Thursday, March 15, 2012

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class
     After some debate, I finally decided to edit my original review which I wrote 4 years ago on my former Xanga site. So, I've added nicer graphics and focused more on the actual X-Men and not really on the movie, which has a complex storyline and an even more confusing villain.

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Charles Xavier//Professor X
Erik Lehnsherr//Magneto

     In 1962, energetic and brilliant, Charles Xavier graduates from Oxford University with a degree in genetics and human evolution. What he hides though, is that he is a profoundly gifted mutant who has the ability of telepathy. When he reveals himself to the CIA, in hopes of stabilizing human/mutant relations, they commissioned him to throw together mutants as a plan B initiative for world disaster.

     Charles gathers a rag-group of individuals, such as his independent sister, Raven (a changeling), Hank McCoy (a genius scientist gifted with super speed due to his abnormal feet) and Erik Lensherr (a vengeful man who can manipulate metal) and other young mutants who are lonely, abandoned and afraid. He takes them to his family mansion in Westchester County, New York and trains them to hone their abilities, to live as proud individuals and above all, never be afraid of the world.

     When Charles and his group succeed in stopping the Cuban Missile Crisis, he believes there is hope, but it is shattered when Erik betrays him by putting a bullet in his back during a fight, therefore crippling him for life. Erik leaves and takes Raven with him, having her believe that a life of fighting for their kind is better than protecting a world that hates and fears them.

Charles Xavier "Professor X" : To be honest, when I found out that James McAvoy was playing Pro. X I was like....what? This is like the same guy that played Mr. Tumnus, and Jane Austin's lover?? He completely blew me away!!! He was so handsome and charming as Charles, and he evoked such a wide array of emotions from utter arrogance, to complete sympathy and understanding. He also tapped into Patrick Stewart's commanding, but calm leadership. A well deserved A+ performance.

Erik Lehnsherr "Magneto" : This guy was so terrifyingly awesome! The movie really went in depth on Erik's life and what made him turn to evil. After the hell he was put through as a Jewish child growing up in a concentration camp, and having to watch his mother being killed out of cold blood, you begin to sympathize with him. Not exactly condone what he did out of revenge or the person he became, but you almost end up feeling sorry for him and your outlook on him might be different when you leave the theater.

Friends & Enemies
Charles and Erik in 1962 and 2001
     One thing I picked up in the original three movies (Not counting Wolverine) was that Charles never seemed to hate Erik. No matter what Erik did to destroy everything Charles tried to build. It's said many times in the movies that Charles and Erik were friends, that they founded the school, that they both built Cerebro, and so on. Then there was a disagreement and all of sudden they're enemies. Now, I've never read the comics. All I know about them is from what my older brother and sister (who are like massive X-Men fans!) have told me.

     Of all the things that have been done so well in First Class, the beginning, growth, and ending of Charles and Erik friendship was truly the most remarkable. They meet under the craziest of circumstances, and Erik just wants to be left alone to complete his vendetta against the man who killed his mother and almost destroyed his life. Charles, on the other hand, sees in Erik what he cannot see in himself. Goodness. Erik, who I believe wants to be good, goes at a risk and follows Charles into founding "The School for The Gifted."

     One of the saddest, and yet most beautiful scenes is where Erik allows Charles to tap into his mind and he sees a lost memory from his childhood. Charles tells Erik that there is a balance between anger and serenity and that memory Erik allowed him to see was his balance. Not to live a life dominated by anger and hatred, but rather to build a new one out of hope and courage. Later on in the movie Erik finds that balance and is able to complete what one might think is the impossible.

     At the end of the movie, both have made their decisions on which side they want to fight on. Yet it is definitely implied, that no matter how hard and cruel Erik might be and will end up becoming, Charles will be the only person that knows of Erik's balance between anger and serenity, and has a memory that proves all that could doubt him.

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First Class
Raven//Mystique, Alex Summers//Havok, Hank McCoy//Beast, Angel
Raven//Mystique: Her story was the one that surprised me the most. She was Charles adoptive/foster sister from the time they were 12 years old. Charles is the only one that's aware of her unique mutation and is always telling her,  "There's nothing wrong with who you are." Well, that's easy to say when all you can do is read and manipulate minds. In the beginning she's really winy and complaining, but when you're 18 and you can't fit in, wouldn't you wine too?

Over time she begins to grow on you and she even has a small romance with another young mutant. I really in many ways can't see her as a villain after seeing this. All she wanted to do was belong and if that was at the expense of destroying all mankind, then why not? ( although her "Mutant and Proud" liner was nothing short of cheesy and boring)

 Alex Summers// Havok: He was just hot. Enough said : ) No, really, he was part of the comic relief of the movie and that was nice to have seeing as it was dark in a lot of places. Alex has the ability to produce x-rays from his body which makes him deadly and dangerous. He's spent most of his life in prison and when Charles and Erik find him, he sees it as a chance to start a new life.  Every story needs the likable jerk to liven the mood and Alex brought a good balance of fun, but also quick character development throughout the film.

Hank McCoy//Beast: A brilliant young scientist who wishes that his mind was his mutation. Instead it's his abnormal feet that give a great amount of speed, but makes him feel more like a frek of nature than a human with a general mutation . Hank tries to find a cure, not just for his feet, but also for Raven's blue form by using her genetics. The cure he hoped will make him more human backfires and gives him the appearance of a bright blue lion-like animal, aptly named Beast by Alex Summers. The quiet scientist is still inside and Hank must learn accept his new mutation that gives him much more powerful abilities.

Angel: A beautiful stripper who is used to being ogled at by men, which is fine when her clothes are off, not so much when it comes to revealing her mutant form. Angel has a two mutant powers, wings that look like normal tattoos on her arms, but then come to life and allow her to fly. and the ability to shoot fireballs from her mouth. Of all of the young mutants that are gathered by Charles and Erik, Angel is the most self-conscious of them and wants a life of acceptance. So when she is given the opportunity to cross over into enemy territory, she takes it without question, giving no thought of the innocent lives that she may end up sacrificing. 

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X-Men: First Class
      This was definitely my favorite summer movie of 2011! It was basically just a fun movie, that was dark in some places and lighthearted in others. I absolutely loved James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender gave me a who new outlook on Erik. I am a prequel person; I love learning about story orgins and how everything came about and so this movie was perfect for me (seeing as I never read the comic books) to learn about the X-Men Origins.

*Originally posted June 23, 2011 at

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