X-Men: First Class Review — Don't Call It A Reboot

Posted by G-Man (35119 posts) - - Show Bio

Let me begin by saying, X-Men: First Class will not be true to the comics. We know this. It's been made perfectly clear in all the trailers and TV spots. There is no reason to dwell on that. This is a meant to be a piece of entertainment based on or inspired by the comics. I can easily say that now but even I had to keep reminding myself during the movie.

With that in mind, I did enjoy it. One question that was heavily on my mind was would this movie have any ties or connections to the other X-films? Maybe it was watching it so late at night but I'm not sure I can fully answer that. Discounting the whole Emma Frost/Wolverine Origins debacle, I think it's safe to say this movie could, in fact, be in the same continuity of the other movies. But then, I haven't watched/tried to avoid the others.

Even though there was that glorious Marvel logo at the beginning, this almost didn't feel like a Marvel or comic book movie. We do see Magneto's childhood story told once again and I wish I had re-watched the first X-Men movie to remind myself how the scenes played out. But we do get more of his childhood along with Xavier's (some of which we got a glimpse of in the trailers).

== TEASER ==

The fact that the movie is set mainly in 1963 was an intriguing idea. When I first heard about it, I wondered why this decision was made. It does make sense so that we can have Magneto's unfortunate childhood take place in the 1940s and not have to worry about de-aging him as he was in the comics. You can almost say that this movie is as much about Magneto as it is about Xavier and the formation of the X-Men. Whether this is to make up for the canceled X-Men Origins: Magneto movie, it provided an interesting hook. Magneto can often be seen as a simple two-dimensional villain but his story here reminds us of the layers his character is comprised of.

That being said, Michael Fassbender does a great job as Magneto. We get to see a more vulnerable Magneto that is rarely portrayed. James McAvoy does well as Charles Xavier as well but I couldn't help but wonder why the decision was made for Xavier to still have hair. It's just a matter of reminding ourselves that the movie is different from the comics. There were some scenes where Charles was not acting like the Charles we know. Great to see though.

I know I said it's a matter of accepting that things will be different but it was still difficult to accept some of the changes. Moira MacTaggert as a CIA Agent without a Scottish accent felt very weird. Sebastian Shaw had an interesting backstory but I'm still not quite sure how I felt about it. As the main villain, I never really bought into his motives. Emma Frost felt a little out of place. It could be that I'm used to seeing the headstrong Emma that won't take crap from anyone. There were some little touches that reminded us this was the 60s and women had a slightly different role back then. Shaw's henchmen never really had a motive either. I can see Riptide being a hired thug but depending on what Azazel's actual origin is, it felt weird seeing him obediently follow Shaw's orders.

Can we talk about the Hellfire Club for a bit? Yes, it is part of Sebastian and Emma's story but I don't really see the need for it in the movie. The unfortunate result of the almost pointless Hellfire scenes is I will not be taking my seven year old daughter to see this movie, despite the strong desire she has to see it. I don't think the idea of the Club providing entertainment for men with women dressed in 60s style lingerie really added anything. That may have been how Emma got her start in the Hellfire Club but throughout the rest of the movie, it didn't seem like an important factor.

As for the time period. There were a few moments I simply marveled at the set designs. The movie is supposed to take place in the early 60s and the set designers did a great job. Sure, a couple times things might have looked a little modern but it was the little things that really sold it for me.

What about the rest of the cast? It's a mixed bag of some characters having a strong resemblance to their comic book counterparts while others did not. Beast was well portrayed. Havok felt a little weird. His personality was great but didn't feel quite like Alex Summers (and I still have no idea if he's supposed to be Scott's brother). Darwin and Angel were interesting choices to include. They were well done but completely unnecessary. Banshee was a complete redesign. He was pretty much nothing like his comic book counterpart but nevertheless, a nice addition.

What about Mystique? Again, we have some changes in her story. I have no problem accepting the tweaks made. I thought it was an odd choice in the direction they chose and I will definitely need to watch the other X-movies to see if it feels like the same character.

