Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The X-MEN franchise is back!

The following article was intended for my Yahoo! Blog but since there was already an X-MEN review, I was told that I can put this on my own blog instead. Didn't want my thoughts to go to waste so I'm sharing this with you :)

Seeing Brett Ratner’s X-MEN: The Last Stand was such a huge disappointment for me. How the whole Bryan Singer X-MEN franchise go down the drain was difficult. It was a bad movie with a bad story. It could have been better. Way better. Initially, Matthew Vaughn who directed “Kick-Ass” was supposed to direct the third installment of Singer’s franchise. For some reason, he left and we got Ratner. 

But fret not, I saw X-MEN: First Class twice in a span of 4 days and thank God Matthew Vaughn came back to finish his “unfinished business”. X-MEN: First Class brings in a whole new light to the mutants we all love! This is a much different take as there aren’t that many grand special effects. What Vaughn did was craft an amazing story with awesome character development.  I still can’t get over the fact how Magneto was such a badass and Professor X was actually suave with the ladies. Think of this X-Men movie as Mutants meets James Bond. Yup, it’s exactly like a spy movie!

To tell the story in a a couple of sentences without spoiling, it’s about the origins of Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr on how they came to be Professor X and Magneto respectively. James McAvoy who plays Charles and Michael Fassbender who plays Erik are the people who bring life to the movie. Mind you, that both of them are the heroes of the movie and the acting I superb! Fassbender does it a little bit better though. Basically, Kevin Bacon who plays Sebastian Shaw aka “The Black King” in the comics is the leader of the Hellfire Club and is hell-bent on ruling the world. He believes that the mutants are the homosuperior and to make his dream into reality, he plots World War 3 by manipulating the US government and Russian officials to fight one another. 

The best thing about the movie is how Vaughn manages to develop Charles and Erik. The way their story was crafted was perfect! We see Charles having a privileged life and has a positive outlook and we get to see how Erik’s was the total opposite. Magneto’s story is the more interesting part of the movie as his inner struggle makes him turn out to be the fallen hero. But you know what? Magneto has a point and Charles does have a point at the same time! Their story is made of gold! My favorite lines – Charles says “We have to be the better men…” but Erik goes “But we already are!”

First Class also displays an impressive ensemble cast. Jennifer Lawrence plays Raven Darkholmme or Mystique and she’s probably the character that plays the biggest supportive role. (Mind you, she will be the lead in “The Hunger Games”) January Jones from “Mad Men” plays Emma Frost or The White Queen and is the right hand of Sebastian Shaw. Rose Byrne from “Troy” plays Agent Moira MacTaggert of the CIA is the one after Shaw and seeks help from Xavier. Other notable mutants that appear are Alex Summers or “Havok”, Sean Cassidy or “Banshee”, and Hank McCoy or “Beast”. Though not all get to play key roles, the audience will still be thankful since we get to see the Mutants do their thing and show off their powers. 

X-MEN: First Class gives us an awesome story and it is an awesome movie. My only complaints being the purist that I am… Why weren’t Moira and Banshee Scottish??? I wanted those accents… But either way, it was still a good X-Men movie. I think it’s better than “X-Men” and definitely way better than “The Last Stand”. I’d say it’s just a few notches below “X2”. You have to go see this movie since it gives us a fresh new take on the mutants of Marvel Comics. Oh, don’t bother waiting for a bonus scene after the end credits because there isn’t any… 

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