‘X-Men: First Class’ Review

Brian Dulle / Washburn Review

This summer is certainly the summer for movie sequels and prequels and “X-Men: First Class” is a must see for everyone, even if you’re not an “X-Men” fanatic.

I can remember at 10 years old being blown away by Bryan Singer’s first “X-Men” movie in 2000 and in 2003, Singer did not disappoint me with “X2: X-Men United.”

I never read any of the comics and I can barely remember the old television show but I love movies and the first two “X-Men” movies were up there with my other favorite movies.

Brett Ratner’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” did not live up to my expectations by far and I was sad to see Singer give up completing the trilogy for “Superman Returns.”

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” which was directed by Gavin Hood was not a bad movie and I did enjoy it but it was nothing too exciting to me, especially for a movie about my favorite “X-Men.

As soon as I heard that Singer was helping write the script and I saw the trailer for “X-Men: First Class” I was very interested and excited to see this movie and after hearing good reviews from other critics and friends I had to go see it.

The film opens with a familiar scene from the first movie with Erik Lehnsherr, later Magneto, imprisoned in a Nazi camp and has his mom taken away from him by Nazis and out of anger starts bending the prison gates. The film continues on from that scene with more as Lehnsherr as a kid played by Bill Milner and introduces Sebastian Shaw played by Kevin Bacon who gets Lehnsherr to show off more of his abilities by murdering his mom.

The film as well shows a young Charles Xavier played by James McAvoy, a college graduate followed closely by his friend Raven played by Jennifer Lawrence who later becomes Mystique.

The two young mutants meet and quickly become good friends and go around finding other mutants to help them with their abilities and let them know that they are not alone.

I do have two problems however with the film.

One is that the film stars January Jones as Emma Frost where as in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” Emma Frost is played by Tahyna Tozzi. It is fine having two actors play the same character in different movies but when this one is based before the “Wolverine” movie and the character is older and an antagonist it just doesn’t make sense to me.

The second problem I have with the film is its link to the third “X-Men” film. We do learn at the end of this movie why Charles Xavier has to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, however in “X-Men: The Last Stand, when Xavier and Magneto are meeting Jean Gray for the first time he is still able to walk but it could be because that film got so many poor reviews from critics and fans, they might act like it doesn’t even exist, which is possible because Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns” was based five years after Superman II, not “Superman III or IV.”

The film does have a creative story line linking around the cold war and does a great job answering questions people might have about different characters past.

There was never a dull moment in this movie and I was entertained all the way through. There didn’t seem to be an over use of CGI, the special effects were great and the actors did a great job pulling off younger versions of characters we have seen for years on the screen.

I give this movie four out of five Top Hats.