Movie Review: “X-Men: First Class” starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence

I’m a huge fan of Super-Hero movies. I grew up on comic books and I still have almost 10,000 stored away at my parents house. At least I hope they’re still there. I haven’t checked on them in a while. Spider-Man and The X-Men were my favorites so when I sat down earlier this week to watch X-Men: First Class, I was beyond excited.

I’m sure you know by now that the film is a prequel set in the 60’s. Professor X (James McAvoy), or Charles at this point in the film, is a brilliant, well-to-do… and horny man about town. Yup, I said horny. He’s got pick-up lines and swagger that most guys would only wish to have in this day and age. With his shape-shifting half-sister, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), the two are living a nice, comfortable life free of any troubles.

By contrast, Erik Lehnsherr – the future Magneto (Michael Fassbender) – has had a life of pain; being torn away from his parents in a Nazi concentration camp and watching his mother die at the hands of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

Cut to several years later, and the three have formed an alliance aided in part by Dr. Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) of the CIA. What’s the alliance for? Shaw has turned up with his partner in crime, Emma Frost (January Jones), and they are on the brink of starting a World War.

With the help of Hank McCoy or The Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Xavier and Magneto – in one of the funnest parts of the film – head out to recruit a gaggle of new mutants; Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Havok (Lucas Till), and Angel (Zoe Kravitz).
Some parts of this movie and just plain awesome! There are some great action sequences. It was nice to see Kevin Bacon as the big bad of the movie. The humor and actual look of the film and the what-the-hell-are-they-doing-in-the-movie cameos that are sure to make you smile (don’t ask me who they are!).

But the real treat of the movie is watching McAvoy and Fassbender together. Fassbender carries this pain throughout the film that is just thrilling to watch and McAvoy brings charm, wit and youthful exuberance to Professor X. Both of them are so freakin good in their roles that their scenes together make up anything that the movie lacks.

And yes, the movie is lacking.

First of all, where did they get the ‘class’ of young actors? I won’t single anyone out (it’s absolutely not Jennifer Lawrence), I’d never do that, but a couple of them are just plain awful to watch. Out of the thousands of working and non-working actors, the filmmakers chose [insert names here]?

And January Jones. No doubt she’s great as Betty Draper in Mad Men but I’m thinking this may be the only character she can play. Because she was basically January Jones as Betty Draper as Emma Frost. That being said, she looked amazing in her costume so no more complaints from me.

Another small issue: Some of the minor characters (and I mean minor) in the movie were played by some wonderful character actors. Michael Ironside, Matt Craven, James Remar, Ray Wise and Jason Beghe are all featured for maybe max 5 minutes each. And that’s being kind. I love these guys and yes, I’m sure they did it because who wouldn’t want to be in big budget film like this. The cash alone from the residuals would probably pay my rent for a year. But seeing these guys took me out of the movie. I’m thinking, “are they part of the story? They have to have something bigger to do, right?” They didn’t. Granted, that’s just me being nit picky.

I’d definitely watch the film again but I’d fast forward to all the parts with McAvoy and Fassbender. That’s the real heart of the movie.

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