Film Review: X-Men First Class (2011)


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X-Men-First-Class-Hoult-as-Beast

I’m sick of superhero movies, but when I relapse, it tends to be with the ‘X-Men.’ Director Matthew Vaughn (‘Kick-Ass,’ ‘Layer Cake’) reinvigorates things after a couple of less-than-stellar entries in franchise, including the abominable ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine.’ The plot moves at a ridiculous pace and the connections between points A, B, and C can be a little convenient, but Vaughn succeeds in giving the movie a James Bond/’Thomas Crown Affair’-like tone that makes it all go down better. Michael Fassbender, now getting rave reviews for his performance in Steve McQueen’s ‘Shame,’ sinks his teeth into the meaty role of Magneto. Fassbender is the star here, bringing more weight and screen presence to the franchise than anyone since… well, maybe Ian McKellen. Kevin Bacon is also very good here, relishing the role of the film’s big baddie. Younger cast members Jennifer Lawrence (Oscar nominee for ‘Winter’s Bone’ and star of the upcoming ‘Hunger Games’) and Matthew Hoult (‘About a Boy’ and star of the upcoming ‘Jack the Giant Killer’) bring resonance to the roles of Mystique and Beast, respectively. And the Beast makeup? Pretty damned nifty! The third act is the best, a terrific combination of character and spectacle — precisely what an X-Men movie should be.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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