A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class

There were some pretty big statements made about this movie before it was released, and one of them was that it was going to rival The Dark Knight for best super hero movie. Anyone who knows me can guess my reaction to that statement. Yes, I did scoff at the idea. In fact, I shrugged it off completely because going into a movie like this with expectations like that would have been an utter disaster, not to mention horribly unfair to the film.

It's probably not surprising to anyone that I did not find this to be the best super hero movie, especially not better than The Dark Knight. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the heck out of this movie! It was very good. I felt the story was interesting and well balanced. There was just enough humor to counter-act the many, many people who are killed throughout the film. There were just enough allusions to the original series to remind us who these characters are and where they're going, without being cheesy and self-indulgent. The cast was well assembled, all fitting into their characters well, especially Kevin Bacon as the villain. Plus the effects were well-done and realistic enough that it didn't distract away from the plot. And let's not forget the score, which I thought was beautiful (if I can say that about an action film), particularly in the scene where Erik lifts the submarine. There were a few parts of exposition I felt were rushed, but nothing that mattered in the long run. All-around great job.

I was surprised at just how serious this movie got in some parts. We begin at a concentration camp where we learn that Erik's past is immeasurably tragic. It's truly heartbreaking. We begin to understand why Magneto becomes who he becomes throughout the movie, as he struggles with the difference between right, wrong, vengeance, peace, and retribution. There are also, as I have mentioned, tons of people who are killed in this movie, including a few characters we grow fond of. Then, they are quickly taken away. It is not as light-hearted as some of the other X-Men movies have been.

What truly anchors the entire movie is the chemistry between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. The entire reason this movie is interesting to people is because we want to see how these enemies started out friends, and just what did happen to make them choose two totally different paths to walk on. Without these characters having an obvious connection and special bond, the story would have lost its power completely. Luckily Fassy and McAvoy were perfectly cast together. Both brought so much heart to the movie. The friendship and fallout these two men create for these characters is beautiful and tragic and wonderful and brutal all at once. The whole time I felt it was exactly what the fall-out between Anakin and Obi Wan should have been, had the Star Wars prequels not sucked so bad.

Overall, I LOVED this movie. It was so much fun, so enjoyable, but also left me feeling emotional in many scenes. I can't wait to see it a few more times this summer.


  1. I agree with pretty much everything you said, though there are some hardcore cheesball moments that had me rolling my eyes or chuckling. The film is a bit tone deaf and cheesy up until the second half, which starts with the attack on Langely. Also during the training montage there were a few really obvious, garish green screen moments that had me cringing, but other than that, I liked it a lot. I think X2 is still my favorite X-Men movie, but this one comes damn close. Good review!

  2. Definitely good to know. Jack doesn't handle death well... he's a weeper. I've been way excited for this movie, though, and I'm glad you liked it!!