Saturday, June 4, 2011

"X-Men: First Class"

So... there is lots of Marvel Universe stuff that's going down over the course of this coming summer.

So what better way to do stuff than to keep up with it, right?

This, of course, brings us to today's movie.

X-Men: First Class

It is the Cold War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis is on the verge of becoming reality. Behind the scenes, however, there seems to be something strange brewing: a new kind of people, the mutants, who have powers beyond those of normal men. The CIA has thus adopted an initiative to help them, with the bulk of the efforts led by Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). With the team that they have built up, they set out to avert a world on the brink of war.

So yes, we get a whole lot of set-up for the X-Men universe.

Honestly? It's all incredibly entertaining to watch unfold.

Action? Honestly, it's bigger than any X-Men movie that has come to us so far. It's big, it's grand, and some of the set-pieces are absolutely jaw-dropping to behold. It also gives us some great showcases from leading man Michael Fassbender, as he and McAvoy both get a lot to do in the action scenes. Actually, just about everyone gets a lot to do in this movie's action scenes, and they are all incredibly exciting affairs. The characters, too, are engaging, and this only makes the action that ensues better when we like these characters so much.

And of course, the acting manages to help in making the characters so incredibly engaging. McAvoy perfectly embodies Xavier's fairly naive quality, and Fassbender pretty much nails Magneto with all of his hidden rage at the world that only rarely bubbles up. The two leads themselves are engaging, but pretty much the entire supporting cast is also incredibly engaging. I need not mention the astoundingly incredible Jennifer Lawrence: anything I said about her in Winter's Bone applies to her portrayal as Mystique as well, as she embodies everything about her character in this movie, but the other supporting cast manages to play their parts with great aplomb. The only possible exception would probably be January Jones as Emma Frost, but she did not get all that much to do to begin with.

If there's one issue I would have to bring up... well, it's a pretty big one. A big part of the X-Men franchise deals with how the mutants are hated just because they are all different. And as you'd expect, this movie has to deal with that given that it documents the falling out of Xavier and Erik. Unfortunately, this issue isn't tackled with as much aplomb as it really should be. There are times where the characters change allignments without any real build-up to said alignment switch, and the morality tends to come across as slightly overblown at parts. Thus, it is a major flaw in the story of this movie, and it's an issue that could have been handled much better than it ultimately was.

But don't let that stop you from seeing X-Men: First Class. Apart from the whole 'mutants are different' aspect of the movie, everything else about this movie works incredibly well. It has engaging characters, charismatic actors in their shoes, and everything else just fits incredibly well. It's an entertaining movie, and one of the best ways to start the month.


It has a few flaws, but it's still worth checking out.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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