Sunday, 5 June 2011

X-Men: First Class 2011

I have been a fan of the X-Men series since 2000, when the first film came out. Since I didn't grow up with the comics, every new character in every new film fascinates me. If it wasn't for the disaster that took place in 2006 (I prefer to think that that film was never made and does not exist), so far each film has just been an exciting new chapter.

So, it was with a lot of enthusiasm that I went to see X-Men: First Class this weekend. Boasting a strong cast, a talented director and all the material for a great script, the film promised to kick-start the new franchise. Such high expectations generally lead to a hard fall.

Except, in this case, the expectations were met. Head on!

First, the script is pretty sound. The story (co-written by Bryan Singer) covers aspects of everything we have been watching for the past decade, neatly ties up the ends and continues to give us more to chew on . The dialogues are well-written and economical. The characters are interesting and intriguing. And best of all, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Wholesome entertainment!

The actors are at least adequate and at best perfect for their characters. Of course, I am biased here. I have always enjoyed Kevin Bacon's devilish charm and watching him play the unpredictable, power-hungry, ruthless villain Sebastian Shaw was completely believable. James McAvoy as Charles Xavier was inspired casting, as he brought a boyish charm to the Professor's usual sincere wisdom. But it was Michael Fassbender, who once again stole my heart. After Hunger (2008), Inglourious Basterds and Fishtank (both 2009), I've been waiting for his next big role. And Magneto could not have been better cast. There's a natural animalistic beauty in his body language, which makes his Magneto all the more dangerous and sensual. At once troubled and roguish, you can see how at a later age, he could grow into becoming Ian McKellen's Magneto from the earlier films.

Besides these three, most of the actors playing the young mutants have done justice to their roles. They're sort of dorky and awkward, but I think it works because they're teenagers AND mutants. I'm looking forward to seeing them again (except Darwin, of course - the token black man, who was promptly killed)! My only disappointment was Mystique's and Beast's make-up / hair. They looked more like fancy dress costumes than their real selves.

Hugh Jackman's, by now well-known, cameo appearance was good for a few laughs (and sighs) and the other surprise cameo (now you see it, now you don't) was quite cool too. But what I don't understand is why Brendan Fehr signed on to do a non-speaking two-minute appearance - surely he can do better!

Matthew Vaughn's delivered yet another good film. He has a small portfolio as a director, but every film has been well-made and a little, well, 'different'. X-Men: First Class never loses track and never bores (Vaughn co-wrote the screenplay), even though it has  the hefty job of explaining how it all started. In fact some of the best scenes include the initial recruitment of the X-Men and the montage of their training. With just the right dose of humour and seriousness, Vaughn has once again made us believe that this world of mutants exists - and has left us wishing we were part of it.

I hope he continues to make us 'believe' by directing the next one in this franchise.


  1. See I read your blog ... Nihat :-)

  2. If you're looking for an action movie, with little progress in the story line, then just stick to old X-Men films. But if you want a detailed, action packed movie...with SUPERB acting...then watch this one. And you will NOT be dissapointed.