EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: “X-Men: First Class.” Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 out of 4 stars
As the title suggests, “X-Men” is a “first-class” movie. Unlike many other superhero movies, “X-Men: First Class” doesn’t just focus on each person’s abilities; rather it takes the time to develop the characters in a meaningful way. I even found myself sympathizing with those who would one day be the nemeses to the X-Men. It wasn’t until after the movie that I realized there were some continuity issues with the other movies. But, in the end, it didn’t really matter because the movie could stand on its own.
It may be No. 5 in the series, but I’d rank it at the top.
— Kenny Grams, Lawrenceville
3 out of 4 stars
In a sequel-filled summer, it’s refreshing to see a prequel. “X-Men First Class” explores the origin of the X-Men, along with their personalities and relationships through the creation of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, has a major role in the movie as a conflicted young woman delicately balancing between conformity and feelings of self-acceptance. Naturally, Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy, has a key role in the movie as well, but one of my favorite characters in the movie is Erik.
The film begins during the 1940s with a young Erik in a concentration camp, called in by a Nazi scientist to draw upon his supernatural power. Fast forward into adulthood, and Erik spends all his time and energies plotting vengeance on the doctor, who he finds out is actually Sebastian Shaw.
Ironically, Erik’s essence becomes more and more like that which he fights against his entire life. His anger which drives his power takes over, which completes his destiny of becoming Xavier’s nemesis.
The movie blends the theme of being a minority through the “mutants” in the 1960s, a time of civil unrest, and the repercussions of looking different. Woven with this Marvel(ous) tale of fiction are a few original film clips of President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Interestingly, Kevin Bacon, (who plays Shaw), also had a part in the movie “JFK,” which brings a certain symmetry to the film.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable action movie, X marks the spot.
— Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville
4 out of 4 stars
I think that “X-Men: First Class” is a very good beginning to the series. This movie explains how Charles (Professor X) and Erik (Magneto) came to be. The story is about Charles trying to gather and protect mutants and Erik trying to find and kill the man who killed his mother. Erik and Charles team up together to stop the man and prevent a nuclear fight and the beginning of World War III.
— Bryce Wright, Lawrenceville