Saturday, June 11, 2011
First-class Special Effects
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michale Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne and others
Rating: **** of 5 (4 of 5)
Pros: Excellent special effects, good story, great acting
Cons: Slow, can get boring at times, requires a prior knowledge of X-Men
After X-2, the X-Men franchise has been digging into history for some juicy stuff. We saw Wolverine and loved the fact that we finally understood the man with the metallic skeleton, but First Class takes us back even further to explain the origin of the central theme of X-Men itself: the rivalry between Charles Xavier and Magneto.
Taking us from Poland, 1944 all the way to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the movie puts a spin on history and recasts the Cold War in a way only a very good storyteller can. The movie has a good story and, if it wasn't for all the mutation, it would have been very believable! But the story is certainly not its USP...
From lifting a large submarine out of the ocean to other, more subtle wonders, the special effects are the real charm of the movie. Well-managed, certainly not overdone and at just the right time: this movie does not depend on SFX to catch the eyeballs but inevitably it becomes its best feature. That's not to say that the other things aren't great either: the acting is very good and I enjoyed that superb English accent.
But sadly, somewhere in the middle, you realise that this movie is just too long. The worst part is when the director chooses to hopscotch between a nuclear war and little tour of Xavier's mansion. That's when you realise that the director is just stretching it for no real reason. Still, it does pick up towards the end. And most importantly, the movie tells us the truth - how two men who were like brothers, how two mutants who were like siblings, came to form opposing forces. For someone who has seen the previous movies, First Class is a must-see. (OTFS)