Saturday, June 25, 2011

{Movie Review} X-Men: First Class

This summer, movie goers will be given a slew of superhero movies to choose from and enjoy.  One of the first ones to hit the big screen is X-Men First Class.

X-Men First Class is the prequel to the successful X-Men Trilogy movie franchise.  The movie mainly takes place in 1962 during the heart of the Cuban missile crisis.  A young Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy (later known as Professor X) starts up a school for humans with supernatural abilities.

The film begins in German occupied Poland, centering on a young boy, Erik Lensherr (adult character played by Michael Fassbender) being wrenched apart from his parents being led into a concentration camp.  The anger he feels at being separated from his parents lead to him demonstrating his ability to bend and control metal with his mind.  The Germans are fascinated by his abilities.  Dr. Schmidt wants him to demonstrate his abilities again.  Unfortunately, the young Erik can not.  Sensing it may be driven by anger, he brings in his mother and threatens to kill her on the count of 3 if he does not move a coin.  When he can't, Schmidt shoots her which then causes Erik to move the coin and bend all the metal in the room.  Schmidt is fascinated.  Meanwhile, in Westchester County, New York a young Charles Xavier comes face to face with a young homeless girl stealing food from his kitchen one evening.  Raven (the adult character played by Jennifer Lawrence), quickly and erroneously takes on the form of his dead mother.  He assures her there is nothing to be afraid of and she will never need to steal food again.  He invites her to stay with his family.

The movie then moves forward to 1962.  An adult Erik Lensherr is seeking revenge against Dr. Schmidt for killing his mother right in front of him and Charles Xavier is in England, with his now, foster sister, Raven, by his side, presenting his thesis on mutation at Oxford University.  Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, CIA agent Moira McTaggert witnesses first hand the abilities of mutated humans exhibiting supernatural abilities.  This leads her to seeking out Charles Xavier's help in capturing Sebastian Shaw and the other mutants who are controlling the decisions of world officials that can lead to a third World War.  This leads Charles to meeting and befriending Erik. 

The movie details how Erik becomes Magneto, leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, and what leads Charles Xavier/Professor X to becoming confined to a wheelchair and his fierce passion for seeking out and assisting others with supernatural abilities.

This movie received mixed reviews by critics and movie goers.  I personally enjoyed it. But I am a major superhero movie fan. I can safely say if you are not a fan of the X-Men Trilogy, are not a fan of comic books, or not much of an action film fan, this would not be a movie for you.  The movie goes into details on what started the XMen training school and how Charles and Erik's friendship developed and subsequently falls apart.  There is a lot of action involved between the mutants on the side of good and those on the side of evil.  It would definitely be a worthwhile movie to catch at a matinee viewing if you are on the fence. 

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