X-Men: First Class
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Here’s a welcome exception to the brainless blockbuster phenomenon.
It’s so smart, in fact, that newcomers to the X-Men saga might well be advised to do a little advance homework, or risk missing all the subtle connections and foreshadowing of things to come.
Set mainly in the Cold War combustion of 1962, the movie is a reboot of a Marvel Comics franchise that had worn out its welcome. Director Matthew Vaughn brings similar freshness to this comic creation as he did to Kick-Ass, and manages to do so while hewing to the saga’s serious dramatic intent.
The film’s two main characters, James McAvoy’s Charles (later Prof. Xavier) and Michael Fassbender’s Erik (later Magneto), seem like characters out of a Dickens novel, being two mutant lads of differing birth circumstances yet following parallel (and perilous) life paths.
Playing both the best of friends and rivals, McAvoy and Fassbender are the dramatic anchors of a committee-written script that often threatens to sink under the weight of incident and personnel.
The movie fairly rockets, at least for its first hour.
Extras include deleted scenes.