For the second time this year, a blockbuster fifth installment to a franchise has become the best of the series. It happened first with ‘Fast Five’, and now with ‘X-Men: First Class’.
Please note that ‘X-Men: First Class’ is a prequel, not a reboot. ‘First Class’ is not here to erase previous ‘X-Men’ movies, nor ‘Wolverine‘. Instead, it’s here to introduce us to how the superhero team came about, to show us how the world first reacted to mutants, and to detail exactly what came between Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender).
Set in 1962, ‘First Class’ weaves the interesting origin story with historical events of the time, most importantly the Cuban Missile Crisis. I’ll bet you didn’t know the Cuban Missile Crisis was actually the first mutant attempt to destroy mankind, did you?
Coming from ‘Kick-Ass‘ director Matthew Vaughn, ‘First Class’ is a well-written, action-packed example of how the ‘X-Men’ movies should have been all along. It knows how to remain lightweight while featuring dark themes and stylized brutal violence. It features one of the coolest montage sequences of all time. It’s a rare high-quality crowd-pleaser. Its only downfalls are a corny action sequence that resembles Tinkerbell chasing Peter Pan through the air and a few too many winks and nods at the ‘X-Men’ movies of the past.
If you thought that Bryan Singer’s ‘X2‘ was the best the franchise was going to get, set all prejudices aside and think again. Die-hard fans of comics, lose your beef with the less-than-faithful adaptation and see what Vaughn was able to do with ‘First Class’.