Thursday, 9 June 2011
[Review] X-Men: First Class
Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Stardust) steps up to the task of directing this gigantically action packed film, and most definitely brings a large visionary scale to it. The locations vary in almost every scene giving you something new and exciting to look at in the various parts of the film. When we come to the conflict, he doesn't shy away from showing pain, meaning all those details you'd rather not see (like a knife in someone's hand) are there. But this doesn't mean the whole film is gory. His filming of it is done in a way that makes it bearable to watch, almost to the point of not being able to take your eyes off the scene. He also does this through the extreme establishing and tracking shots. Particularly towards the end of the film, you are guaranteed to be thrilled by his interpretation of how a battle between super powers should be conducted.
As with any super-hero film, the audience need to feel a sense of the impossible being completed. This film shows just that with the brilliantly crafted special effects, but adds a bit of sentiment to the story, as we watch these incredible 'mutants' from previous films learn their trademark power. The development of the characters in this film fit perfectly to what's already been seen. If you're a true fan, you'll notice particular references that will make you smile. And I think this is what makes First Class quite charming, in a way. Nothing hides away from the fact that we are watching a prequel, which means it all fits in together smoothly.
Now for the big question - Are the cast any good? In my opinion, yes. They're not impersonating, which I think can be a big issue when it comes to prequels. The cast have their own sense of the characters, and are obviously well aware of their status in the film meaning the characters that are meant to shine do, and those who are companions stay as companions. James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) warned fans of the X-Men series not to watch this, but he fits into the role brilliantly, showing he can be quite powerful if he wants to be. Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr) brings the aggressive emotion that rivals the good intentions from Charles which makes the film flow effortlessly as they play off each other well. In fact, as a whole, the group of mutants hold the humour, anger, confusion, vulnerability and the race to win as much as the previous films do, coming together as a group accordingly.
This is a real summer blockbuster, filling the screen with exhilarating detail perfect for all sorts of audiences. Even if you've seen none of the previous films, that doesn't matter. The story holds its own and leads you into the other films as if you were reading a well drawn map.
Bloopers with actors in costume make it all the better to watch: