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X-Men: First Class

by

Jeff Nelson

Even those who aren't into the X-Men series should give this a chance.

X-Men: First Class
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I'm sure I wasn't the only one to think that the X-Men series was down after X-Men 3: The Last Stand. X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn't very much of an improvement of the series. Once I heard that Matthew Vaughn was behind the camera and the new cast, I started to have hope that this would be better. The more that was shown in pictures and trailers, the better the film looked. Does it live up to the high hopes that many audiences held?

Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr become allies dedicated to harnessing their powers and promoting the education of other mutants during the 1960s. Those who saw the trailer and know some of the plot should be aware that this is a prequel and not a sequel. It's interesting to see the beginning of these characters and how they ended up being on the good or bad side. What do audiences generally expect out of a superhero film? A cliché screenplay that feels old. This isn't the case with X-Men: First Class. A concept previously used quite a few times before feels new. There's depth to each of the characters, giving the audience a reason to feel something for each mutant. The pacing is excellent here. There's plenty of insane action here, but it's mixed well with clever humor and character development. The twists and turns should be predictable to anyone who has seen any of the other X-Men films.There are quite a few scenes filled with a mushy message to be who you are, but there's a lot more quality here than the previous films in the series.

With a new cast allows for a new beginning. The cast chosen couldn't have been better. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, and others fit their roles to perfection. I may have a difficult time watching any of the previous films without this cast being involved. Their chemistry feels much more intense than any of the other X-Men movies. This allows for a much more realistic atmosphere from start to finish.

There shouldn't be any shock that the visuals are absolutely stunning. Each battle is intense and is guaranteed to have its audience members on the edge of their seats. Each mutant gets a fair amount of screen time, allowing fans of all the mutants to be pleased. I haven't ever been a huge CGI fan, but this is an example on how to do it correctly. None of these FX stand out like a sore thumb. It's obvious when the CGI is used, but it doesn't take away from the story or the characters. The action scenes that were seen in the trailers didn't even scratch the surface.

My review contains very few negative comments. Yes, it's worth the buzz it has received. X-Men: First Class did more than entertain me from start to finish, it revived the franchise. Matthew Vaughn's direction meshes very well with the cast. It's going to be a difficult task for the superhero films coming out this summer to beat this. I had high hopes for this film, but I still walked out impressed. This is by no means a masterpiece, but it's one of the best superhero films to come out in quite some time despite the occasionally mushy nature of the film.. Even those who aren't into the X-Men series should give this a chance.

My Rating = Four Stars

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