Compared to any other superhero films released this year, X-Men First Class has at least two stronger points. One, it is an ensemble, and quite a good one at that. And two, it has Michael Fassbender. I thoroughly enjoyed this X-Men’s origin story, more than any other origin stories that has been released this year. Even if it sometimes feels like a talky film with action scenes are a bit too far in between, the presence of Michael Fassbender is more than adequate to keep me engaged. But of course, talky films are actually my cup of tea, so I don’t really have any objection on that issue although some of you probably might.
I’m not in capacity to babble about X-Men’s universe to point the flaws this origin story supposedly to be had in relation to (and in the process, ruining) the timeline laid by four X-Men films that precedes it, but as an origin story, this movie is effective. I had little to no doubt that even a casual movie goer would knows about Professor X and his arch-nemesis, Magneto and therefore, when a story of how they came to be, as explained in this origin story, it would surely has its appeal.
James McAvoy is the young Charles Xavier, before he is bald and bound to a wheelchair, and Michael Fassbender is Erik Lehnsherr, before he is Magneto and donned that ridiculous helmet of his. Here, is how everything came to be. How the foundation of the School for Gifted Youngsters came to being, and how Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants brood the grudge against humans. I mean honestly, if you are curious of how these characters came into being, and doesn’t have the slightest intention to read the comics they’re based upon (they’re too many, anyway picking a beginning is in itself, a challenge), you should be excited about this film. Ah sure, there are several other characters that made up the first line of the mutants and an obligatory villain along the way but made no mistake, this story is, and rightly so, ever about the beginning of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr.
Had to admit. For me, this is the best superhero film of the year. By far. The genre has been milked dry so far, and I’d wager after next year’s third Batman and The Avengers, the enthusiasm would be everything but winding down. The direction was effective, there’s enough curiosity to put the puzzle pieces that would later framed the X-Men trilogy (plus that Wolverine film, if it was counted as one of X-Men films) to engage the audience, and the seed of rivalry between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr is worthy of an attention. And there’s probably enough action at the end of the film that could keep most of the audiences happy. I can’t vouch about it for the rest of the film, though, as this film is somewhat a talky for most of its first and second act.
Michael Fassbender is too awesome. In fact, I just wished that this film was more about him rather than the entire X-Men so I don’t have to suffer through the rest of the cast. James McAvoy as Charles Xavier wasn’t that bad, mind you, but I still think that it was just a waste for such talent. And the girls? Oh, I winced every time January Jones made an appearance. She’s almost as non-functional as a display mannequin. Well, actually she is closer to being a mannequin rather than almost as one. Jennifer Lawrence, as Mystique, whom I had a high hopes before, given her powerful performance in “The Winter’s Bone,” was also a disappointment. A huge one. Replace her with any other actress, and it won’t make any difference. That’s how underplayed and unremarkable she was in this movie. Again, the best part of this film for me is Michael Fassbender. Bar none. He carries the film by himself, and with it, makes this movie, as unremarkable as it was, the best superhero movie of the year. By far.