It was a good movie. Not a great one but Fox handled it nicely. Even though it has nothing to do with the other Marvel movies, there's bound to be comparisons to Thor. In some ways, Thor felt like it had a higher production but First Class definitely felt like a bigger movie. By bigger, I mean that there were more locations (even though a good chunk of Thor took place all the way in Asgard). With Thor, it was just Asgard and Mexico we mainly saw. In First Class, we're pretty much all over the world.

X-Men fans should be happy with the results here. Just remind yourself this will not be true to the comics. New fans should be able to jump right in and not worry why we're getting random mutants from different points in continuity thrown in. It is a form of entertainment. The story might have had a couple plotholes but overall tells the story of Magneto and the X-Men. Will we get a sequel? There has been talk of one. Would I like to see a sequel? Heck yeah. I liked what they did in creating this 1960s X-Men universe and would not mind seeing more of it, along with more mutants. Giving it a rating, it's a very very solid 4 out of 5.

Staff
#1 Edited by StriderNo9 (104 posts) - - Show Bio

I really want to see it. I knew it wouldn't be terrible but a few things worried me. 

#2 Edited by hero4hire (22 posts) - - Show Bio
#3 Posted by mark5 (1213 posts) - - Show Bio

So hyped.

#4 Edited by ArtisticNeedham (2260 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, glad to hear it was better than expected.  I want to see it, but my friend refuses.  He is upset they are calling it First Class but it has nothing to do with the comic First Class.  Anything you think I can say to get him to see it anyway? 
Did the Hellfire Club dancing in underwear stuff really play an important role in the comics?
I too, even though I haven't seen it yet, would like a sequel.  Maybe then we can get a young Scott, and maybe focus on his character more. And maybe then we can get more bad guys like Mr. Sinister (who also has ties to Magneto as well as Scott).
#5 Posted by zombietag (1494 posts) - - Show Bio

if youre someone whos going to freak out about anything different than the comics, prepare to hate it like my friends did. 
 
if you want to have fun watching an xmen story and take more lightly, its pretty good. it didnt blow my mind but i liked it. 
 
im with you on the hellfire scene tony. kinda pointless. so was riptide. he didnt even have one line the whole movie! they could have chosen someone a lot  cooler.

#6 Posted by DarkMatter23 (71 posts) - - Show Bio

If you want to understand the X-Men, as their true origins started, then this might not be the best jumping off point. But if you don't care or have read the comic arcs, then you might thoroughly enjoy this. I thought overall it was well done. I really loved the reintroduction of Magneto and smiled when he first tapped into the hatred. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy did such an outstanding job! I do wish that they had more moments together on screen and the writers would have dug a little deeper with their relationship. Bacon was on top of his game as Mr. Shaw. 
The movie was half serious and half fun. Despite my battle with sleep (midnight showing and I'm old) I thought it was really really good.

#7 Posted by fitchy101 (205 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Posted by Baddamdog (2223 posts) - - Show Bio

Your reviews very similar to mine! I hope to good this gets a sequel!

#9 Posted by Illuminarch (244 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's safe to say this movie could, in fact, be in the same continuity of the other movies.

 
Please explain. Were we supposed to think that Beast and Mystique were in their early to mid 60s in previous movies? 
 
The commercials clearly suggested a tie between this movie and the previous three films (though not Wolverine Origins, which has the problematic Emma Frost appearance), but I don't see how the chronology can be reconciled.
 

#10 Edited by jamesewelch (616 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a big X-fan, but for some reason I have no interest at all in watching this movie in the theaters. I might check it out via Netflix. I saw Thor and I'm going to see Cap Am movie, but this movie has just never piqued my interest.

