Wednesday, June 8, 2011

X-Men Is First Class!

Just went yesterday to catch this latest installment in the X-Men movie franchise, and I won't mince words. It's the best one yet! I loved it through and through. I think it's one of the most complete cinematic experiences I've had with a "superhero" movie in many years.

The energy of the movie is fantastic, the period settings giving the whole shebang a real sizzle and snap, a distinctly James Bond feel. The actors are first rate and for the first time I'm convinced of what Stan and Jack wanted to sell all those decades ago, these are kids drawn into a conflict more dangerous than anything most of them have contemplated. The X-Men of the earlier flicks are adults by and large with a token kid thrown in for flavor, but these X-Men are kids with relatively minor adult supervision. The sequence where the mutants are gathered is delightful, reminding me of Oceans 11.

The exceptions are Magneto and Professor X. Michael Fassbender who portrays Magneto is fantastic, the kind of presence you watch constantly on the screen. His early scenes are spectacular and my daughter who is an absolute X-novice found him the most impressive of all the characters. James McAvoy as Professor X is compelling and convincing as is the charming girl who plays Mystique. The other "X-Men" are Banshee, Havok, Dragonfly (not called that in the movie), and Beast. On the other side of the coin are some great characters, many new to me since I've paid little attention to the X-franchise for nearly twenty years now. Azazel was compelling as was Riptide, two baddies who assist Sebastian Shaw played to the hilt by Kevin Bacon. Emma Frost performed by January Jones is beautiful and dangerous too. One of the X-candidates was a new one to me too, a guy called Darwin.

This is a movie that won't suffer discussion too much, so I'll stay off the plot points, save to talk about what you might already know. The storyline, set against the Cuban Missile Crisis is brilliant and offers perhaps the most spectacular and convincing superpower work I've seen on film. This a fast-paced and engaging movie, with a wonderful score.

I give this one the highest recommendation.

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