by David Schuster
This certainly has been the summer for sequels with "Pirates Of The Caribbean", "Fast And Furious" and "Hangover". And more will follow but we also have our first prequel in the form of "X-Men: First Class".
If you hadn't seen any of the X-Men movies, they're about mutants who live amongst us who have special talents but are shunned by the general population. Some mutants are good and some are evil and this movie shows you the origin of how it all began.
In the later installments you get the two main characters of Professor X (good) and Magneto (bad) pitted vs each other. Sort of like professional wrestling (good vs. evil). Here in the prequel you see how the two younger versions start off as friends and then turn onto their future selves.
Actually these are the two best acting jobs in the entire movie as James McAvoy plays the young professor who has mind reading abilities and Michael Fassbender plays Erik (Magneto) who can bend metals and literally pull a submarine out of the water with his abilities. You also have a host of other mutants who have various powers (some cool and some ridiculous).
There are a lot of neat special effects that captivate you for a while but at two plus hours, it starts getting tedious. Yet another example of too long being excessive. When are these studio people going to get this?
Another interesting premise to the movie is how they take past world events and weave them into the storyline to show you the birth of mutants. First you have a German death camp during the Holocaust and later you have the Cuban Missile Crisis. The writers actually did a good job using real history in the story.
Not a great movie, but certainly not awful like "Hangover 2" or "Pirates Of The Caribbean".....my rating- a ground rule double, two stars for "X-Men: First Class.