X-Men: First Class ★★★★½


I prefer... Magneto.”

Matthew Vaughn’s take on the X-Men blew me away at the time, and I’m actually kind of surprised yet glad it still very much holds up. It’s fun and charming yet very emotional and poignant in equal measure. 

Matthew Vaughn knows what he’s doing here, and I’d give anything for him to come back to the comic book landscape in the future. He comes in fully committed, for better and worse. This is obviously for the better, and I do believe this to be his best film yet. There’s a strong sense of love here as he treats each character as humans first and superheroes second. Sure, Kevin Bacon was as hammy as all get out, but it just worked. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender didn’t have to fully commit to the roles, but boy they did. I wasn’t sure at the time if they could pull off the characters but they really did. It’s not often you have a pair of characters that’s played by two different sets of actors that actually has palpable chemistry. Really crazy when you think about it, but they’re fantastic, and often the strongest spots in the forthcoming films. 

This is essentially a mish-mash of mood, genre, and setting that should clash to drag the whole thing down but it doesn’t. It simply works, and a whole lot of credit to Vaughn for being able to pull it off. In a sense, this was the first X-Men entry that truly felt like a comic book on screen. Still one of the strongest X-Men entries.

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