Somebody call Huey Lewis and The News, because it's time we go back in time! I am not sorry for making that joke.
If you haven't, make sure to read the other reviews. And a disclaimer to this review, I have never actually watched this movie until now. Why? Because in one of the very first trailers, when they were introducing the mutants, they should a piece with character that had bug-like wings and called her, Angel. That is not Angel, that is Pixie. That is really all I remember why I never saw it. But, let's see what happens.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
This was considered the back story before the was an actual group called The X-Men. We travel back to what seems to be an origin/backstory of Magneto and Professor X back in 1962.
We open with the EXACT same scene you see in the first X-Men, child Erik Lansherr using his powers in a concentration camp when he is separated from his parents. THE. EXACT. SAME. SCENE. I understand what they were going for, because how Magneto was treated as a child plays a huge role in what he becomes. But they couldn't change it up a little bit? It's the same as the beginning of every Spider-Man film, you seen Uncle Ben get shot. It's to prove a point, and more than likely is used to bring in new fans that have not scene the previous films, but this is a total rip off and poor filming. It looks really similar from the first film, so if it is the exact same shot, just reused, it makes sense. But this looks a lot like they re shot the whole scene and the child playing young Magneto is a completely different actor. But, the then added scene of him being forced to show his powers to Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon) and is forced to see his mother die in the process does give a little more depth to the character.
We also meet child Charles Xavier as he befriends mini Mystique. I already dislike this because Mystique has never been a friend to Xavier at all. They have always been at odds. But, obviously, Mystique has become a cash cow with then upcoming star, Jennifer Lawrence, playing her. But we'll get into that later.
As we move forward through time, we meet teen Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) as he goes through resources to hunt down members of the Nazi party. We also meet teen Professor X (played by James McAvoy) and teen Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence) as they have some weird step sibling kind of bond. That's just weird.
We also meet the Hellfire Club, run by Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost (played by January Jones), Azazel (played Jason Flemyng), and some hurricane guy who I'm assuming is Riptide. They have a plan to help launch WWIII. While being attacked by the U.S. Navy, that's when we see the first meeting of Erik and Xavier, as they fight Sebastian and company.
Erik, Xavier, and Mystique are whisked away to a C.I.A. program, where they become a team, along with newest member Hank McCoy (played by Nicholas Hoult) who gets into a romantic involvement right off the bat with Mystique....yeah...That never should happen. They are introduced to Cerebro and begin a montage of finding other mutants. Of those mutants, we have; the girl with the bug wings, some guy that can adapt to any place, Havok, Banshee, and a brief cameo of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, because...you can't have a movie without at least a minute with him on screen.
Overall, with the whole fight to stop Sebastian Shaw and to stop the beginning of WWIII, this film lacked and felt pretty similar to what the first "X-Men" was, which was a platform for future films. They had two montages, one of getting the group together and then one of them training. And there really wasn't much in terms of getting to know most of the characters. Most of them were throw-aways. The only ones that we cared about was Magento, Professor X, Beast, and Mystique. One of my biggest complaints for these films is they don't really put care into most aspects. "Guardians of the Galaxy" for example; loved that movie, but I didn't care for Ronan. He was too dimensional and I didn't care what happend to him. Same for this film, I did not care for Sebastian Shaw and his whole world domination tactics. And, unfortunately, Kevin Bacon made a terrible bad guy.
In fact, most of the acting in this film was terrible. The only exceptions were Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. The main focus of their friendship was the main purpose of this film. They had to show that they both wanted the same thing (mutants not to be feared), but had completely different view points on how to achieve that goal. This movie captured that and made everything else very boring, including anything that Mystique is a part of.
I give this movie a 6 out of 10. It is better then the others. Mainly for just the treatment of Magneto and Professor X. Everything else and everyone else were just there to make this more of an X-Men film.