to this reboot is it doesn't make this movie stand alone. Maybe the references only made for the laughs but if this is a prequel then it'll be a total mess.

The best parts goes to the action(obviously). Matthew Vaughn knows how to make big and awesome action scenes. The best parts also goes to the scenes of Michael Fassbender. He really steals the show. He made Erik/Magneto more dangerous than ever. It's fun and intense to see him do something menacing. The rest of the cast is also pretty good. James McAvoy gave a lot of heart to his role. Him and Fassbender had good chemistry.

Overall, "X-Men First Class" is good especially if you are looking for large scale action. I guess large scale is one thing that's missing to the first four X-Men films. X3 had a large scale action that left us hanging in the end. This one has the action finale that is intense and really big. Maybe the reference of the old X-Men movies is only made for the laughs. By the way this is Matthew Vaughn's thing. There's action plus comedy.
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9/10
X Men: First Class!
Tyree Webster25 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Out of all of Marvel Studios' films, the 'X- MEN' franchise is one of my favourites. This is because of the great special effects, explosive action scenes, hot babes and the frequent comedic moments. When I heard that a prequel to the series was going to be made, my brother and I were really excited because we knew that it was going to be super AWESOME! And it was. But let's face it, the movie did have it's flaws, it being the lame writing or the not- as good as X Men 3- special effects, even my favourite mutant, BEAST had his flaws, but I'll get to him later.

PROS: The great parts about this movie was the near- perfect casting. James McCavoy is great as always as the awesome Professor X, as he showed us a side of the character we have never seen before! He was charming, cool and very courageous! Michael Fassbender was also good as Erik Lensherr (MAGNETO) and we also get to see how he became the menacing Magneto in the later movies. It's just his accent that jerked me off. Other than that, he did a good job. Other actors that were good were January Jones as EMMA FROST and Kevin Bacon as SEBASTIAN SHAW, he was a cool, likable yet believable villain. The writing was great, I loved the idea of including the clip about young MAGNETO from 'X MEN' in the beginning of the movie. The direction was very awesome, with the director being Matthew Vaughn.

CONS: I'm going to keep this part as short as possible because I don't want you to be turned off by the negative aspects and focus more on the positive. I guess my biggest flaw for this film, in my opinion, is the video game-like special effects. I don't know what it is, it's just that it didn't look as cool as the previous films, it was just too noticeable that it was CGI. Like I said at the beginning, the dialogue was a bit crappy, for example, at the end of the movie when MAGNETO is called by his real name and says 'Actually, I prefer... Magneto!', which my friend then turned to 'Actually, I prefer... Potato!' The make-up for BEAST kind of sucked, but it was still very well done.

Overall, this isn't a bad movie, it's a good movie! It's a fun Blockbuster Summer action film to enjoy with your friends, so if you're walking into the cinema, hoping to see something like 'THE KING'S SPEECH'. Then you'll be disappointed. But see it anyway... it's the X MEN!

See the movie! 9/10
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1/10
Magneto's PRAISE SONG to hatred. Worst X-Men movie to-date.
Sasson Solomon10 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie should had been named: "MAGNETO" or better; "Magneto's love story with hate".

ALL the previous Xmen films bespoke of friendship, camaraderie and humanity and the best positive traits associated with these basic qualities and these films contained the positive traits which define the Xmen... and what makes them attractive & engaging... for me at-least. "First Class" seriously lacks these good qualities. And it replaces all that was good, moral or engaging with the Xmen franchise with only one thing; Magneto's hate. Almost all characters in the movie, including the amazing, great character of Prof. Charles Xavier is, at the hands of the "hooh-haah" director Matthew Vaughn, reduced to "second class" citizens (yes, definitely, pun-intended) in order to allow the glorification of Magneto's HATE.

The "chutzpah" is in that the director does it, in plain sight, all the while asking us-- to applaud Magneto and to create in us, fans and viewers, a sense of wonder and awe about how "cool" Magneto's awful and cruel shenanigans throughout the movie, are.

