Movie Review: ‘X-Men: First Class’


David and I went to an early evening showing of X-Men: First Class, which opened in theaters yesterday, and for the most part we really looking forward to a great movie. What we got was an even better movie than either of us anticipated. Before yesterday, Thor was my fave superhero movie of the moment … but X-Men: First Class has absolutely become not only my fave superhero film of the year but probably my fave movie of the year (thus far) period. It’s really that good.

To be honest, I can’t even decide what makes the movie so good … the acting or the writing. X-Men: First Class is full of fantastic actors who truly become the roles they are playing. Never once did I think anyone was phoning it in or being disingenuous (not even January Jones who, as the chilly Emma Frost, may come off as lifeless but, IMHO, adds to the stoic character). Without question, the chemistry between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender is SUPERB! There was so much emotion going back and forth between those two (as Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr) that I have expected them to hug and/or kiss in almost every scene. Kevin Bacon, as the villainous Sebastian Shaw, was a real surprise. I’ve known that he can play evil very well … and that talent really shows well in this film. As for the writing, I mean, damn … they did a great job bringing the origins of the X-Men to life. Tying in actual historical events with comic book fiction is genius! Did you know the entire Cuban Missile Crisis was brought about by interference by rogue mutants? Well, in the 1960’s world of X-Men: First Class … they did! I was also very impressed with the origin stories of some of the X-Men. My only complaint is that I wish they had explained Raven Darkholme/Mystique’s origins better than her just showing up one day. There are a couple of really fun cameos (that could be easily spoiled, so don’t go looking for them online if you want to be surprised). My biggest complaint about the film was the FX … some of the scenes looked really cheap. My guess is that the studio didn’t give the film a massive budget and corners had to be cut. Still, the acting and storytelling more than made up for the film’s shortcomings. I honestly loved everything about this film. As soon as it was over, I wanted to watch it all over again. Hands down, X-Men: First Class is the best X-Men movie ever made. It really has a good shot at being the best superhero film of the year. From start to finish, First Class is a fun ride. I really love, love, loved this movie.

  • apriljan

    I couldn’t wait til you posted a review about First Class! I had my doubts before watching the film, but I was pleasantly surprised. I fell in love with it too! James McAvoy is brilliant! The way Charles felt Erik’s pain was unreal.. I almost cried. And Kevin Bacon was such a great character that I loved to hate! I wouldn’t mind watching it all over again.

  • Dianna

    I was really worried in the beginning but once Xavier and Magneto came together, the movie got amazing! They really were great together! I was really pleased and squealed at some of the cameos!

  • JRad

    Great great movie. Loved James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Also, kudos to Alex Summers/Havoc. He went from being in a Hannah Montana movie to being in Taylor Swift’s music video to being in one of the best movies of the year.

  • Antonio

    This was an absolutely incredible movie!! And you’re right, the chemistry between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr was there!! A brilliant work and already a classic for the X-Men Franchise!! Hope it gets the recognition it deserves!

  • nicole

    im so glad it lived up to the hype. i LOVED the movie. it was fantastic.

  • Adrian

    I agree about Mystique just showing up out of nowhere but I also iked the movie because there was a nice pace of actions/display of powers, it wasn’t clumped into one scene.

  • Sabrina

    like most comic book fans, i was sooo psyched for this movie. i saw it last night on UltraAVX and i was a little stuck on how i felt about it! something just felt a bit off. i think i kinda expected more action since the other xmen movies were action-packed, but i do understand that this movie is more about the friendship between charles and erik….

    regardless though, i did enjoy it and i loooooove the cameos. everyone in the theatre were so happy and surprised for them including me. hilarious. loved seeing james mcavoy as a young women-loving xavier lol. i was also hoping for an after the credit scene =(

  • Matt

    I will have to control my inner comic geek. Most of these characters are from totally different times in the X-Men timeline. It will be hard to stop from saying things like, “She doesn’t appear until Xavier is old and retired from being headmaster of the Xavier Academy.”

  • dq

    i couldn’t agree with you more!!!!!!!

  • D

    I told my friend it was so cute (even if it’s not the best adjective for a superhero movie) how great they played Magneto and Xavier’s friendship, what a couple of great actors. However, I was bothered by January Jones’ acting, I kept thinking that role wasn’t meant for her. Besides that, I absolutely loved the movie.

  • I thought it was cool how they used historical events as a basis for the plot to. I was also impressed with the acting. Professor X and Magneto really did have chemistry. Anyway I left a review here where I talk more about it.

  • Margie

    They should have called this movie The Rise of Magneto. I left wanting more from the other characters, the X-Men First Class since that was the name of the movie. What was their background? Same thing with Shaw. Magneto was perfect, absolutely perfect but I wanted to know more about Charles and how he came to be as well.

  • val

    Spread the word trent. This movie deserves greatness! Im sad it only debuted 56m OW, but strong world of mouth is needed to get this above 200m atleast domestic and to get a sequel right away! The movie is really great!!!!

  • Dina

    I couldn’t agree with your review more, Trent! I loved this film, and I totally want to see it again!

  • Julienne

    I saw it yesterday and couldn’t have agreed with you more! Hubby and I went to be entertained by a summer flick (we actually LOVE all the X-men movies) and we were really impressed by the whole movie (James McAvoy, hubba hubba). I have mixed feelings about January Jones.. I understand her character is cold and unemotional, but January just doesn’t bring anything additional to the role.. LOVED all the cameos, and the beginning scene – identical to the beginning scene of the first X-men! I think it’s the same young actor even?