X-Men: First Class

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Rating: 41/2 / 5 stars
By: Sally Burgess, Technical Manager 

FINALLY!!! 

Well, we have a summer blockbuster with all the right ingredients; great actors, great writing, and a decent plot. I am not an avid X-Men fan, although I thought the first two were good entertainment. 

The film introduces us to the characters who would go on to be Magneto and Professor X. Erik Lehnsherr is a boy who in 1944, is separated from his parents during the Holocaust. During the highly emotional scuffle with the guards he manages to bend the metal gates backwards, and catches the attention of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon)…who is at that time a Nazi who has mutant powers of his own. 

Whilst Shaw helps Erik to fully use his ‘gift’ of magnetic energy, it comes at a terrible price that will lead Erik to hunt down Shaw and make him pay. 

Meanwhile, Charles Xavier is a student at Oxford studying mutant genetics. His constant companion is Raven Darkholme, who would later become known as Mystique. Raven is played by Jennifer Lawrence, last seen in Winter’s Bone. 

Eventually, some 20 years later, Charles and Erik meet each other and a friendship is quickly forged. The human world is not yet aware that mutants exist, and the Cold War is still very much on. Sebastian Shaw is doing his upmost to start World War Three so that the mutants can rise up and not have to hide their powers from the human world. Through the use of a new machine named Cerebro, Charles is able to track down many mutants throughout the world and he and Erik soon have a small team, each with their own unique genetic gifts… 

The film at times reminded me of a 1960’s Bond movie and that’s no bad thing. The girls are there to look stunning and not wear very much, which will please the guys no end. I was half expecting to see Sean Connery at the bar ordering a Martini!! 

I can honestly say that this is the best film I have seen this year so far. If only other so called blockbusters had half the characterisation! 

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are super actors and are not wasted in this for a second. The only gripe I have is with Fassbender’s accent. Previously in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, he showed us he can hide his Irish roots with a precise English accent. However in this movie, especially towards the end, his accent varies from English to Irish and back a few times. 

But that is a teeny tiny hole in an otherwise brilliant movie. 

Highly, HIGHLY recommended. 

Standout performance: Michael Fassbender (apart from a few accent issues!)
This movie is now showing at Reading Cinemas in Queenstown. This review has been written and rated by Sally Burgess of Reading Cinemas Queenstown.
X-Men: First Class
Rated: M-violence and offensive language
Stars: Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi
Running time: 142 mins