X-Men: First Class Review
Kevin Bacon as a mutant Nazi! Rose Byrne in her pants! Nicolas Hoult done up like Sully from Monsters, Inc! And these aren’t even the best things about Matthew Vaughn’s vibrant, sprawling, ensemble origin story (well, maybe the Bacon bits…).
A franchise reboot reminiscent of JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek overhaul, this is the fifth film in the X-Men canon and even if it can’t quite match Bryan Singer’s X2 (among the finest of its kind) First Class is still fast, fresh and fun.
It’s intelligent and emotionally resonant, explosive and eye-dazzling. Factor in a zeitgeisty, hot-list cast and First Class is likely to be one of the summer’s best biggies. It sure as hell razes Brett Ratner’s disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand (which Vaughn was slated for a one point) and Gavin Hood’s time-waster Wolverine.
Poland, 1944: a young Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents in a concentration camp; meanwhile, in an affluent but isolated stately home in New York a young Charles Xavier happens upon a strange blue little girl who’s able to disguise herself as other people.
Eighteen years later, Erik (Michael Fassbender) and Charles (James McAvoy) have matured into powerful, charismatic men with opposing agendas.
Their paths cross in the pursuit of former Nazi Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a ruthless mutant supremacist plotting to use the Cuban Missile crisis to provoke a war among humans.