Why is Magneto shown off in this movie as "the underdog hero"? And why is this done, while trampling on other and better characters of the Xmen franchise? Why is Prof. Xavier reduced, in the hands of Vaughn, to a mere sidekick and 2'nd grade character, whose only existence, according to Vaughn's movie, is to showcase and highlight how 'cool' and defiant Magneto's bottom-line cruelty, is-- in almost every single scene in which Prof.X and Magneto appear together??

I'm sure there are more knowledgeable and "professional" Xmen fans than me, out there, in the world. However, some things are very clear. No matter how good you're familiar with the Xmen or how many fan-stripes you have on your badges. Magneto is NOT the 'good'-cool-wow protagonist. He simply is NOT that. Prof. Xavier is NOT Magneto's sidekick-glorifier, whose sole purpose is to show how "cool" we should perceive (by Vaughn) Magneto as. Prof. X is so much... so much more than that.

And what's with Mystique? Why's she's Prof. X's girlfriend at first, and then she goes... how weird and ugly is that? What's that supposed to mean... I mean except that she's a... -- well, of a truly questionable character, you know?

Yes, I know what Vaughn is trying to get us convinced in; Magneto had "that" childhood, in the Shoah... Really? We knew that from the first shot in Singer's "Xmen". Does that condone the terrible things Lensher/Magneto does 'because' of it? Ask Vaughn; he knows. Vaughn says a big "yes". Oh... I guess that having that Shoah childhood allows Lensher to do EVERYTHING now, in the name of revenge.

In Singer's "Xmen" (2000), Singer trusts our judgment, to decide; whether we choose to view Magneto as a 'good guy'/'bad guy'. Vaughn doesn't "trouble" us with that issue; Vaughn is after "cool"... that's what he cares about.

For Vaughn, the issue Good versus evil turns to a 'second class citizen' (pun intended, again) when 'the COOL factor' enters the game. Vaughn is so eager to present Magneto as "cool" and as poised as James Bond or Bruce Wayne, that he simply throws the fact that this character is utterly cruel & immoral, right out the window. Why not? The applaud sign goes up after showing yet another of Magneto's beastiality.

I read a reviewer saying that this new movie doesn't need Wolverine. Why? Because, according to this big-shot reviewer, Magneto 'more than makes up' for Wolverine's absence... Really?? At the ending of 2000's "Xmen", Wolverine sacrifices his life, knowingly and intentionally, in order to save Rogue's life. That's what makes Wolverine--- Wolverine. That's what makes him a hero, in my book. Yes, it's cool; those adamantium claws, that no-hold bars attitude...But these do not a HERO make. What Wolverine does for Rogue to live, at the end of 2000's Xmen, at the expense of his own life... that's what a hero make.

Contrastingly, consider what Lensher/Magneto does 'for' his mutant comrades/friends in the end of "Xmen:FC"... -- Lensher disposes of his enemies (or more correctly; rivals) in a way that would Nazi sympathizers proud. --- He is responsible, even if in-directly, for the permanent maiming and crippling of the only man (Prof. X) who ever chose to try to persuade him to see beyond his selfish hate. --- He steals that's man sister/girlfriend (who was selfish throughout anyway... no big loss, but still), and eventually leaves that person abandoned, badly hurt and crippled permanently while he still goes out to pursue his still unsatisfied selfish goals for domination over those who 'don't see his way'. With friends like Lensher, who even needs enemies? Ask Prof. X. He learnt that the hard way.

Vaughn is so taken by admiration to Magneto, trying to pitch him off and out as no-less than the "new James Bond"... that he (Vaughn) even gives Magneto a "Bond. James Bond" kind of line in the ending of the film... which is not only plain ugly... but also very condescending.

Problem is: X-MEN was never, at it's very core and it's most fundamental message-- a one-man show (like Bond or 'solo' superheroes)!!! X-men was, forever, a 'team-effort' showcasing & celebrating the need to band together and be AS A TEAM one for the other. X-men in many of it's incarnations, celebrated unity and celebrated TRUE friendship & camaraderie. That is... until "hooh-haah" director Matthew Vaughn came along with "First Class" and stripped the Xmen of their most valuable and True badge of Honor.