#11 Posted by MichaelBach (65 posts) - - Show Bio

Great, will go watch it today :)

#12 Posted by SecretKnight (82 posts) - - Show Bio

CAn't wait to see it, gonna go see it at the next showing which I have no clue when that is gonna go check.
#13 Posted by The Average Bear (2079 posts) - - Show Bio
Saw it last night. I thought it was great. The entire theatre clapped.
#14 Edited by CrimsonAvenger (1162 posts) - - Show Bio

Since it has Beast in it, it's a reboot as we saw him in X-3 and that would mean he would be over 60 years old in that movie if this were in the same continuity.

#15 Posted by Loki9876 (3051 posts) - - Show Bio

i agree it was agood movie it just wasn't faithfull to the comics.

#16 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

FIRST CLASS!!!!!!!
#17 Posted by BewilderingBeing (69 posts) - - Show Bio

It's Amazing to me that Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Thor, etc have all been brought to the big screen with very few changes made to the character's backstory and they were successful.  For some reason X-men writers simply refuse to give their characters any respect.  The fact that this is called X-men first class, chronicling the history of the very first group of X-men and only 2 of the 5 original X-men are represented speaks volumes.  Riptide wasn't around during this era, neither was Emma, Neither was Sebastian Shaw, etc.  They came into the scene decades later. Mystique as an X-man!?  In first class no less?  What a joke!  I thought that because the director that did Kick Ass was involved he would hold a higher respect to the quality of the film.  Silly Silly Me!

#18 Posted by theicon (1797 posts) - - Show Bio

greatest marvel movie  this movie is awesome, great surprises if you seen the previous x men movies!!!!

#19 Posted by G-Man (35119 posts) - - Show Bio

@CrimsonAvenger: X-3 would be about 40 years later. So Beast could've been in his 60s? As for his super brief human appearance in the previous movie, image inducer?

Staff
#20 Posted by CrimsonAvenger (1162 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man:  
 
Kelsey Grammer who played him in X-3 was 51 at the time so maybe it is possible but we saw Hank McCoy in X-2 and he only appeared to be in his 40's. Maybe it is some kind of technology he has to make himself appear young or the writers are too stupid to notice that continuity error.
#21 Posted by leokearon (1816 posts) - - Show Bio
#22 Posted by Baddamdog (2223 posts) - - Show Bio
@Illuminarch: In the film it's explained that Mystique ages at half the rate and I think it is believable that Beast was in his 50's or 60's in X3 
@CrimsonAvenger: Ermm X3 was set in 2006 and this film was set in 1963, and Beast was supposed to be around 20 in the film, placing him at around 60 in X3, not over 80, and that cameo in X2 is so brief and almost unnoticeable, that people shouldn't even take notice to it 
 
I think people should be glad that there is a quality, new X-Men movie out, rather than bitch about if it matches with the comics and continuity. In the end, it's just a movie
#23 Posted by Bestostero (5618 posts) - - Show Bio

After seeing it, I can honestly say I did not like it.

#24 Posted by darkwolverine (41 posts) - - Show Bio

Furthermore talking about beast being around 60 on the last stand is possible, due to the fact that in the movie beast injects himself with a supposed cure for his condition, which he obtained from mystique's genes.  Therefore since mystique ages at half the human rate it is safe to assume that beast doesn't age normally either. 
 

#25 Posted by Pabba (5 posts) - - Show Bio

Still don't know yet if I wanna see this or just wait for it to (hopefully) hit Netflix in a few months.

#26 Posted by thespencer (4 posts) - - Show Bio

As an X-men fan should I really see this movie?  From what my friends in the states (and over here now its been released) have said, its wierd, and doesnt feel quite right, though they cant place why that is... any one else feel that way?  there's something not quite right about it?  anyone care to enlighten me as to whether its worth £7.20($10) per ticket?!?!

#27 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3556 posts) - - Show Bio

Of coarse there is a reason to dwell on that it doesn't even remotely follow the comics. This is the same issue as when you base a movie off a regular book and the story is next to nothing like the actual book. You base movies off of something because they're popular and you want that popularity to come to your movie.

