Writer: Syahida Kamarudin
Overall: 4.5 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 4.5 Out of 5
Effects: 5.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, "The X-Men franchise"
The beauty of any movie prequel is learning the history of something that you already know is going to be amazing. Although some - like "Hannibal Rising" (2007) that failed to give justice towards the amazing movie villain that is Hannibal Lecter, "X-Men: First Class" is a prequel worth watching even if Hugh Jackman is only a 10 seconds appearance.
Set in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the movie parallels the history of the said event. And since it is a story of how the friendship and alliance of both Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr blooms and dies, the villains of the movie instead will be the comic artist duo Claremont and Byrne's 'Hellfire Club'. Fans of the comic will get to see characters such as Azazel, Banshee and Sebastian Shaw comes to life while fans of the movie franchise will get to see the young, hotter and unwrinkled version of beloved characters like Professor X, Beast, and Magneto.
James McAvoy is splendid as the suave Professor Xavier and when united with Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds"), makes an unlikely duo that is as different in persons yet believable as friends. Fassbender's version of Magneto the tortured soul gives the character a more humane form. However, unlike most superhero movies that tries to impose the more humane aspect into the character (i.e; "Spiderman"), X-Men does it without making it preachy and forced - as you may witness in the form of a scene between Professor X and Magneto near the end of the movie.
The plot is marvellous, the scripts enjoyable (like how the writer blames real history like Cuban Missile Crisis on a fictitious character like mutants) and dialogues are witty (thanks to the British humour of McAvoy). The cinematography and effects are mind-blowing from start to finish and director Matthew Vaughn successfully filling all the holes in the movie to make all slow parts and scenes less dreary.
There's a little confusion in terms of the character of Emma Frost, since she was in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" as a younger version while being an adult woman in the 60s in this movie! But then again, who has never been confused about a mutant, eh?
Overall, true to its title, this is a first class watch, even for those who are not familiar with the franchise.
Cinema Online, 01 June 2011