This weekend X-Men: First Class was finally released. The X-Men film franchise is my favorite comic book saga and almost all of them have been amazing (Last Stand isn’t even considered part of the franchise by many). First Class, although it claims to be a prequel and not a reboot, promises a youthful rejuvenation for the series.
This prequel chronicles the youths of Professor X and Magneto, the early days of their friendship, and the fundamental differences in their ideologies. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are warm and believable as the younger versions of our favorite mutants. Not so wonderful is Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique, who brought plenty of insecurity, but no charm. The showcase of abilities by Professor X and Magneto are impressive and fun and the recruitment montage is particularly wonderful. Azazel could have been way more badass and his scenes were nowhere as cool as Nightcrawler’s in X2. Regardless, the film feels honest and could very likely bump this franchise back on track. I’ve read a prequel trilogy is the plan and I hope that’s the case.
While die-hards might complain about every one of the films’ inconsistencies from the comics, most will notice the films’ inconsistencies from each other. One issue is characters’ ages relative to other characters and even to themselves in various films in the series. Emma Frost (January Jones) is the most glaring, who is portrayed as a much younger version in Origins: Wolverine, which takes place several years after First Class. Other areas of contention are Magneto’s involvement in the construction of Cerebro, the Professor’s ability to walk/not walk, and Beast’s inconsistently furry appearance throughout the series. Even with the inconsistencies, First Class is a much needed jumpstart for the franchise and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Watch out for a couple fun cameos, but don’t bother staying past the credits; there are no bonus scenes.