I like a character in the comics not just because they "look pretty" but for their position in the story and personality. Why the hell would I want to sit through a movie where my favorite characters are nothing like their actual personality.
 
I hate it when they make movies "based on" something I enjoy then completely throw the story I enjoy out the window, slapping on the title in the end. It was the same thing when I read Jurassic Park: Lost World then saw the movie. Out of that entire movie, there were maybe two scene from the book. If I had known they were going to do that to the book. I never would of gone to that movie.
 
@G-Man:
They wanted to call this First Class, but use almost none of the actual First Class. They even try and make the connection to the first movie by using clips from that film in some of the early trailers.If they didn't want that link they should of never used those clips.
 
How is it that Emma from Wolverine Origins is such needless screw up, yet making excuses over this usage of Mystique? The Sherlock Holmes movie wasn't perfectly on the books, but it was a good 80 percent like the books when it came to the characters. The personalities and relationships weren't wildly off base. It is unreasonable to expect these movies to be 100% accurate, but that's no excuse for not being 10%. Having Mystique be some scared little girl who just wants to fit in. It's as ridiculous as Emma being the sister of Silver Fox. At least when they did that 'ashamed of their powers' theme in the first X-Men movie with Rogue. The comic Rogue was ashamed of her powers. 
What would fans say if in the Dark Knight Batman was cracking jokes when he was in a fight and making witty one-liners? Would they call it an interesting twist? No, they called it Batman & Robin(1997), They then rebooted the entire franchise. My two favorite female characters from the X-Men series are Emma Frost and Mystique, and in one movie they managed to mess them both up. Reviewers of this movie are trying to go around and say this is better than Dark Knight. They attached that line to one of the commercials for this movie.
 
I can pass over on this movie easily. I'm waiting for Captain America. That at least looks good.

#28 Posted by Trodorne (2590 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry im not going to see this movie. Fox and I are not on good terms.

#29 Posted by Emerald Dragonfly (212 posts) - - Show Bio

4 of 5? No. 2 of 5? Yes.

#30 Posted by Vitality (1767 posts) - - Show Bio

Well obviously you can't call it a reboot...since a movie about this has not been done before. 
 
However, it's also not a prequel to the other movies. 
 
Just look at the difference between this and X-men origins wolverine. 
 
I believe they used the images of Prof X and Magneto from the other X-men movies so that non-comic book readers could have something to relate to. 
 
#31 Posted by the_fallen11 (636 posts) - - Show Bio

to be honest i think they just ignored x3 altogether...in x3 chuck and erik were still working together in the 1980s when they found jean grey. in x men first class they parted ways in 1960s. in x3 moria was scottish and was a doctor...if you look at the big picture the movie works if you just ignore x3 and thats cool with me bc x3 was not good...and if you look at it that way it makes room for a new movie after x2 to replace the mess that was x3 kinda like how they did with superman returns. so until proven otherwise im just gonna ignore x3.

#32 Posted by shawn87 (2095 posts) - - Show Bio

im about to be on my way to go see this

#33 Edited by Jordanstine (907 posts) - - Show Bio
#34 Posted by BlackPookie (640 posts) - - Show Bio

SO nice so nice so nice... 
but i still have to wait untill next thursday!!!! heck!!!
#35 Posted by greeneagle (161 posts) - - Show Bio
@thespencer:  HELL FREAKING NO, i wouldn't pay a cent to watch this movie. Save your money .
#36 Posted by Lifeguard85 (392 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked the movie because I went in knowing it would not be like the comics. I just kept reminding myself all of the characters were young, and I kind of liked Banshee...a lot actually. 
 
Emma was pretty good, but like G-Man said, I had to remind myself that women in this era had a different role... 
  

#37 Posted by Walker696 (984 posts) - - Show Bio
@hero4hire: Literally just saw it like 20 mins ago and I'm pissed over the same reason
 
All in all it was a pretty good movie, kinda lengthy but good(if you ignore pretty much everything in the comics). The bad guys stole the show to me (especially Shaw) and the funniest part of the movie was the cameo in the bar. Aside form Mystique coming off like a whinny teen in heat it was one of Marvel's better movies(again if you ignore the comics).
#38 Edited by AlKusanagi (605 posts) - - Show Bio

The Moria thing really got on my nerves and was the only part I seriously disliked. To take her from a Scottish Lady (she held lands and a title), not to mention the FOREMOST EXPERT on mutant genetics, and turn her into a CIA agent is completely beyond me. Why couldn't they have used Carol Danvers or what's-her-name Forrester or any other of the plethora of female cast that had both government and X-mythos connections, especially since it was just name dropping since no one beyond a comic fan would know Moria anyway?

Also, I'm downright shocked to see all the hatred of this movie on here. I thought it was amazingly in the spirit of the source material but, then again, MY X-men are the ones of the 70s and 80s, before they "sold out" in the 90s.

#39 Posted by GraphicCasualFreak (221 posts) - - Show Bio

They lost me when they made Angel a girl with butterfly wings. Even if she is a hot girl. :)

#40 Posted by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

so far there is not movie that is completely faithful to the source.  there is no animated project that is completely faithful of the source.  why hear the bitching about this one then.  I look at it like an elseworlds, and so far from what I've read (and I've read a lot)  this movie is real good and a lot of fun, and being considered the best of the 4 x-men related movies made.  I enjoyed all the X-men movies to a degree.  the first and second were great, but there is no way this movie isn't going to have any more changes then those did.
#41 Posted by Lifeguard85 (392 posts) - - Show Bio
@GraphicCasualFreak: That's Angel Salvadore, different character completely
#42 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7841 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved it, the movie continuity is no different to that of a separate timeline like Ultimates and so why not.

#43 Posted by Lurkin (68 posts) - - Show Bio

Just got home from watching it and I agree with your review completely G-Man.  I really enjoyed the movie, but I went in there with an open mind and the intent to be entertained and not get all worked up over changes or inconsistencies with the comic books and story arcs.
 

#44 Posted by Blindfold (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Sounds good(:

#45 Posted by Grandmaster_Fro (45 posts) - - Show Bio

The movie looks really good, and since comic fans aren't hating on this movie, then it's a definite see for me

#46 Posted by maxicere (936 posts) - - Show Bio

Reboot please the X-Men franchise movies...

#47 Posted by Neuron (109 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it really that difficult to accept that a new interpretation isn't "true" to some other interpretation?
 
Seems like I've been trying to see this issue from the other side a lot lately and I'm just not getting it.

#48 Posted by DoctorTrips (127 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked it a lot, the 60s setting was great and Magneto won me over (I figured he would).

#49 Edited by TheThe (1739 posts) - - Show Bio
@greeneagle said:

@thespencer:  HELL FREAKING NO, i wouldn't pay a cent to watch this movie. Save your money .

This. 
They have changed so many things,i was really upset. 
And seeing the  non-comic books readers happy with this ,made me feel like Marvel Studios doesnt really care about die-hard fans . 
What 's important to those people is the general public.They tend to forget that without us,nobody would have bought their comic books. 
A shame,really. 
 
And i felt like it was 2 movies mixed in one.
#50 Posted by The_MVPs (84694 posts) - - Show Bio

Skimmed a few comments and I'm shocked, SHOCKED! That people aren't more excited about this. This movie was the SH!T!!!! Michael Fassbender's Magneto is easily right up there (if not ahead) of Bale's Batman, Jackmen's Wolverine, and yes uber Iron Man fanatics, Downey's Tony Stark. All the character portrayals were brilliantly pulled off. Haters and militant movie buffs will be out in full force, but arent they always? I suggest you ignore all the comments good and bad and check this film out for yourselves. I know I wasnt disappointed and will be dropping some serious coin on this damn thing until its out in a DVD Blue Ray combo pack.

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