Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #238 X-Men: First Class

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Movie #238 X-Men: First Class

(2011, US, d. Matthew Vaughn)

Though I don’t think this is my favorite installment of all the X-Men films, I think I can say it is the best. What Vaughn does here is awesome: he takes an already socially charged theme and sets it in an even more poignant time: the Kennedy administration. More specifically, the Cuban Missile Crisis. And though the backdrop of the entire film revolves around a sort of “Will they nuke Cuba/USSR?” or “Won’t they?”, it’s the characters here that are really allowed to come to life. It’s an origin story for origin stories. Tracing the early lives of both Magneto (played with intensity and to near-perfection by Michael Fassbender) and Professor Charles Xavier (a calm James McAvoy), First Class depicts the early days of the mutant revolution. It is a film not about fighting for rights, as the later ones fashion themselves to be, but about realizing that rights are worth fighting for in the first place. Vaughn, most known for directing L4yer Cake and last year’s strange but awesome Kick-Ass, somehow is still able to infuse his own filmmaking style into this period piece. Though not at all style over substance, the film still does have its moments straight of a Guy Ritchie film (i.e. a first person transformation into a Beast). With great action set-pieces (the climactic Battle of Cuba comes to mind) and wonderful editing that pays tribute to the great 60’s classics through use of split-screen action and upbeat music, First Class is a must-see film for film enthusiasts as well as fans alike.

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