X-Men: First Class (2011) Review

I have always been a big fan of the X-Men.  I have seen every X-Men movie, collected the comics, and I used to watch the cartoon religiously.  One thing that was never clear to me was the dynamic between Professor Xavier and his arch rival, Magneto.  The comics, show and movies always implied that they had previously been the best of friends, and due to some falling out, were now the bitterest of enemies.  Finally the story behind Xavier and Magneto's past is being revealed in the new X-Men movie, First Class. I won't ruin the movie for you, but there are some spoilers here so if you don't want to know any of the plot, stop reading now! First class begins just like the original X-Men (2000) movie. A young Erik Lensher (Magneto) is separated from his family at a Nazi concentration camp. As the Nazi soldiers pull him away from his parents, young Erik becomes enraged, and practically rips the iron gate separating them down using his mutant power to control magnetism. The Nazis become intrigued by Erik's abilities, and their evil doctor, Sebastian Shaw learns that for Erik's powers to be triggered, he needs to become enraged. Meanwhile in New York, a young Xavier lives a privileged upbringing in a mansion. Fast forward 20 years. Adult Erik is in the process of hunting down Shaw for the atrocities he committed against the Jews, and especially his family. He traces Shaw to Argentina, where he intends on confronting and killing him. Erik learns that Shaw himself is a powerful mutant, who can absorb massive amounts of energy and use it to destroy anything he touches. Over the course of the movie, Xavier and Erik cross paths, and agree to team up to help stop Shaw. The X-Men are formed, including a young Beast, Havoc, Mystique, Banshee, Angel, Xavier and Erik. Shaw has his own team of mutants, including Azazel, and Emma Frost. The movie covers many real life issues that America faced in the 60s, including the Cold War with the Russians, racism and hatred, and a version of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The movie is surprisingly dark, sexual and probably not appropriate for small children. There are many scenes of violence, some sexual references, and swearing. In an effort to improve upon the previous movies, it appears that Brian Singer has targeted a more mature viewing audience. The first three X-Men movies were ok, but the newer ones, including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, have been great. The casting and acting by James Mcavoy as Charles Xavier, and Michael Fassbender as Magneto was phenomenal. Each actor embraced their character's roles perfectly. Xavier the well spoken gentleman, Erik the disgruntled vicious mastermind. Kevin Bacon does a good job as Sebastian Shaw, and even Hugh Jackman appears briefly as Wolverine. The movie is non stop action and special effects. It runs over 2 hours, but the time flies by. There is never a dull moment. I recommend it to all X-Men fans, and anyone who enjoys action flicks. Its a non stop thrill ride and by far, one of the best X-Men movies ever made.

Check out the Trailer here: