by Scott Peterson
Finally, these X-Men don’t fly coach.
Once a proud franchise, Marvel and Fox had recently given us X-men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins- Wolverine. To say that Marvel and Fox dropped the ball is a massive understatement. Last Stand and Wolverine were absolutely wretched. When I heard that they were actually going to make an X-Men prequel, I just shook my head. Why? Hadn’t we seen enough already? What I didn’t count on was director Matthew Vaughn manning the ship this time around. Leave it to the director of Kick-Ass to kick some life back into a languishing franchise. Not only is X-Men: First Class the best film in the series, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the best comic book film since The Dark Knight.
We’ve always known that Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) were once friends. First Class does a towering job at telling us the story of how they became friends and their eventual metamorphosis into arch enemies. It also excels at introducing us to a world that had zero knowledge of a mutant society. The movie plays like a modern day Raiders of the Lost Ark, sweeping us all over the globe with it’s scope and scale. Through World War II Poland, to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the story has many plot lines that all tie together nicely in the end. The glue that holds it all together are the performances by McAvoy and Fassbender. McAvoy’s Xavier is always the smartest guy in the room, and surprisingly quite the ladies man. Fassbender’s Lehnsherr is pure rage, ready to boil over his breaking point at a moments notice. The action is swift and the CGI is seamless. While The Last Stand and Wolverine felt rushed, First Class knows where it’s going and takes it’s time steering us through. The film also has it’s comedic moments including some well placed cameos I dare not divulge.
If you have any trepidation towards X-Men: First Class, I assure you that you will not walk out of the theater disappointed. The summer is young, but so far X-Men: First Class isn’t just the best film of the summer, it’s the best film of the year. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get in line.