And Vaughn replaced that Xmen badge of Honor and all it stood for- - for one thing alone: Magneto's praise song, sung by Magneto (and Vaughn), applauding and celebrating hatred.

By going against everything the Xmen ever stood for... this movie becomes the worst X-men movie to-date and a major disappointment.
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1/10
amazed at so many positive reviews...
chico-ortiz13 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Don't know where to begin, this was such a bad, cheesy, lame film! - and I'm an X-Men fan. The previous 3 seemed to have some intelligence, but this seems like it was made by some dumb-ass kid. I can't believe how many good reviews this has when almost everything about it was so poor.

The acting: overwrought and embarrassing (especially January Jones who was like a Playboy bunny just learning to act).

The characters: Prof. X - why the hell is he English all of a sudden? - was like a creepy, cheesy, horny David Cameron (which can never be appealing). Nothing like his character in the comics or other films - just bad and embarrassing. Magneto's accent came and went as it pleased (and I'm not even sure if it was ever supposed to be there, or what it was supposed to be), and he was as interesting as a piece of wood. Banshee was American, not Irish; Moira McTaggart was American, not Scottish. Unrealistic motivations and actions abound. The Beast's costume looked like Wolverine has rolled around in some blue fur and glue. Otherwise, it's a like a catwalk of one beautiful, posturing teen after another: every person, every random mutant, had to be young, beautiful, ripped, sexy - even if they were previously cab drivers or whatever. Totally unrealistic and all about image consciousness (ironic for the heavy-handed message about Mystique accepting herself).

The structure: a lot of running around aimlessly, with one anti-climax after another.

The setting: supposed to be early, pre-hippy 60s, but often came off like mid-late 60s, as if the set/costume/music people were a bunch of ignorami who just thought 'cool- 60s, mod, James Bond, shagadelic'. Really, really lame.

The sexism: women are mainly there for eye candy, and to be models of insecurity, and any excuse to show them in lingerie, in strip clubs, T&A close-ups etc. is greedily taken. Emma Frost is instructed by Magneto to go get her some ice, and she does so like an obedient servant. Angel and her fellow prostitutes are all beautiful, happy and fit, willing servants for the pleasures of men - not depressed, shaking, acne-scarred women debasing themselves to feed their families or their habits. Really irresponsible film-making - and before anyone says "lighten up, it's just a movie", remember that the comics were really good - and realistic - about social issues (despite the women's skimpy costumes!).

The racism: I can't believe reviewers haven't mentioned this - in a scene where Kevin Bacon says to Darwin (who is black), "So you have two choices, you can do nothing with your powers and be enslaved..." and at the word 'enslaved' the camera does a close-up on Darwin for a long few seconds... reinforcing the equation of black man = slave. Maybe the heavy-handed director was trying to suggest that Darwin would naturally relate to Bacon's speech given his race's history... but a few minutes later he's killed! - the old movie cliché' that the black man is always the first to die, once again! Truly an appalling piece of film-making, and not worth the half-price tickets I paid for.
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Hugely Entertaining. Delivers in Every Way!
Kia0029 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
An outstanding effort, what a superb early summer this has been! The characters, effects, and story were all beyond great. Bryan Singer is back and it clearly showed. Add director Vaughn's touch and both display an amazing vision. They manage to keep the story intense and flowing but filled with depth and heart. They also kept an eye on what has come before without being burdened or overly tied to it. If you've never seen any x-film, you'll still love this movie. That said, it builds for another installment and I absolutely can't wait to see it and to see where we go next. The Singer and Vaughn team also manages to deliver a little bit of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. There's intrigue, romance, conspiracy, drama, conflict, historical context, retro flavor, fun, humor and of course, kick butt comic book style slugfests.

