Monday, May 23, 2011

X-Men: First Class pretty awesome?


From slashfilm, On Saturday, I had the opportunity to see Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class. Over the last year, we’ve heard about how the film had morphed from the original concept of X-Men Origins: Magneto into a prequel/reboot in the same style of what JJ Abrams did for the Star Trek franchise. I can confirm that the completed film is exactly both of these things. It fits right in with Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films and is probably the second best film in the series next to X-Men United. And I say that with a certain but of nostalgia for the sequel, as it came out at a time when comic book adaptations didn’t strive to be anything more than popcorn fun. But the more and more I think about it, the more and more I think Vaughn’s film might have surpassed it.

Going into the film, I had so many expectations (most of which were set-up by the trailers). I had assumed that the advertising was being packed with all the moments in an effort to sell a action-less origin story, but I was surprised at how much action was actually the film. I don’t think anyone will see this movie and come out disappointed. It strikes a great balance of being accessible to non-comic book fans and packing some pretty cool easter eggs that comic geeks will love (I will keep this vague as I don’t want to spoil any of the fun).

While I have read a lot of X-Men comics in the 1990′s, I’m not really clear on the origins on some of these characters and what events in the comic universe led to certain situations. So while I’m unable to assess how faithful it is to comic book canon, I will say that everything is handled quite nicely. Picky fans might notice some continuity nitpicks and possible timeline issues (especially if you look at this as a prequel to the film series), but nothing major

And Vaughn adds his trademark style to the series in all the right moments, without making the cinematography feel out of place in the period setting. For example, one such moment (and I wouldn’t consider a spoiler in any way) is Hank McCoy’s transformation into Beast. Vaughn handles the sequence like a werewolf transformation, but shot in a way I’ve never seen it before, from Hank’s POV. It is very cool. There is a bit of cheesy dialogue, especially in the scenes that focus on the younger mutants. But at the core, this is a story about Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (played brilliantly in this film by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender), two best friends who will become enemies at the center of the mutant revolution.

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