Well, I saw X-Men: First Class over the weekend, and I went in bracing for the worst. After being slammed with a franchise that rapidly revered direction and began to be horrible 6 years ago, X-Men fans had largely resigned themselves to a constant slew of crappy movies.
That expectation has been changed. The movie is a wonderfully fun adventure taken with Xavier and Magneto as young men, fatefully meeting and joining up in order to find other mutants and save the world from itself, despite their differences in motive. The action is intense, the stories are well told, and the theme is wonderfully stylized.
If there is one thing that has plagued the genre for over a decade, it’s an abundance of dark and gritty “realism” that featueres drab colors, depressing situations, and awful people. X-Men forgoes that tired cliche, preferring to inject life and color and energy and hope into the proceedings.
Exceptional performances by the leads certainly help. Micheal Fassbender and James McAvoy are awesome in portraying Magneto and Xavier, two men sharing a powerful friendship that is doomed by their wildly different ideals. Everyone will say this, but some seriously good acting there.
What’s more , the movie embraces its identity and has fun with it. For the first time in a long time, you feel that the production leads actually know something about the characters and care about them, instead of bombarding us with useless henchmen and killing off some of the most beloved characters at whim. (Looking at YOU, X-Men 3.)
X-Men: First Class is great. It actually is one of those movies that reminds you that superhero films can be character driven and emotionally gripping while still giving a good thrill.
Quite frankly, most superhero movies have been a mixed bag of bad acting, bad effects, and bad writing, while being saddled with poor direction. The ones that stand out as being genuinely good are few in number, but shine on as prime examples of the potential fo the genre.
X-Men: First Class is a revitalization of the concept, and does it awesomely well. There are some movies that leave you babbling excitedly as you leave the theater, and this movie is definitely one of them.