I think this is now the best comic book movie summer ever (even though it's not even officially summer yet) and I'm not exaggerating. 2008 was great but I think we have a new king. Thor was pure greatness and Captain America looks superb. This was the only question mark from Marvel's stable and they absolutely hit it out of the park. Erik and Charles are now given room to thrive and breathe, find their own voice and their own distinctiveness. The plot becomes more intricate as the situations become more dire. Not many adaptations have ever dug as deep as First Class. These are truly some of the most complex characters I've ever seen in a super hero based movie. They're a group of characters who are so well written and full of small, personal moments that they match the best of their rich, four-color origins. They become living, breathing people whom have pasts, presents and futures and I can't wait to see where this new cast takes us from this point forward.

I love this younger Xavier and the fact that his youthful flaws are fully on display. Charles is caught up in himself as most people are in their youth. He is proud and confident young man, and he's certainly not the selfless person that we saw in the X-Men trilogy. I love the fact that the writers were smart enough to convey these elements and show a young man in need of growth. They easily could've made him a "mini me" version of Patrick Stewart's Xavier. Instead they went much deeper and the result is much more interesting. Charles' relationship with Raven/Mystique is fascinating especially when you compare both character to what they will become later. She's an assistant to him and he cares for her, but his ego causes unintended consequences. At times, Charles gives off a condescending, big-brother attitude and that fits so well to the growth the character needs to undertake. You see it in the way he treats the others. In the trilogy, he's exorcised that from his personality. Here, his ego is on a par with Magneto and that makes for an interesting dynamic.

Overall, just like X2, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this movie.
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8/10
X-Men: First Class (2011)
daniyalkhan8572 April 2015
The Movie is simply fantastic. Strong emotion and explosive action. The acting is top notch. Delivery from every actor is at it's best, more so from Mystique, Beast, Xavier and Magneto. What I also like about First Class is that the movie takes place in the past (the sixties) and uses historical events (the Cuba crisis and the Cold War) to make its point. Erik claims that no matter how many times mutants save the world, normal people will always see them as enemies. Professor X still wants to believe in the good of the people. With that message the foundation is laid for X-Men 1-3.

Overall, this isn't a bad movie, it's a good movie! It's a fun Blockbuster Summer action film to enjoy with your friends. See the movie!
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9/10
Gets better every time!
asindt9828 January 2015
X-men: First Class 88

This movie is great! I loved it even more after every time I watch it. Story is superb, acting and the choice of cast is perfect, music is awesome. Matthew Vaughan's sense of storytelling in this new chapter of the X-men series is wonderful. It is a great way to introduce basically new characters in a new chapter of their lives that we have never seen. It has a good sense of mood, with a fun atmosphere. The overall style to the film is great, with good set pieces and clothing to fit in with the 1960s time period. It is possible to have an X-men film without Hugh Jackman's Wolverine for over a minute. With a good b-plot, good music, fun,smart storytelling, Vaughan's new X-men characters will be beloved!
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10/10
This latest X-Men film is first class indeed! Superb acting by the new cast.
lao495000019 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This latest film to join the X-Men franchise injects new life and vigor into the saga. It is as much of a prequel as it is a reboot. From a strictly time-line point-of-view it is a prequel, being set in the early 1960s during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But from a storyline point-of-view, it is very much a reboot, with a whole new younger cast along with whole new interesting stories and relationships to involve them in.

The film goes all the way back to the beginning in 1944, in Nazi occupied Poland. Here, we are introduced to young Erik Lensherr. Erik is forced to watch his mother be shot right in front of him by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). The uncontrollable rage Erik then feels unleashes his powers and he then goes on to trash every metal object in the room. However, he is unable to focus and use his powers against Shaw, and so the main plot of the film becomes Erik's quest for vengeance.

In contrast with Erik's tragic childhood, we see the wealthy opulent lifestyle that Charles Xavier enjoyed. In this film, he meets young Mystique, and quickly adopts her as his younger sister.

