X-Men First Class is the new prequel to the original X-Men film trilogy. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass) and written by Bryan Singer (X-Men, X-2, Superman Returns) who have both tried something new and fresh with the X-Men franchise as well as trying to return X-Men to its former glory after the forgettable X-Men 3, but did they pull it off?…well yes and no. The majority of this film is well acted and stylishly shot but it falters by trying to cram too much into one film and as a result few of the characters get to be explored beyond them showing off their mutant powers. The story of First Class revolves around the relationship between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (Michael Fassbender) both played really well by McAvoy and Fassbender though the latter being my standout of the film. Fassbender seems to relish his role as Erik aka Magneto and the first hour of the film shows him Nazi hunting his way through Europe trying to hunt down Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) in order to avenge his family, which for me was the most enjoyable part of the film.
Once Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto become acquainted they decide to use cerebro in order to hunt down and recruit a number of young mutants who are as follows: Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy / Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz), Sean Cassidy / Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Armando Muñoz / Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and Alex Summers / Havok (Lucas Till). All of whom are a mixed bag in terms of acting ability and character development. Banshee, Beast and Raven / Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) get the luck of the draw as their characters get the most to do and are the most interesting of the young uns, whereas the others fall short and don’t feel as developed as the rest, one even getting the chop before halfway through the film which felt a bit cheap.
The villain of this piece Sebastian Shaw who is portrayed by Kevin Bacon is one of the more interesting characters though still feels a bit flat in places, but what makes up for this are his powers (Shaw possesses the ability to absorb kinetic energy and transform it into raw strength) and his henchmen Azazel (Jason Flemyng), Janos Quested / Riptide (Álex González) and Emma Frost / White Queen (January Jones). Both Riptide (whos able to create tornados from thin air) and Azazel (father of nightcrawler) have interesting powers but thats where their character development ends, as both of them have about one line each the entire film. Emma Frost / White Queen on the other hand has allot more screen time and lines but her character is equally as flat as those without any which is a shame cause she had potential to be one of the more interesting mutants.
Now thats all of the characters out of the way what of the story? As I have said before the whole story is based around the relationship between Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto. Every other story element feels like its just been thrown in as filler, even Sebastian Shaw who seems to want to start a war for no apparent reason by way of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Also woven into the story as with every other X-Men film is the story of mutant acceptance in a human world (zzzzzz).
SUMMERY: Though this film had a promising start it seemed to falter at the halfway point. Story elements were patched together, characters were undeveloped, acting was here and there, special effects were ok, but ultimately the film was saved by a few great action sequences and Fassbender and McAvoy who stole the show whenever they were on screen together. So all in all an average film aswell as an average X-Men film.
My Rating- 3/5