X-Men is a tough sell. Singer did an amazing job with the first two, but X3 and X-Men Origin's: Wolverine were awful. We've seen how comic book movies can be destroyed in the wrong hands, and while an impressive cast was lined up for X-Men: First Class, the trailer didn't give me to much hope. It seemed like a potential repeat of X3, an attempt at bringing way too much action and way too little story back to the X-Men universe. Thankfully, I was wrong.
The film begins with an almost shot for shot remake of Bryan Singer's Magneto origin sequence from the first film. We see his separation from his parents, and how the Nazi's worked to develop his powers in an attempt to make him a weapon. We see Professor X as a young boy, and Mystique. As the film progresses, we meet more and more mutants, and see them come together to face an enemy, Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon), who not only is playing both the United States and Russia into going into nuclear war, but has also created a power of his own that threatens the entire world. I know that's a weird synopsis, but I'm trying to dance around some things so as to not give too much away.
This film surprised me. I really enjoyed it, but then again, director Matthew Vaughn did Kick-Ass, which did, indeed, live up to its title. The acting was great, with James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. The real surprise here was Kevin Bacon, not that he can't act, but just that he fit into his role as Sebastian Shaw like a glove. The action was great, the writing top notch, and the setting of the 1960's, which I thought was going to be a handicap for the film, was actually done really well, with period clothing, cars, sets, etc. The weakest link to the film was January Jones, as White Queen, who, while looks wise is a fantastic match for that character, can't act to save her life. She's one of Mad Men's only low points, and she's the only real low point for this film.
This film knocks the franchise back into being a player, and my only hope is that, with another Wolverine movie kicking around in development, that the exec's will take a page from this film, and make Wolverine right instead of ridiculous.
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