X: First Class (2011)
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Like all good prequels, First Class manages to be a good film in its own right, while at the same time giving the other films in the series an added depth. I will be interesting to rewatch X-Men and X2 (or possibly even watch X3 for the first time) with this back story now part of the mix. The idea to set the X-Men in the 60s is so obvious, it's crazy no one had thought of it before. The X-Men ARE, after all, children of the decade. The comic was a product of its time, set against the paranoia of the Cold War, the Fear of the Bomb, and a budding human rights movement. (It's in fact harder to understand how the franchise thrived only much later.) First Class is a very modern production, with a well-juggled cast and memorable action/effects sequences. But it's also given a 60s spin, with groovy splitscreens and credits sequences, and a frankly Bondian spy-adventure-around-the-world feel set against real world events (the Cuban Missile Crisis). If I have one complaint, it's that the cast was so Americanized (Moira and Banshee in particular) when it could have been just as international as the film's locations. Interesting reinventions across the board though. Hoping a sequel would make good use of historical events too (I suggest the Million Man March or the Space Race)
When this movie came to the cinemas I did not want to watch it because I thought there was no way I'd like it with "those new actors". Well, that was before I knew James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender! Their chemistry and the relationship between Professor X and Magneto in this movie is amazing, their scenes were fascinating. I'm glad I incidentally saw the movie on TV one day - meanwhile I even own the DVD. An awesome film - looking very much forward to "Days of Future Past"!
I did enjoy the performances of Bacon and Fassbender, and the portentous ending was just right. The score was godawful and ruined a lot of the action scenes for me.
I can't really forgive the repeated invocation of evolutionary theory. The mutations portrayed in the film are exactly not evolution. It's one thing to have scientific inaccuracies for the sake of story, it's another to spread misinformation about a topic that the public are already dangerously ignorant about.
Oh, it also bugged me a bit that the helmet always seemed a bit askew on Fassbender's head. Trivial, I know.
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This movie ranks #249 in iCheckMovies - Most Checked
This movie ranks #313 in All-Time Worldwide Box office