1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Monday, June 20, 2011

[9.25/10] X-Men: First Class (2011)


X-Men: First Class (2011)

Full review: Five years after the entertaining if rather disappointing installment, "X-Men: The Last Stand", British director Matthew Vaughn delivers a 'kick-ass' prequel that brings us back to the origins of our favorite mutants. From the intriguing opening sequence to the spectacular, action-packed final act, pretty much everything about "X-Men: First Class" works so well, you'll find yourself arrested by its utter brilliance, both visual and conceptual. The story is complex and multi-layered, yet well-paced and far from confusing, and although it may seem familiar to the fans of the franchise, Matthew Vaughn somewhat finds a fresh way to sell the same message we've been hearing since the beginning. This installment also introduces many new interesting characters/mutants, we haven't seen in the previous three films. Furthermore, "X-Men: First Class" is a pure visual extravaganza, as it features tons of eye-candy shots, stunning settings, first-rate special effects and stupendous action sequences. The authentic, yet stunningly impressive production design of the movie is definitely one of the highlights - the 60s era is represented quite perfectly, and in a very stylish sort of way. Vaughn's skills behind the camera are more impressive than ever before, and as a result his direction feels fresh, energetic and bold. "First Class" is, unsurprisingly, heavy one CGIs, and thankfully, those are slick, polished and pretty flawless, as are the 'difficult' make-up effects. The action scenes are precisely-staged, flashy and thrilling, without being overblown and messily-edited. The performances are also one of this film's main strengths. The uber-talented James McAvoy gives a convincing and extremely passionate performance as the witty and geniusly-clever Charles Xavier a.k.a. Professor X. However, it's Michael Fassbender that steals the entire show as the charismatic Magnito. Even though Fassbender plays a half-villain, he's so likable, and his presence is so strong, you can't take your eyes off of him, while he's on the screen. Who could imagine that the harsh and uncompromising Magnito has also a soft side?! Jennifer Lawrence also shines as the unpredictable, yet extremely charming Raven, and Nicholas Hoult delivers in his role as the young scientist-turned-beast, Hank McCoy. The supporting performances range from decent to very good, with Kevin Bacon being the best, and the otherwise gorgeous January Jones being the weakest link.

Overall summary: Thanks to its fantastic cast, strong script, dazzling production design, and director Matthew Vaughn's visual creativity, "X-Men: First Class" is an absolutely brilliant prequel, that ranks right up there with the best installment in the franchise, "X2: X-Men United", and proves to be a first class indeed.

20 comments:

Dan O. said...

X-Men First Class was a pretty good movie! Fassbender and Kevin Bacon were excellent. Their confrontation towards the end was very suspenseful!

Good Review!

Matthew Vanacore said...

Strong review and excellent rating. I am glad you had the same kind of euphoric impression. It was really that good! The story, Vaughn's direction, most of the acting, the visual/special effects, style, etc. were all terrific.

Caledonia Lass said...

Awesome movie. I loved it. Then again, I had to see it because I used to read all the comic books as a kid. (Nerd!) Great review!

Ricky said...

I really must try to catch this at the cinema!

Melissa Bradley said...

This is one of your best reviews, yet, sweetie, and I completely concur with everything you say. This is one hell of a movie and it is one of the best this year. I have to see it again. And again. LOL

January Jones was atrocious. I wanted to laugh at her when Magneto binds her to the bed. The look on her face was terrible.

You are so right about Fassbender. He owned this movie bar none. He gave me the chills with his intensity.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I knew you'd dig it! The two main characters really sell it, and I really liked the background characters as well. Hope some of them come to the forefront in the next installment.
Sorry, couldn't get your site to pull up earlier. Blogger glitch!

Reid Kemper said...

Sounds like I should watch "X-Men: First Class" instead of "Green Lantern."

Nebular said...

Dan, it was an incredible movie indeed. Fassbender just blew me away - he was absolutely amazing. Bacon turned in a great villain, and James McAvoy was fresh and likable.

Thanks, mate. I appreciate it!

Nebular said...

Thanks, Matty. I thought this film deserved an excellent rating, because it was... fantastic! Minor flaws aside, it was pretty incredible.

Nebular said...

Caledonia, thank you so much. (God, I love your name!) Haven't read any of the comics, but I've seen all the films and loved them :)

Nebular said...

Ricky, you should definitely watch it on the big screen. It's more than worth it! :)

Nebular said...

Mel, thank you so much, sweetheart. It means a lot! :)
I absolutely agree - it's undoubtedly one of the best movies of the year. I'm watching "Super 8" this week and I expect it to be just as great. Which one did you like better, hon? Just curious.

And, yes, the movie belonged to Mr. Fassbender.

Nebular said...

Alex, I certainly did! :) Honestly said, I wasn't impressed by the previews. I thought that it would be either bad or genius. Thankfully, it ended up genius :)

It's okay, buddy, don't worry about it ;)

Nebular said...

Reid, I haven't seen "Green Lantern", but I can assure you that "First Class" is a must-see!

Melissa Bradley said...

X Men or Super 8... Wow, hon, that is an almost impossible decision, but I have to say Super 8 because of sentimental reasons. I know color me all kinds of silly. :)

Nebular said...

I know it's an impossible decision... otherwise, I wouldn't have asked. LOL. :) If "Super 8" really pays homage to Spielberg and flicks like "Gremlins" and "E.T.", than I completely understand you you chose it over X-Men.

J-SON said...

I also felt that it's a brilliant film, arguably the best blockbuster so far this summer in my opinion. Haha!

Great review!

Nebular said...

J-Son, it's without a doubt the best summer blockbuster of 2011 so far. I have yet to see "Super 8" though, but I doubt it would surpass the brilliance of "X-Men: First Class". :) Thanks, buddy.

HorrO said...

Great review! I can see you really liked this movie. It was very good. Following Magneto's story was cool, and the acting was good. I was surprised that Bacon was the bad guy, but he did a good job as well. I have to throw in one thing that I didn't like and that is Beast's costume. He looked too fake, and was bad compared to some of the other characters. Oh well again great review.

Nebular said...

HorrO, thank you so much. Yes, I really, really liked it. If I have to be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the trailers, but the movie was - WOW, far beyond my expectations. Magnito was my favorite character in this installment - he was so compelling! Bacon turned in a great villain.
You know what, I have to agree with you about Beast - he looked a bit ridiculous.. like a huge blue plush toy. LOL. I have to say Diamond girl's look was my favorite. Thanks again, mate ;) Appreciate it.