Matthew Vaughn, Bad Hat Harry Productions, 2011. Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and January Jones.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller.
Question: When you see a prequel is coming out for a movie is your first thought: Oh-no! or Oh-yay!? Well, I will admit that mine usually is the initial thought. After the prequels of Star Wars came out and not that good -- in my opinion (Sorry, George), hearing X-Men: First Class was in production I was leery -- really leery. Well, I am glad to say that I was wrong to worry. It was top-notch.
The movie started out the exact same as X-Men -- I mean the same scene at the concentration camps but then continued longer in that time frame so we find out more on why Erik becomes Magneto. At this same time we meet a villain who I was not expecting but pleasantly surprised at who was playing him. You know I am not going to say who. I'll let that be a surprise like it was for me. (Yes, I did not see any previews or read-up on anything about the movie.) Now I will say that I did not read X-Men comics growing up and don't know if this movie just resembles the comic or is an exact replica.
As the story unfolds we meet some more familiar characters: Charles Xavier (Professor X) played by James McAvoy and Raven (Mystique) played by Jennifer Lawrence. I found it fascinating to see how their start evolved. Also, I always enjoy watching James McAvoy perform -- ever since the first Narnia movie. However, this was the first movie that I could recall watching Jennifer Lawrence, but I do remember her all over the entertainment news during the awards ceremonies.
The rest of the movie unfolds with meeting the adult Erik Lehnsherr and other mutants as they form their union. X-Men: First Class was well thought-out and told with the exception that it should have been about 20 minutes longer, in my opinion. There were many scenes that seemed rushed through, and I think it could have helped develop the creation and evolution of the X-Men. Perhaps, the film-makers wanted to keep it close to the two-hour mark, who knows?
I enjoyed the relationship between Charles and Erik and saw a real connection between the two characters. It really helped solidify the other X-Men movies for me. As I said before I did not read the comics, and I always felt like I was missing some valuable information about the characters' histories. X-Men: First Class really solved that for more than just those two characters. Well done!
My favorite thing: The surprises. Of course, I am not going to tell you. And I have to say the set and costumes. Most of the movie took place during the mod 60's.
My least favorite thing: How many times Professor X put his fingers to his temple. It got a little repetitive.
Length: 132 minutes
Random thought: You might recognize who plays Erik: Michael Fassbender. He was in Inglourious Basterds. There is something about him that reminds me a young Sir Lawrence Oliver. Both in looks and in talent. He is good! Can't wait to see him in more movies.
Review: 8 out of 10