FFlashback – X-Men: First Class (2011)

Our X-Men retrospective looks at the sequel/prequel/reboot/who-cares-as-long-as-it’s-good X-Men: First Class…


The One Where: In the 1960s, the world is beginning to learn about mutants, as a telepathic genius and a vengeful master of magnetism come together to fight a dangerous villain who plans to start a nuclear war…

Star Turns: All the main players of the new young cast are great, with James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence being as dependable as ever. Our money, though, is on Michael Fassbender as Magneto. McKellen’s take on the character is awesome, but here he is a complex and unpredictable character and the absolute star of the show.

Weak Links: On the other hand, the film has something of a problem with its supporting female cast. With the exception of Mystique, the likes of Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggart, January Jones as Emma Frost and Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore aren’t given much to work with. Unfortunately, it seemed that the filmmakers were aping 60s attitudes a little too much here…

Verdict: In pretty much all other areas though, First Class is a total success. The always reliable Matthew Vaughn (If you like this, check out Stardust and Kingsman) makes what is possibly the most outright fun installment of the franchise, as he is influenced by old spy films and cold war movies. There’s also some nice exploration of the characters, as we get to see them in new lights – even if not all the new information fits into previous continuity. Still, who cares about plot holes when you’re enjoying yourself?

X-Tra Fact: To ensure he got the role, James McAvoy shaved his head for his audition. It was only afterwards that he found out the filmmakers wanted Xavier to have a full head of luscious locks in this film. Thankfully, he still got the part, and wore hair extensions instead.

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