X-Men: First Class- A First Class Exploration
X-Men: First Class is the fifth installment in the X-Men franchise, which provides an interesting insight into the past lives of mutants and how they evolved into friends and enemies of the human beings. The X-Men prequel although has revived the dying franchise yet this conception should have been fabricated years ago. The story links beautifully with the previous X-Men films and the injection of new blood invigorates and energizes the Marvel comics’ franchise. The special effects by John Dykstra and cinematography both are simply brilliant. Director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn, who is also the name behind hits like Stardust and Kick-Ass, has definitely hit the bull’s-eye with X-Men: First Class.
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Thriller
Motion Picture Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violence, brief nudity and language
Release Date: 3 June 2011 (USA)
Runtime: 132 min
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Written by Twentieth Century Fox Story by Sheldon Turner, Bryan Singer, Screenplay by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Producers: Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Gregory Goodman, Simon Kinberg
Executive Producers: Stan Lee, Josh McLaglen, Tarquin Pack
Music: Henry Jackman
Visual Effects Designer: John Dykstra
Synopsis: This exciting, action packed big-screen comic flick begins in a Nazi prison camp in occupied Poland during 1944, where young Erik Lehnsherr is tragically separated from his mother by Nazi guards. Enraged and infuriated he finds himself able to control metals with his mind. Meanwhile, scientist Sebastian Shaw is delighted to observe Erik’s powers and decides to use it to his advantage. Erik is threatened to move a coin placed on Sebastian Shaw’s desk on the count of three else he would be responsible for his mother’s death. Erik tries his best but fails. Sebastian brutally shoots Eric’s mother in front of the tormented boy erupting a fury inside him. Eric kills two guards and destroys two rooms with his powerful magnetic powers.
In Westchester County, New York, mansion, young Charles Xavier lives alone wondering if there is anyone else in the world possessing super powers like him. One night he comes across a young, shape-shifting girl named Raven in his kitchen, disguised as his mother, who is the future Mystique character played to perfection by Rebecca Romijn in the X-Men trilogy. Charles and Raven pretend to be foster-siblings and study together in school and later in college.
Charles graduates from Oxford University and is trying to publish his thesis on mutations. Raven becomes a waitress in a nearby bar and enjoys Charles company and his telepathic flirting with the girls in the bar.
The story moves on to 1962, where Erik tries to trace Sebastian Shaw. The bank scene in which Eric forces the banker to tell him Shaw’s hideout in Argentina by ripping out his metal filling from his mouth is indeed very excruciating. Eric eventually learns about Shaw’s yacht in Florida. At the same time in Las Vegas, Nevada, CIA agent Moira MacTaggart follows U.S. Army Colonel Hendry into the Hellfire Club, where she sees Shaw, Emma Frost, and Azazel advocating that U.S. install nuclear missiles in Turkey. On Shaw’s yacht, we are shown his amazing energy absorbing power.
Through out the film many key questions about the mutants from the previous X-Men films are explained and uncovered and many new connections are made.
Moira seeks out Professor Charles Xavier to help the CIA find Shaw and stop him from destroying the entire humanity. There they come across Eric trying to take his revenge from Shaw. Charles saves Eric’s life through his telepathic powers and they become the best of friends and join hands in capturing Shaw. Eric joins Charles and Raven at the CIA facility, where other mutants like Beast, Angel, Darwin, etc are recruited using a prototype Cerebro. Each mutant discovers and masters his super power and prepares to fight against Shaw.
Shaw attacks the CIA facility with Azazel and Riptide and takes Angel along. Then he travels with the Russian fleet to get the missiles to Cuba so he can destroy the world and mutants of his kind can take over the world. Shaw charges himself up using a nuclear core. He has a helmet built by the Russians to block Charles from reading his mind. Charles and Eric with their team of mutants use their powers to stop the Russian ship before it crosses the line.
Eric attacks Shaw by pulling his submarine completely out of the water. He uses his powers to remove Shaw’s helmet and kills him by forcing a coin through his brain.
Unfortunately to humans feel threatened by the powerful mutants and their missiles at them. Eric holds the missiles in the air but turns them back. Charles tries to stop him by telling him to be the better person but Eric is enraged and makes an enemy out of the humans. A deflected bullet paralyses Charles. Raven and Angel end up with Eric since they always felt dejected by the human beings. He calls himself Magneto and rescues Emma Frost from the CIA prison.
Professor Charles Xavier, is unfortunately confined to a wheelchair forever. He returns to his mansion, where he opens up a special school for the gifted mutants. Moira suggests to call him Professor. X.
Prof. X. becomes the telepathic leader and founder of the X-Men.
Hence Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr later known as Professor X and Magneto became archenemies from close friends leading to the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-MEN.
Although James McAvoy as Professor X is absolutely no match as compared to Patrick Stewart yet his playful outlook and intense energy captives and fascinates the audience.
The film’s official song, “Love Love” by the British band Take That played during the end credits is really catchy.
FemmeTalks Rating: ****
You can watch X-Men: First Class in selected theaters or buy the DVD from Amazon.
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