Thor was a thundering start to this years super hero flicks and it put me in a good mood for X-Men First Class, Green Lantern and Captain America. X-Men is next in line after Thor, an origins story years after the last film which seems like a retcon while trying to keep some facts and cast true to the trilogy… strange. After the rather poor Wolverine Origins film, will this tale of the past be any better. Or perhaps first class hero entertainment. I’m groaning too, you know.
A story of the foundations of the X-Men is the premise of this film and we get to see what Charles Xavier (Professor X) looked like before he was wheel chaired bound and bald, plus when Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) wasn’t wearing silly costumes. The dilemma of living with the humans or against them is the conflict present and both Professor x and Magneto have different goals in their mind. Though for the most part they play buddy buddy and get to recruiting some more mutants, after they learn of the enemy Sebastian Shaw and his motley crew planning to cause World War 3 so the human can go against each other and wipe themselves out, leaving only the evolved race. A rather large if not so popular set of X-Men are used, which I find a welcome decision. The fan favourites shouldn’t always be getting the attention! Wolverine gets a rather awesome cameo appearance though, makes up for the lack of Stan Lee one.
It is a film which doesn’t jump into the crazy battles and silly outfits till the last act, everything before is back story, build up and the occasional skirmish. It also has a fair share of subtitles for Germany and Russia, a Cold War plot line, and a focus on the accepting oneself.How did X become crippled? Why did Magneto turn evil? All is revealed and the careful build up and relationship between the two characters leaves an impact when things go wrong. The fight scenes when they do pop up are flashy, but not being the main crux of the film is refreshing. I like the detailed plot even if it doesn’t completely tie into the older films and has some slightly dodgy pacing. Speaking of dodgy, the other X-Men outside of Professor X, Magneto, Raven and Shaw could have been used a little more. Butterfly woman and Havoc may as well not have existed, though I did welcome the range of characters they had to show the birth of the mutant people uniting together. The Butterfly Woman and Screaming Siren have a pretty cheap looking fight too, they just seem so stupid! The great characters that are X and Magneto keep things going though and it is certainly the best of the X-Men films. Not as entertaining than Thor, but has a little more depth to it and a promise for the future of our mutant friends.