'Mutant and proud'
Running Time: 132 mins
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jason Flemyng, Lucas Till
Screenplay: Jane Goldman, Zack Stentz, Ashley Miller, Jamie Moss,
UK Release Date: Officially 1st June 2011
Quick Plot: It's 1962 and mutants are unknown to humans. With the evolution of human cells, more mutants are discovering their powers like Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lansherr did back in the 40s. Mutant Sebastian Shaw and his team of mutants are using their powers to their advantage to try and bring the human world to a standstill and let mutants reign. Overseen by a secret US government organisation, Charles and Erik join forces with other young special individuals, in hope that their new team can stop Shaw and Frost.
If you read my review of Thor you know I love Marvel. Marvel films for that matter, I have yet to read more comics. Even so, the stories and the superheros fascinate me. The X-Men trilogy are my favourite Marvel films and I'm not just saying that. I was never fond of Spider-man (although all that will change I'm sure..) and Iron Man and the Hulk are fantastic but it's X-Men that I've obsessed over for a few years now. Sadly as most of us know, X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn't exactly the prequel film us Marvel fans wanted (I liked it because of Wolverine but it wasn't a good film) but I'm typing this as a proud Marvel fan: this is the film we've been waiting for. It's fast, exhilarating, classic X-Men humour, the characters are so sophisticated and yes the action is all there.
Matthew Vaughn is, in my opinion one of the most fantastic directors of today. Kick Ass, Stardust and Layercake are incredible and come on, you really can't get much more of a wider genre than that! Unless of course his next film is maybe a musical, horror or animation. His partnership with Jane Goldman is a beautiful team in it's self. Stardust, Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class are all partly written by Jane Goldman who I'm going to be honest, I want to be. The way the story on screen is much more deeper and passionate than you first think really grabs the plot line for the audience and makes this collaborative film duo's final product perfect. Vaughn has a way of filming his films, with so much, power (hey maybe he's a mutant too?) and brilliance I even noticed a few actions were shot, edited and acted out in similar ways to Kick-Ass which you know has got to be good. Some of my favourite scenes were edited like Hulk was, as a comic book, with parallel editing (my media knowledge edging it's way in here) which I found more establishable with the superhero theme because you soon forget that at first after entering the film.
The younger actors were my favourites! Jennifer Lawrence for all you film fans out there must have by now heard the news of the truly great casting for her to be Katniss Everdeen in the great book trilogy The Hunger Games. Lawrence was even nominated for an Oscar last season for her fantastic role in Winter's Bone which she deserved just as much as Natalie Portman did for Black Swan I think. Mystique/Raven has been a character in X-Men I've never liked, I've hated her arrogance, her way of misleading genuinely nice characters and being the biggest suck up to Magneto but after X-Men: First Class I've got to be honest- she's my favourite character in the film. Her story is emotional, typical and it works so well but it's all down to the way Lawrence plays her, so passionately and effortless as if she's known her tale for a long time. Her bond with Professor X, Magneto and Beast/Hank McCoy really are beautifully crafted and delicate. This film really did make me like the later evil characters. Nicholas Hoult as Beast and even Lucas Till as Havoc were perfect. All the younger cast for that matter, perfectly fit their mutations and had their own individual minds that I think is sadly lost amongst most films nowadays.
I could go on and on about how I loved the cast, probably one of my favourite casts for a film this year in fact! But I'd be here all night. I've still got to mention the cameo. The other week my cousin and I were discussing what cameos we thought would be in it. My cousin decided on a very, very famous X-Men character that I wasn't really sure about but yes you guessed it- my cousin was correct. I'm sure you know who I'm talking about if you're reading this anyway, but let me not spoil it for those who have kind minds. Let's just say, the packed screen I was in, myself and my Mother were laughing..a lot. It's very smart and is probably..no wait it is..the best cameo of a film this year.
The Hangover: Part II I said that it made too many jokes about the previous film and couldn't stand alone, you could say X-Men did this. Especially with the cameos, jokes and characters but X-Men: First Class can stand alone. The secondary characters and the fondness of the newly discovered mutations are the funny side of it and I heard a lot of adults laughing in the cinema laughing. If you're a fan you're obviously going to love it, it's a great new X-Men story, a fantastic prequel and who knows? Maybe an incredible start to a new trilogy but don't go mad if you haven't seen the previous films. You don't need to, this film stands alone and I hope it will forever be standing alone and not grouped up with the other films.
Yes the effects were a little dodgy (mostly on Beast) and yes the film isn't exactly the best way of telling the bromance of Professor X and Magneto, instead it travels slightly off task and plays it in a safer way than going all on on an extravagant storyline but it's excellent nonetheless. As a fan, I knew how the film was going to end but I didn't want it too. In my ideal world, X and Magneto would have become bestest friends forever and ever. Everyone would live happily ever after and humans and mutants would live in harmony. But this is a superhero film and nothing can ever be this ideal. Of course I wouldn't have really wanted it any other way.
Am still unsure about whether or not I would want another trilogy, I would probably be happy with it if it was Vaughn and Goldman but if this precious story gets into the wrong hands I will be very angry.
Thor and X-Men: First Class have set a level for Captain America and Green Lantern. I wonder if they'll even come close to being as good.
Everything you want a prequel to be. Funny, moving and a great storyline. The characters are unique and it's perfect for any X-Men/Marvel fan. But if you don't like superhero films. Don't watch it. Simple.
X-Men: First Class official Teaser Trailer