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.