Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Mutants in Training
Most superhero movies follow pretty obvious cliches, however in the case of X-Men: First Class (2011) director Matthew Vaughn follows a slightly different path in regards to making an origins story film. Even though First Class has some fairly obvious moments, and can be considered rather standard at times, the film's top notch cast and Vaughn's rather daft handling of the material makes this the best superhero film of the year. Considering that the last two X-Men films are considered among the worst of the series, this film represents a return to form for the franchise, and marks a new start. After all, these days the trend is to just go with a reboot, since its much easier to begin anew rather than try to fix any current existing problems that have been caused by the previous other movies.
Just like the first X-Men (2000), this film opens with a look at Magneto's beginning as a young boy. In this case, however, we get a glimpse of his true powers, and becomes a sort of Frankenstein's monster. The Dr. Frankenstein in this case being Sebastian Shaw, who starts out as a Nazi and then moves on from there, and who is responsible for Magento, who starts out as Erik Lehnsherr, becoming who he truly is, and embracing his mutant powers. Eventually he runs into Charles Xavier, who believes that mutants should be protecting humanity from not only itself, but also from those mutants who seek to harm people and even fellow mutants. What follows is rather standard "Mutant Training" moments, although Vaughn in some respects uses these scenes though to build up the characters, which makes the big final "World is in Serious Dangerous Peril" finale have much higher stakes overall.
Even though the ending is all too painfully easy to figure out (even non comic book fans such as myself are aware of the series' mythology), this movie is really entertaining. Despite the film not being a huge box office success, there are reports of a sequel forthcoming, which sounds great, so long as it continues to follow the established successful formula and has a competent director such as Vaughn in control. Plus of course bringing back the movie's core cast, as well. 90