This past summer, the film that surprised me the most was X-Men First Class. The film serves as a prequel to the X-Men trilogy; documenting the early relationship of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr – as they gather and train a team of young mutants to defeat Sebastian Shaw as he attempts to bring the world to nuclear warfare during the Cuban missle crisis. In the course of saving the world from nuclear war, the rift between Xavier and Lehnsherr forms; setting the stage for the future X-Men films. Some of the other mutants featured in the film include Beast, Havok, Banshee, Mystique, and the White Queen.
Director Matthew Vaughn takes a fresh look at the X-Men universe with this prequel; which does set the stage for Bryan Singer’s 2000 film x-Men. He takes full advantage of the film’s 1960s setting; with both set design and costumes reflecting a mod/cool design aesthetic – this was an element of the film that I personally loved. The film is well directed and paced; and avoids many of the missteps of X-Men: the Last Stand.
Overall, the film is well acted with McAvoy (Xavier) and Fassbender (Lehnsherr) solidly anchoring the film. Kevin Bacon more than fills shoes of the film’s antagonist; which was the source of some concern prior to seeing the movie. The supporting cast generally handles their material well, but as with any ensemble piece individual characters don’t get as much development or screen time as you may want.
The DVD both looks and sounds great; with audio options including an English DD 5.1 track as well as an English DD 5.1 Descriptive audio, plus Spanish and French Dolby Surround. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Special features on the DVD include “Children of the Atom: Filming X-Men: First Class” a two-part making of featurette and an anti-smoking PSA. The Blu-Ray release includes several other special features including10 X-Men digital comics, a mutant database, an 8-part making of series, extended and deleted scenes, trailers and an isolated score.
In summary, ‘X-Men First Class’ is a great re-launch of the X-Men franchise. With a story that’s engaging, great effects, solid acting and direction – the film delivers on all accounts. Both Blu-Ray and DVD releases hit retail September 9th (or can be pre-ordered now). If you’re a fan of any of the x-Men films, be sure to give First Class a chance.
Thanks to Fox Home Entertainment for providing a review copy of X-Men First Class to AwesomeToyBlog.