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X-men: First Class is the answer to every X-Men fans prayers. After the 2009 release, and subsequent flop, of X-Men Origins: Wolverine many people wondered how, or if, the franchise would bounce back. Well it did, and it bounced back hard. This is easily the best comic book superhero movie to be released since The Dark Knight.
Director Matthew Vaughn did a great job introducing moviegoers to the two most important mutants of the X-Men universe. He also decided to start the franchise up from scratch. By ignoring the events of the past X-Men films, he gives us a fresh view of who became who and why. Magneto’s anger towards humans is explained as is Professor X’s belief that humans and mutants can co-exist.
The film starts out by introducing us to a young boy named Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto, Michael Fassbender) being separated from his mom at a concentration camp. During this separation he becomes enraged and showcases his talent of being able to manipulate metal. This catches the attention of a crazed Nazi scientist (played by Kevin Bacon) who wants to learn more about the boy’s amazing power.
At the same time, on the other side of the world another boy, Charles Xavier (James Mcavoy), is excited to find out that he is not the only person with super-human abilities. His power is telekinesis and he becomes Professor X. He is awoken by sounds from the kitchen of his mansion, and upon investigating the source of the noise he discovers Raven (you might know her as Mystique), an abandoned child who can shift her shape to assume the form of another human. An immediate friendship is forged because Charles makes Raven feel unashamed of her natural blue, rough skinned form and accepts her for who/what she is.
The main question being asked in the movie is how a group that is feared and shunned by society should go about gaining acceptance. Magneto believes that since mutants are the next step in human evolution, that they are better than mere humans. For that reason all mutants should stick together to protect each other from the wrath of humans. Professor X, however, believes that mutants and humans can and must co-exist. While Magneto and Professor X are not enemies, their strong beliefs force them to go there separate ways.
The balance between showcasing Magneto’s views and Professor X’s is close to perfect, leaving the viewer wondering who is right and who is wrong. Of course, both characters propose great arguments for why they are right, but in the end it is impossible to simply say one or the other is right and the other wrong. Here I think Vaughn did an extraordinary of making viewers feel sympathy for both the hero (later on in X-Men that will be Professor X) and the villain (eventually Magneto).
Right from the start the movie captivates the viewers. The action and special effects are awesome and so is the dialogue. It is witty, funny, smart, and at times even thought provoking.
The film serves as a re-boot of the X-Men franchise. Instead of taking all of the most popular mutants and building a story around them with little background, it starts from scratch. The movie ignores the events of the prior movies in the franchise, while at the same time keeping and advancing one of the main themes of X-Men, acceptance in society. This is a must see not only for fans of X-Men, but also for anyone looking for a fun movie.