X-Men: First Class is a great movie, not just a comic book movie, not just an action movie, but a great movie. Let’s face it, X-Men was a dying movie series and, with almost insulting things happening in the latest movies from Cyclops being killed to Deadpool … well, I think you remember. But, if the sort of quality we see in this movie continues we could actually see some really good X-Men movies, and that sounds like a great proposition to me.


Tim gives THUMBS UP!

            To begin my argument, I will start with the most important part of all movies, writing. It doesn’t matter how good the effects, acting, or anything else is if you have a bad script you have a bad movie. This movie has very good writing that rolls all kinds of feeling and emotion that can even differ in genre depending on which part of the movie your watching. The thriller/suspense feeling of Magneto’s painful childhood, the fast-paced and visually pleasing training scenes, and the epic action/drama finale all seamlessly roll into a satisfying movie.


            The next most important thing in movies is acting. If you have a good idea but also have a horrible actor, it can pull your movie into infamy (see almost any Nick Cage film). In First Class, there are lots of actors and lots of opportunities for horrific clichés and bland acting; but there aren’t any taxing scenes where an actor causes the emotion or excitement to drop. The love/hate relationship between Magneto and Prof. X has been a cornerstone of the X-Men franchise for years and it is executed superbly in this film. Both actors are able to pull the ideology of each character into their performance letting the character speak for itself.



                One subject that has always annoyed me in movies is the extreme black and white look on good and evil. So many movies have a perfectly spotless hero that never does anything wrong (and even if he does, he’s really sorry so it’s all ok) or a villain that will stop at nothing to make sure good and justice are eradicated because all that is good is bad and all that is bad is good. Another annoyance is when only one opinion is assumed correct and is the only side shown with legitimate points. In First Class, all sides are not shown in the best light and arguments are given for each conflicting idea. This film shows you the glaring weaknesses of Prof. X’s idealism and the vengeful emotions of Magneto. It also presents strong proofs for both of their viewpoints, never really settling on either. This film forces us to at times agree with the enemy and stretch our philosophy, never letting us feel comfortable with picking one over the other.


            In conclusion this is a movie that has great acting, great writing, great effects, and all without the clichés, I don’t envy having to try and find outstanding faults in it. Good luck Mr. Arnold.


C.F. Arnold gives THUMBS DOWN!

            I don’t find any outstanding faults with First Class as a movie. It is entertaining. And it is a fun superhero action flick. It’s just not that great of an X-Men flick, not for 2011 anyway.

          I would love if this was the first X-Men movie, but it’s not, it’s the fifth X-Men movie. I would hope that a fifth volume in a series was better than the first, and First Class is better than the first X-Men film, but it’s really just more of the same.

          Where's the Sentinels? Where are the Shi’Ar or any villain besides an evil mutant or the government? Yes, the gooberment is an element in the X-Men comics, but there are many other great adventures despite those obstacles. Yet, the films always seem to focus only on this two things in every single movie.

          The X-Men franchise suffers from the same faults as the Superman franchise. The folks making the films in Hollywood are scared to go outside those core elements. In Superman it’s Lex Luthor and kryptonite. Every single Superman movie is Luthor and kryptonite, just like every single X-Men movie, all five of them, is the government and evil mutants.

            Look at Sebastion Shaw. He was just like Magneto from the other movies. He leads a group of evil mutants and hates humans, but he likes other mutants and will let them join him to be part of his cause, yadda, yadda, yadda…

          I feel that I have a fairly solid opinion on this film, since I watched it twice. The first time I fell asleep… so I had to go back and watch it a second time.

          Yes, the acting was top notch and the effects were hot, but much like Superman Returns, X-Men: First Class had nothing new to offer.

And really, the movie barely had a story. It had tons of cool character arcs, but not much of plot. Sebastion Shaw wants to start a big war to make all the humans kill each other-really? Are you trying to tell me that five films in, prequel or not, this is the best they got? And the Professor X / Magneto relationship felt completely forced. It's was all, "Nice to meet you, now we're best friends."

          Maybe I have just been spoiled by comic book superhero movies like Dark Knight Returns. Or maybe I just believe... Believe that the X-Men could be so much more. They could time travel or have battles on other planets or face enemies so eternally indestructible that not even nature itself can stop them. For now, if I want to see a cool movie with my favorite mutants fighting the government… I’ll pop in my DVD of X2: X-Men United.