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Movie Review: X-Men First Class


Marvel Comics continue to put out movie adaptations of their Comic Books.  X-Men First class is sort of a prequel and sort of a reboot of the franchise.

About this Movie:

X-Men First Class is the story of a young Charles Xavier and his friendship with Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and Raven Darkhölme (Mystique).  Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club, is attempting to start a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia.  Shaw was a Nazi collaborator using the alias Klaus Schmidt.   While working for the government, Charles and Erik recruit mutants to join them to help in their fight Shaw.  

What I liked about this Movie:
This movie focus building character. It was not a mindless action movie. The development of characters of Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique is majority of the movie. The characters all have flaws but are also likable on their own level.  Stan Lee has stated that Magneto is not a villain but a person who uses extreme measures for what he believes in and this comes out in this movie.

Unlike X-3, this movie was plot driven.  At times the plot became a bit too encompassing.  The plot was well thought out and made logical sense. I loved that they wove the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis into the plot of this movie.

The action sequences were driven by the plot and the development of characters.  The special effects were seamless.  There was an excellent flow with the action, plot, and effects.

I enjoyed the casting and the acting of the young trainees.  Havok, Banshee, Beast, and Mystique were spot.  I loved their party scene where they were showing off their abilities.

What I did not Like:

There were too much sexualization and sexual overtones in this movie.  I took my ten year old daughter because it was an X-Men movie and should be fairly safe with superhero action.  I was uncomfortable because of the level of sensual discussions.  I should have realized that this would be a part of the movie with Emma Frost have a large role in this film and she did have her usual attire of lingerie throughout the whole movie.  Mystique is was sexualized in this film.   


My inner geek had some trouble digesting the idea of First Class when the only member of the first class of X-Men in this movie was Beast.  The original X-Men (also known as X-Men First Class and had a comic telling stories of the old days) had Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl (Jean Gray), Cyclops, and Angel.  I understand that they don’t want to have the same characters from the first three movies but if you are going to make a movie about the First Class, why not make it about the First Class.

I also had issues of twisting Sebastian Shaw into a Nazi and making the Hellfire Club into a group of super villains. The cool thing about the Hellfire Club from the comics was that they had abilities but they mainly manipulated situations.  They were about power and not about trying to blow up the world to make it a home for Mutants only.  They did not mention great Hellfire characters like Mastermind. The hierarchy of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club is modeled on the pieces of a chess set, with Black and White sets of Kings, Queens, Bishops and Rooks (Emma Frost is White Queen and Shaw is the Black King).

My Review:

I really enjoyed this movie overall.   It was a bit slow at times but still very enjoyable.  I felt like I got a better feel of the relationship between Professor X and Magneto.

I would recommend making sure kids can handle the sexual overtones before bringing them and previewing the movie first would be a good movie if you have any questions about it.  

My Grade: B

Other Reviews

IMDB :  8.3 out of 10

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics Review: 85% Fresh

Rotten Tomatoes: Community Review: 88% Fresh

Empire: 3 out 5 stars

EW.com: B+

rogerebert.com: 2.5 stars out of 4 stars
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