Synopsis from IMDB
Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-MEN.
I won’t lie to you; I wrote this movie off way before they even showed the trailer on TV. I was pretty disappointed with the last two X-Men films. More energy was put into the special effects than a well-rounded story or characters with depth. But X-Men: First Class puts the franchise back on track. Gave me everything I loved about the franchise to begin with and more.
X-Men: First Class was a prequel to the X-Men franchise. It was about where everything began, how Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) became Magneto and how Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) became Professor X. The movie starts off by showing us Erik as a young boy being separated from his mother during World War II. He wants to get to get pass the metal gate to get to her and through this, he starts to bend the gate with his mind. It is here he is contacted by an evil, power hungry Nazi, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) who goes through a drastic and heartbreaking method to unleash Erik’s power. It is from here we see where Erik’s pain and anger comes from. Erik grows up hating human kind for not accepting him and those like him. He is also out to find the man who made him the monster he is.
Charles Xavier is different, knows he is different and ever since he was young, he accepted others like him. Such as Xavier’s foster sister and first mutant encounter Raven (aka Mystique) (Jennifer Lawrence), who doesn’t accept herself and knows Charles doesn’t really either. But Charles goes out to learn all he can about mutation. So after being contacted by a CIA Agent, Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) about witnessing mutants disposing of a man on the war committee, Xavier sets out to find the fellow mutants responsible. It is here when he rescues Erik from his demise. When Xavier meets the angry and revenge-driven Erik they become great friends out for the same thing, but for completely different reasons.
I love how the storyline tied in with real life history. After President Kennedy sends out the order to stop the Russians (well Soviet Union) from sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, Sebastian takes advantage. All the nuclear power would be his use to use and do what he wants with it. Sebastian has the ability to suck energy from any source and use it, so he is trying to make himself a walking, talking nuclear bomb.
I could go on forever about this movie, but I won’t. I left the theater with a smile on my face. Well almost, since I wait for after the credits and wasn’t even given a clip. Why Marvel?! Still I loved the movie. The storyline was rich and action packed. I love that we got a chance to see the friendship between Xavier and Erik. Seeing how Xavier was pretty much the only person Erik would listen to (to a point) was a nice touch. Also seeing where Erik’s pain came from really added another layer to this movie, actually to the franchise in my opinion. Don’t agree with his methods, but you see why he is the way he is. We just thought he wasn’t happy because he wasn’t accepted. He was tired of being at the mercy of those telling him what to do and most of all, who to kill.
I also love the young adults we follow in the movie. Seeing how Raven was such good friends with Xavier, but noticing how he wouldn’t just accept her for her, but Erik will and has. Out of all of them, she is the one that we see in the franchise, but the others there (Banshee, Beast, and more) were awesome. Kevin Bacon was a great villain; his superpower made him a real force to be reckoned with. I also liked Emma Frost (January Jones). She did a great job favorite X-Men in the comics and cartoons, so it was a nice portrayal. We don’t learn much about the demon lookalike (can’t remember name), but he was the red version of Nightcrawler.
Overall, this movie surpassed my expectations. If you are like me and you were disappointed with X-Men 3 and had a major “WTF” reaction to X-Men: Wolverine, do not worry about this one. There is a great story, great heroes (and villains), and doesn’t solely depend on the special effects to be entertaining. It is definitely one of the biggest surprises for me this year and was refreshing. I hope the director, Matthew Vaughn, continues on the path he has created. Thank you for making this movie lover and sci-fi nerd very, very happy.