XMEN FIRST CLASS (Matthew Vaughn)
Before seeing X-MEN FIRST CLASS, I already heard a dozen or so hearsays that it will be bad, and unfaithful to the source material. First of all, I don't easily fall into public opinion; second, I am an X-MEN fan, and; lastly and most importantly, WATCHMEN deviated from the graphic novel but it is a damn good movie. Go figure.
I don't know, but even purists may be silenced with Matthew Vaughn's reboot of the seemingly dying superhero franchise. Vaughn after all surprised us with his mature and innovative deconstruction of the superhero genre in KICK ASS.
X-MEN FIRST CLASS benefits strongly from Michael Fassbender's tour de force performance of Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence's sexy rendition of Mystique, and James McAvoy surprising and greatly satisfying turn as a wise and charismatic young Charles Xavier, unique but close to home as a young Patrick Stewart.
Written by six people, including Vaughn and original X-MEN director Bryan Singer, X-MEN FIRST CLASS dishes out the important answers to the questions left hanging on the first X-MEN film. While giving screen time to lesser known characters (which feels like the right decision), this prequel also deepens the relationship between Charles and Erik Lensherr (Fassbender). The morality debate between what is right and what is convenient is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Kevin Bacon is a surprise. I didn't know he was going to be in this movie! Seriously. As power-hungry villain Sebastian Shaw, Bacon shows why he is an actor of topnotch caliber. He can utter dialogue with utter conviction like he really means it.
It is also interesting the writers inserted our favorite league of mutants into a historical international conflict. This gives the X-MEN back story meatier substance.
Though some cliches associated with superhero movies cannot be avoided (idiot human so-called bodyguards, even more idiot military men) the film remains grounded on the issues that surrounded the previous X-MEN films (normalcy, government intervention on genetic mutation, individuality) and maintains the excitement and cheer, especially when Hank McCoy Aka Beast (Nicholas Hoult) fires up that jet plane, and Magneto and Xavier teams up to surface an enemy submarine from the ocean depths.
Behold! The X-MEN franchise is back on its feet. Great work choosing Vaughn to direct, and Singer to get involved.