By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Laurence Belcher, Michael Fassbender, Caleb Landry Jones, Bill Milner, Lucas Till, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Beth Goddard (II), Rose Byrne, Morgan Lily, Oliver Platt, Álex González, Jason Flemyng, Zoe Kravitz, January Jones, Edi Gathegi, Corey Johnson, Lucas Till, Demetri Goritsas, Glenn Morshower, Matt Craven, James Remar
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 132 Min.
The latest entry in the X-Men series, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, begins in 1944 with the scene in the Nazi prison camp where Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) first demonstrated his powers by bending the gate. He is put in the hands of a scientist, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) to be experimented with and on. We then jump to Westchester County, New York, the boyhood home (okay, mansion) of Charles Xavier where the young Charles finds Raven Darkholme (Mystique) rooting for food in his family’s refrigerator. Instead of having her arrested, he takes her in (like his parents could say no?).
Jump ahead to 1962. Erik is hunting Shaw while Charles and Raven are living in England while Charles attends Oxford University. The three are brought together thanks to the US CIA and the actions of Shaw. They agree to work for the CIA to help stop Shaw and his mutants before they can cause a nuclear war between the US and Russia.
The action is intense as Shaw finagles behind the scenes to get first the US and the Russia to place missiles where the other side would be provoked into action. Shaw has a team of mutants he has assembled to assist him. This encourages Charles and Erik to recruit their own team. This leads to the standard epic battle between the US and Russia, Shaw and Charles/Erik, and good and evil. But what sides are good and which are evil?
As expected in this type of film, the action is intense and the special effects are excellent. The story is well written giving us the back-story upon which the first films were built. It gives us the origin of Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult) who we met in X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (played in that film by Kelsey Grammer) as well as Havoc and Banshee, two of my favorite minor characters from the comics.
I enjoyed the film. I am really glad it is NOT in 3-D. This film is just fine the way it is and I don’t have to wear those stupid glasses! It is full of actors playing bit parts that you will recognize. People like Michael Ironside, James Remar, and Dallas’ own Glenn Morshower. There are other cameos to watch for because unlike THOR and some of the other recent movies, the sneaky stuff is spread throughout the movie instead of being snuck in after the credits!
Movie Site: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!