X-Men First Class


To give a little understanding of where this review is coming from, I’m not a comic geek. I do like comics, but not bought one by one. If I do buy, it’s the trade paperbacks I get. I couldn’t tell you how many times Magneto has died, or if Charles Xavier has been thrown down the stairs more than once (Mr Sinister did it in Ultimate XMen, I think.)  So, I don’t know if this contradicts any of the comic continuity or not. Not that I’d particularly care, either. It’s not like there’s a single continuity anyway.  Throw in the whole Ultimates line, which I like, and it’s obvious there are multiple. As a side note, if you do want to read the comics, and not spend a boat load of cash on them, take a look at the Marvel Digital comics subscription. at 60 a year (pair yearly), you get access to a lot of comics. just not in paper.

Back to the film. They reused the scene with Eric and the Nazis, which was nice. Then extended it to show you what happens after he gets hit in the head. It was something that always bugged me a little; how would he get away, and not just try killing people. Hard to control the master of magnetism 😉

I’m not going to talk too much about the plot, as I don’t like spoilers, but I did like the way it went. Not particularly complex, but enough to hang the story on. It did hit on some of the major issues of the day (in 1960-something. By the looks of it, the timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis was massively compressed. Or they just ignored months of time between scenes) and there’s the ever-present Mutant’s v Humans theme. Especially brought out with Mystique and Beast. While they’re far from the least human looking mutants, they’re pretty much the worst as far as the films go.

While Shaw’s played up as the big bad guy, this is really the story of Charles and Eric. How Magneto came into existence. Thing is, Magneto’s not the bad guy. Never really has been. That’s always cast him in a light he shouldn’t be cast in. Well intentioned extremist is probably a better description. Or possibly the freedom fighter/terrorist dichotomy.

Anyway, visually it’s a good film. The scenes are set well, and the cast was a good choice for each. Though Little Raven was more than a trifle disturbing to see. The scenes were interesting, with a decent flavour for the time period. While some people might think Emma Frost’s outfit a little extreme, it’s toned down from the source material.

If you liked the first, you’ll probably like this one. If you like comic book movies in general, you’ll probably like it. And it doesn’t depend on you knowing anything. It could be used as an entry point. I’ve seen confirmed reports that there is no stinger at the end of the credits, but I didn’t check, as I’d have missed the last train home.

Nice cameo by Hugh Jackman, too 😉