Cut to 1962 where the rest of the film takes place. Adult Erik, played excellently by Michael Fassbender continues on his quest for revenge against Shaw. In this film, he has not yet become Magneto. He is not the villain, in fact he is a character we all sympathize with. Inside he is still the traumatized boy who watched his mother get killed right in front of him. What I love about X-Men First Class is that it finally adds layers to Magneto's character, he isn't just a one-dimensional cartoon villain.

And James McAvoy breathes new life as young adult Charles. Here, the young Professor X is a dashing English gentleman who uses witty pick-up lines on pretty college girls and chugs whole pints of beer. His expertise on mutations is what leads to his recruitment to the CIA by Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne). And it is through the CIA that brings Charles and Erik's paths together.

McAvoy and Fassbender have amazing on screen chemistry together, and this is clearly reflected in Charles and Erik's fast developing friendship. These two men are not just friends, they really see themselves as brothers. The casting for both Charles and Erik could not have been more perfect, you can definitely see how even decades later Professor X and Magneto stay lifelong friends even if they have opposite philosophies.

The other relationship that must be mentioned is the romance between young Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and young Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). Their short-lived relationship is tragic yet poignant. It falls victim to self-hatred and the struggle for acceptance in a human society that all too often shows absolute cruelty to those who are different...........that is the key message of the X-Men and it is so beautifully played out by these two doomed lovebirds.

From watching this film, you actually want Erik and Charles to continue being best friends without any of the tragedy and mutant-against-mutant fighting. But alas, we all know how it all ends, so the ending of film can't show anything different. You finally see how Charles becomes paralyzed, the whole lead-up to that scene is just epically sad yet beautiful at the same time.

This was a wonderfully acted project and it also contains just the right amount of action scenes that we all love and demand from an X-Men film. I encourage you all to see it if you haven't already.
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8/10
Best X-flick behind X2. I love you Michael Fassbender
aaroncrews23 June 2011
Man V. Freak Evolution has a new name By Ryan Crews 3.5/4 Stars

There once was a tale of a more evolved human kind. A band of outcasts known as the future: the mutant kind. Their story has been and continues to be told through an up and running X-Men franchise, made fresh by its latest installment, X-Men: First Class. First Class is a world class prequel that exposes the pasts of two old chums (as they are seen in the original films: X-1, 2, & 3). Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (a five-star performance by Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier/Professor X (a jolting James McAvoy) join forces to defeat the energy absorbing antagonist, Sebastian Shaw (an evil-intent Kevin Bacon) and his squad of mutant baddies with mutant domination on their mind. The film delves into Fassbender's (Inglorious Basterds) medal-bending maniac's soul-driven desire for revenge against the Nazi regime that stole away his family and into McAvoy's (Atonement) telepathic visions of a mutant and human co-existence. As Lehnsherr misinterprets fascist hatred as the foundation of all human nature, his innocence is lost which develops the passion of Magneto's inner Frankenstein monster. The hatred brewed turns him into the very same prejudiced man that he preys upon, impervious to McAvoy's philanthropic attempts at getting in his head. The direction by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) pays homage to Bryan Singer's take on the first two films which adds a depth to the X-Men that had not shown up in the past two installments (The Last Stand and Wolverine). Its storyline is as intriguing as a superhero plot gets. It plants the X-Men straight into the 60's Cuban Missile Crisis and morphs history to its advantage to add to the powerful effect of the film, and the effect is groovy baby. Nicholas Hoult is ferocious as the mad scientist, Hank McCoy/Beast. He comes in and leaves a mark almost as if asking what would a comic book movie be without the nerds? The only weak side of the acting pool comes from Mrs. Betty Draper herself, January Jones (Mad Men) who plays a very comic book feeling villain known as Emma Frost. Frost could have been a dynamic, cinematic creation if only Jones didn't look like she was just there to look hot and read her lines. First Class is full of spectacular visual effects, intense, crafty acting (congrats, Fassbender for the role of the year, so far) and cerebral summer fun without all of the worries of skin cancer. It's an enthralling ride that gets in your mind like Xavier himself as it is full of freaks, geeks, and mystique's (pun intended, nerds). It's totally worth a single days pool-fair.
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