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X-Men: First Class
Faith in humanity versus self-preservation.
X-Men: First Class, despite its rather action-figure type name, is a film that truly explores the conflicting ideas in the realms of the fantasy world as well as reality.
Although it is the latest in a long series, its storyline reintroduces several X-Men basics so that viewers who are unfamiliar with the series’ previous plots can enjoy the movie but presents enough new elements to satisfy established fans.
The movie clearly explains the events that led to the formation of the opposing groups of mutants (humans with a special X gene which gives them superhuman abilities) and the complex, very human relationships among them.
The younger Professor X, who was more commonly known as Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Gnomeo and Juliet), is a very different character in this film. McAvoy’s performance brilliantly portrays the younger, more egotistical, Xavier while retaining the Professor’s same faithful, optimistic characteristics that audience and fans have grown to love.
Michael Fassbender’s convincing portrayal of a more emotional, repressed Erik Lehnsherr, aka. Magneto, is also notable for its emotional pull.
Audiences see Professor X and Magneto as more than just typical archenemies, but rather almost like brothers caught in a twisted civil war.
The heart-warming friendship between the two future archenemies draws viewers in, allowing them to empathize with the characters’ internal struggles.
Seeing established characters in their youth provides interesting background explanation for the previous movies and makes them seem more dynamic.
Though the plot was the meat of what made the film so entertaining and meaningful, the general setting was also well constructed.
Clothing styles and real footage clips made a convincing 60s backdrop and the music, though not particularly amazing, was adequate for the suspenseful scenes.
Overall, the film was able to appeal to both devoted X-Men fans and first-time viewers and for this accomplishment, deserves a place in the “first class” of movies.