Sunday, June 05, 2011
Reviews You Can Use: X-Men: First Class
Thank you Marvel, for starting the summer off right. Director Matthew Vaughn shows he's still got it, bringing X-Men: First Class to the big screen with the same deft touch that brought us Kick-Ass last year.
Focusing on only the most key characters - Professor X, Magneto and Mystique - and not overloading it with the usual suspects - although Hugh Jackman's "Go fuck yourself" cameo was awesome - was definitely one of the keys to the way the film was pulled off. And for the dorks in the crowd, they even brought in a Summers brother (Alex/Havoc).1
James McAvoy does an admirable job as Charles Xavier counterbalancing Michael Fassbender's rage as Magneto, and the various mutant factions are evident by the end of the film. Jennifer Lawrence does a standup job as Mystique, and the decision to cast someone that can, you know, act is definitely a good one.
The stylized 1960s sets and dress - particularly evident with Kevin Bacon and January Jones - helps to reinforce world events and timing better than previous movies.
There really aren't any missed marks in this film, even if there are very few risks taken. The director and the producers seem to want to make an X-Men film that can, if need be, stand on its own, but can still be tied in to the past films and any future ones2. With that, they've succeeded, and have truly knocked the first big comic book film of the year out of the park.
1 - Who, thankfully, is not as big of a pussy as his older brother Scott
2 - There is a rumoured Origins: Magneto film, which will hopefully be handled slightly less ham-fistedly than Wolverine's