Monday, June 18, 2012

X-Men: First Class

Summary: X-Men: First Class unveils the epic beginning of the X-Men saga - and a secret history of the Cold War and our world at the brink of nuclear Armageddon. As the first class discovers, harnesses, and comes to terms with their formidable powers, alliances are formed that will shape the eternal war between the heroes and villains of the X-Men universe. -- (C) Fox                                                                               


 With a visually stunning movie like X-Men: First Class, there's a lot to say. Where to begin?

There's definitely a sense of nostalgia for those die-hard X-Men fans who have been with the franchise since the beginning of the comics and its movie debut in 2001 with X-Men, and this new "prequel" so to speak creates a new take on the world created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Another appealing attribute of this film is its fictionalized take on the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 60s: teenage mutants are recruited by young Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (or, as they're also known, Professor X and Magneto) to stop the malevolent Sebastian Shaw who plans on starting nuclear world war. I myself am a fan of whimsical historical fiction and therefore favor this movie.

The characters within X-Men: First Class along with their interactions with one another only add to the fun. Besides being primarily an action film, it also possesses bits of comedy and romance that make it an enjoyable melting pot of fiction. There's young, pre-killing machine Mystique (Raven Darkholme; shapeshifter, amongst other enhanced abilities), who in the beginning is insecure about her natural blue form and wishes to look normal but in the end learns to be "mutant and proud"; charismatic Darwin (Armando Muñoz; reactive evolution) who tries to protect his friends 'til the very end; exceptionally attractive "bad boy" Havok (Alex Summers, younger brother of Cyclops; energy blasts)--his little dance he does when throwing his energy rings gets me every time :3--who prefers isolation due to the immense power and therefore destruction that his mutation grants him; brain whiz Beast (Hank McCoy; enhanced abilities such as strength and agility combined with genius-level intellect and razor-sharp claws and teeth), post experimentation, is still a loveable albeit "beastly" nerd who you just want to tackle hug despite his blue fur and short temper; quirky ginger Banshee (Sean Cassidy; abilities associated with sonic screams and ability to fly) is another very captivating member of the young X-Men team--I absolutely love the moment when he flies for the first time after being pushed by Eric Lehnsherr :3--with his insecurities and faux confidence; young vixen Angel (Angel Salvadore; ability of flight via insect-/fairy-like wings and acid spit) is an intriguing character in X-Men: First Class with impressive abilities, but ultimately disappointed me when she "turned to the dark side."

I really loved the initial romance of pre-Beast Hank with Mystique. His awkwardness combined with her beauty made the whole thing absolutely adorable. It saddened me, however, when Beast did not find Raven's natural form beautiful nor did he accept his obvious mutated feet and therefore said the only way to be "normal" was to alter their appearances permanently. So, because of their differing views, they never became a legit couple. Instead, Raven took to young Magneto as he said she was alluring in her natural form. :( Another thing that dampened my spirits was the fact that smooth Professor X was also uncomfortable with Raven's true form, which in the end contributed to her siding with Magneto despite them being close friends since childhood. He should have been more supportive.

The obvious love/hate bromance between Charles and Erik infuses this film with an unexpected level of hilarity. I can only imagine how many fan bases and websites are devoted to the McFassy (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) and Cherik (Charles and Erik) pairings, and how much graphic fan art exists within the realms of the internet. >.< Nevertheless, the realtionship between Charles and Erik in X-Men: First Class holds a power that is unsurpassed by any other in the X-Men universe.

Although the movie possesses certain discrepancies when relating to the comics (Banshee actually ends up with Moira MacTaggart, a human working with the government that aids the X-Men with their fight against evil-doers, and should be older than his mutant peers in X-Men: First Class; the relationship between Raven and Shaw henchman Azazel wasn't addressed; etc.), the film as a whole is very enjoyable to watch. With an enthralling plot, badass characters, and a poignant ending in addition to an 87% rating by the tomatometer on ( and a 4.1/5 star rating by the audience, it's clear that X-Men: First Class is a blockbuster hit that you don't want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Got watch it for yourself! :)

My rating: B+