QUICK MOVIE REVIEW: X-MEN FIRST CLASS


Its going to be a very busy weekend for movie lovers with the official start of the Summer Blockbuster season in the US.

While kids would probably be nagging  their parents into watching Kung Fu Panda 2 (which has been both a critical and commercial success) –this weekend will be a battle between a group of teenage mutants against a group of grown men with mutated hangovers.

Despite being panned by critics who have been trying a lot to say the word “awful” in around 700 words, (scoring 35% on rotten tomatoes) Hangover 2 has grossed more than $117 million at the box office- making it the most lucrative comedy ever made.

So say what you will about it being a male version of Sex and the City 2, but I’m pretty sure those who loved the original and are looking for some laughs will still be lining up to see Hangover 2.

X-Men First Class (FC) on the other hand has been receiving great reviews, which hopefully would translate into the ticket sales it so rightly deserves.

Let me start off by saying X-Men FC is a hundred times better than the last few X-Men movies (and infinitely more watchable than the Star Wars prequels). Whether you’re a devout  fan or someone whose not much into the convoluted mutant universe, the movie presents a more updated and acceptable story for the current generation.

Departing from its dated comic backstory, X-Men FC introduces the mutant species amidst the backdrop of real historical events, something that will make you Google the conflict between the US and Russia and the missile threats as soon as you exit the cinema.

As an origin movie, it brings together a cast of young actors that are not only pretty to look at (even the blue version of Mystique and Beast) but likewise portray their characters quite well.

James McAvoy conveys the intelligence and sobriety for a believable future Prof. Charles Xavier, Kevin Bacon makes for an enemy you’d love to hate, and Michael Fassbender gives a brilliant performance that takes the audience on a convincing emotional journey that explains why Magneto ended up as one of the most notorious villains and yet remain as one of Prof. X closest friends. A cameo by one scruffy mutant favorite also made the  audience cheer during his brief onscreen appearance.

The choice of the supporting mutants for the movie, namely Beast, Banshee, Havok, Azazel, Riptide, Angel, were also quite good. Their abilities/powers were memorable enough but not too memorable to steal  the thunder off the main ones such as Prof. X, Magneto, Sebastian Shaw, Mystique and Emma Frost. I’m sure a lot of you will be quite intrigued with the Red Devil Azazel (the eventual father of Nightcrawler) so I already did the research for you   HERE.

X-MEN FC continues the trend of excellent comic to movie translations by Marvel and puts even more pressure on the upcoming superhero flicks Green Lantern and Captain America. It has a few but tolerable misses but as a prequel to the  story rich universe of the XMEN, it sets up a lot of exciting possibilities for the rejuvenated movie franchise and finally removes the still bitter aftertaste of the last mutant films.

X-Men First Class opens today, June 2, from 20th Century Fox and is distributed by Warner Bros.
Check out 20th Century Fox Philippines on Facebook and on www.youtube.com/20thcenturyfoxph for the latest promos and clips.

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