Review: X-Men: First Class

By | June 4, 2011

Magneto, Professor X, Mystique, Beast, Banshee, Darwin, Angel, Emma Frost, Havoc, Azazel, Sebastian Shaw, and… um… tornado dude.

That’s a lot of characters to pull together in one movie. They did a pretty decent job of using them all. But the focus here is obviously with the top 3 (arguably 4) names.

After coming out of this film, it’s obvious that they started writing “X-Men Origins: Magneto” and said “holy crap, we have an opportunity to do a bigger film here.” They were right.

As an origin story for Magneto, I think this was excellent. As an origin story for the Magneto/Xavier relationship, I think it was very good. As an “origin” story for Mystique, I liked it well enough. As an origin story for Xavier? I’m on the fence. It was good, but I really don’t like how they handled the college years period. Seemed like a bit out of character, and then a pretty abrupt turnaround to full serious. It could also be that James McAvoy doesn’t hit the mark for me. He did a good job, but it just didn’t have the same feel as I was hoping. Could just be me.

Overall, though… good film. A good story, well presented.

Being the geek that I am, though, I do have to complain about some nitpicky details. If you read further, recognize that there will be some major and minor spoilers. Either way, recognize that I thought it was a good film. To put it in perspective, I think it was better than Thor in both story and execution, though Thor was more fun.

So… on to the complaints (and the SPOILERS):

  • Most of the big visually impressive scenes were shown in the trailers. I hate when they don’t leave anything a surprise.
  • I really, really liked the way they shot Sebastian Shaw’s murder. But that was tempered by confusion over how it was successful (the murder, not the visual). Shaw’s power was absorbing energy of all kinds, including kinetic. Did Xavier incapacitating him block his power as well? Or was it that the coin was moving so slowly that he couldn’t absorb its power?
  • I don’t know if it was part of the original comics or not, but I’m on the fence about Mystique living with Xavier for so long.
  • Not sure I like the Russians having developed Shaw’s/Magneto’s helmet. The impression given from X2 is that Magneto created it.
  • Along the same lines, X2 establishes that Magneto helped build Cerebro, but unless that happened off-screen during the training time, that seems to be contradicted here.
  • Given that he calls it “Xavier’s School for the Gifted” it seems like it would be pretty easy for the CIA to get a bead on him again pretty quickly.
  • I do have to say that I liked the inclusion of Moira McTaggart.
  • The cameo was cool, but played more like a deleted scene than a cameo.
  • I liked that the end credits graphics had a ’60s feel to them. Nice touch to stay in the time period.

Have you seen it yet? If so, what did you think? If not, are you looking forward to it?

4 thoughts on “Review: X-Men: First Class

  1. Dan

    I was not expecting much from this at all, but was absolutely blown away by it.

    I’m planning a post on this, so don’t want to use all my ammo here, however I thought the casting was absolutely spot on. I loved the Mystique origin and the Xavier origins more than you did I suspect, and magnito was superb. I loved the cameo personally and am so glat it wasn’t relegated to deleted scenes or, even worse, an after the credits sequence.

    Overall I give it four mutated genomes out of five. Perhaps even four and a half.

  2. Jeff Post author

    First of all, thanks for commenting. Now I feel fulfilled.

    RE: the cameo… don’t get me wrong, I liked it a lot – it just felt a little different than the rest of the film – as if it didn’t quite fit in as neatly as it should have. I think the cameos in Thor, for example, were more seamless. Still, that’s a rather minor nitpick.

    Magneto was definitely great.

    Did you sit around and wait for an after-credits scene? I did.

  3. Pingback: Movie Review: X-Men First Class | All That Comes With It

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