I’m not promising a spoiler-free review so please don’t read this article if you’re one of those people who didn’t rush out to see the newest installment of the X-Men franchise within the first three nights. Also, shame on you.
For those who don’t know (again, shame on you), X-Men: First Class follows the lives of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr prior to the formation of the actual X-Men. Viewers are shown the growing rift between the pair as the mutants begin forming alliances and wondering if the humans will ever learn to accept them. First Class also introduces several new mutants to the series, including Emma Frost (January Jones), Angel (Zoe Kravitz), and Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). The film follows Lehnsherr in his attempt for revenge against Shaw, a Nazi who took a very personal interest in him, while Xavier helps humans come to terms with the existence of mutants.
Initially, I had nothing bad to say about this movie. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire runtime, and aesthetically, X-Men: First Class was a gorgeous and gripping action film. But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
Continuity is a major element for me when it comes to prequels, sequels and the likes, so watching Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) become wheelchair-bound at the end of the film was disappointing considering the opening scene of X-Men 3: The Last Stand, in which Professor X and Magneto (shown below) stroll up to the home of Jean Gray. The key word in this sentence is stroll, not roll. In this scene we also see that Professor X and Magneto are still co-running the school, which seems to have been made impossible by the ending of X-Men: First Class, in which they go their separate ways.
But please proceed to your nearest emergency exit (which is located for your convenience at the front and back of the plane) if you think I have any other negative thoughts on this film.
Rose Byrne is a perfect human being with her consistently worried facial expressions, and whomever cast January Jones as Emma Frost should be given all of the awards. Go home, other casting directors. Your work here is done.
The Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn cameos were simultaneously delightful and saucy. Kevin Bacon’s portrayal of Sebastian Shaw as the highly unlikable former Nazi was perfection, upstaged only by Michael Fassbender’s hellbent Magneto.
Overall, X-Men: First Class was an intense and fun prequel to the X-Men series. And, uh, Michael Fassbender? Feel free to call me anytime you want to join the Mile High Club.