X-Men: First Class
If you’ve been within hearing range of me when the trailer for X-Men: First Class came on, then you’re probably sick of me complaining about it. However, I saw the movie and got in for free. No it wasn’t anything to do with my blog or journalism; it was because my friend works in the cinema. Having seen the movie, my opinion of it has completely changed.
Personally, I hate when movies can’t stay within the continuity of the series they’re in, but X-Men: First Class has proved to be an exception. It contradicts the previous instalments numerous times, even going as far as using the same character in a different time period; yes I’m talking about Emma Frost. I could write a whole post on the errors in the canon of the X-Men movie series, but if I’m honest, when I got into the film, they didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would. In fact, I think the movie was probably one of the best in the franchise.
The first two X-Men movies where directed by Bryan Singer, who left the third one to direct Superman Returns, which was his dream project. Without Singer the series took a nose dive. X-Men 3 was bad and dismissed a lot of the pre-established story, but it was X-Men Origins: Wolverine that completely turned me off the franchise. I insisted I would never see another X-Men move, at least not one in this canon, but who can turn down a free ticket and I’m glad I went.
The film follows Professor X and Magneto back when they were Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. The first scene is a near shot for shot remake of the opening scene in the first X-Men movie. It shows Erik first using his magnetic powers to bend a gate in a concentration camp. It was so similar that I actually did think it was the same scene. Meanwhile, Charles is living in a mansion and one night meets Mystique who becomes his best friend. Though this was an interesting storyline, it contradicts with the original movies where Professor X and Mystique appear to have no emotional investment in each other, good or bad.
It takes a while for Charles and Erik to meet, but even separated they stole the show. It was nice to see a different side to the characters. We get to see young fun Professor X, even hitting on random girls in bars. It was a nice touch and the relationship between the two has been one of the more engaging things about the movie series as a whole. Despite both being on different sides, they have a mutual love and respect for each other and it was really enjoyable to see where that began.
There are a bunch of other mutants in the movie and, unlike X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they all got a fair amount of screen time. One of the things that stood out for me was Beast’s transformation. To avoid giving too much away I’m just going to say that they used what happened in the comics. Also featured in the movie were Havok, Banshee, Riptide, Azazel and many more. It was surprising, and nice, to see that they found a place for each of the mutants to show off and use their powers, especially Banshee, who normally doesn’t get shown in such a cool light. If you’re a major comic fan then you might remember that Havok, aka Alex Summers, is the middle Summers brother. Though obviously the timeline won’t allow that in the movie, Singer did say that Havok and Cyclops are related just in a way that works for the film.
This film is the best thing to happen to the series since X-Men 2. It was refreshing, fun and interesting. Luckily, it has been announced that they want to turn First Class into a series, which means we don’t have to say goodbye to these characters just yet. If you’re going to see the movie and you are familiar with the previous films, there are some things that were thrown in for fans. One of the best is the suits, which were joked about in the first movie. Good luck spotting the rest, which include cameos from two cast members from the previous films. I recommend giving this film a chance, even if you are concerned about the canon.
What do you think? Are there too many mistakes? What power would you like to have? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also don’t forget to subscribe.