X-men: First Class – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Sep 8, 2011, 14:32 GMT
X-Men: First Class is the thrilling, eye-opening chapter you\'ve been waiting for...Witness the beginning of the X-Men Universe. Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their superhuman powers for the first time, working together in a desperate attempt to stop the Hellfire Club and a global nuclear war. ...more
“What a groovy mutation.”
Step into your way-back machine and travel back to the origins of Xavier’s School for Gifted Children and the X-men. It’s interesting to see the origins of some familiar characters, but I’m sure it may cause some troubles with the fans of the comic.
In the 1960s, Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) is a man on a mission, as well as having the mutant power to control metal. When he was a lad in a Nazi concentration camp, he was tortured by a Dr. Schmidt. He is now hell-bent on killing all involved with this travesty.
Dr. Schmidt now goes by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), whose mutation is absorbing energy that also allows him to remain young, and is gathering mutants on his side to initiate a nuclear holocaust so that they can rise and rule the remaining humans. Meanwhile, the recently graduated Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), don’t refer to him as professor since he’s hip not stuffy, is an expert on mutation.
He took in Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) when he found the shape-shifter stealing a meal in his kitchen when he was a boy. CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) discovered what Shaw is up to and calls in Xavier to assist the CIA in their investigation. Xavier discovers that a mysterious agent (Oliver Platt) already runs an agency trying to use the supernatural to aid the military aided by Dr. McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), who is more supernatural than his boss realizes.
Xavier uses a complex computer system to track down mutants across the world and he and Lensherr recruit them to make up a team to sabotage Shaw’s scheme. However, never underestimate mankind’s ability to want to destroy those that are different.
Instead of going for a fourth chapter in the X-men film series, the decision was made to look at the origins of that same series. They take some of the history we’ve seen in the films and expound on it. That can be interesting, but it can also be a bit confusing.
For example, I never got a big indication that several of the characters who are supposed to have this long personal history with each other actually knew each other in the original trilogy.
Oh well, I enjoyed First Class enough that I can forgive. They’ve cast the film admirably with Fassbender and McAvoy who channel enough of the characters we know and love but also add their own spins to them. However, there may be an amount of mutant overload since we’re introduced to characters at a breakneck speed (as well as a hilarious cameo, which stands out wonderfully).
Many of them, so I’m told, have had their stories tinkered with in comparison to their comic origins. Again, I’m not a die-hard reader of the comics so this wouldn’t have frosted me, but I’m sure those that do may see a bit of red. Kevin Bacon also shines as the master villain, and I had some doubts about Bacon playing such a role, but those doubts were quickly diminished.
It’s also interesting to note that the film takes place in a historical time period concerning civil rights and this only highlights those same prejudices but adding the spin of it being more about mutations than color of skin. It also adds in a sort’ve “Mad Men” swinging cool as well. It certainly is a fun ride that is propelled by some grand performances.
First Class is presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features are relegated to the two-part making of “Children of the Atom.” Part one is the 10 minute “Second Genesis” that talks about the origins of the film and part two is the 12 minute “Band of Brothers” that highlights the new and old mutants we see in the film. There’s also an anti-smoking public service announcement and a how to use digital copy bit.
X-men: First Class is a groovy good time. There may be a little bit of tinkering with backstories, but I enjoyed all of the mayhem and mutants enough that it didn’t put on blinders to the film before me.
Visit the DVD database for more information.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CJames McAvoy Biography -
James McAvoy Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesJanuary Jones Biography -
January Jones Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesJennifer Lawrence Biography - Michael Fassbender Biography -
Michael Fassbender Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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