I was late to the game when it came to the X-Men films, and although they were arguable the ones that made superhero movies box-office guarantees, the effects are a tad lacking nowadays. Add to the fact that the last one I saw, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was subpar at best, and X-Men: First Class wasn’t the most drool worthy thing when I heard about it. What sets First Class apart is the fact it really isn’t like any of the other 4. A new cast and a more character driven plot shows us how good an expected “popcorn flick” can be.
Set in the 1960’s, First Class is really the Origins for the rest of the crew, specifically Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Although I love McAvoy, Fassbender really stands out due to the arguably better role as the concentration camp survivor who needs to control his rage. The two of them, along with familiar faces like Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) go after another mutant (Kevin Bacon) who, like all good villains, is attempting to start World War III.
Casting? Great. Bacon plays the villain quite well, while Fassbender and McAvoy bring their steady acting chops to the table. We also find out that Jennifer Lawrence of Winter’s Bone fame, can also work on a blockbuster like the X-Men franchise. Story wise, the plot is great, showing us a side of Mystique and Magneto that we never knew. They actually make their choice seem somewhat logical. Technically speaking, First Class stays well above the average with some fantastic effects, including a certain final battle scene involving a coin, that is beauty on film.