This evening my wife and I went out to see X-Men: First Class. It is a proper name for the movie, as both my wife and I found it to be a first class evening of entertainment.
First, I must confess that I am not just a comic book geek, but an X-Men geek in particular. I thought that I would be a little pouty because the First Class in this movie where NOT the first class in the comic books...but I turned out to be okay with it. Havok was a good character to use to show the struggles controlling a power...without Jean Grey, you don't need cyclops. Banshee allowed you to show character who could learn to use a power differently.
Mystique is a fan-favorite character...she is also, especially when used with Beast in this movie, an excellent mutant for driving home the 'acceptable' part of being a mutant, with her ability to 'hide' in society as an attractive blonde girl. All she as to do is hide everything she is. Beast meanwhile, is someone who can look normal while just wearing big shoes...and despises it.
As far as the mentors go...my opinion is Magneto was a much better character in this movie than Charles Xavier. Magneto has lived a hard life, and has an honest, though jaded, opinion of the world. Charles has spent his time in country estates, going to Oxford, and quite frankly, is a bit of a prig.
There isn't a lot of character time spent with the bad guys...but Kevin Bacon, as the big baddy Sebastien Shaw, does a really good job. He is believable as a Nazi doctor, and very believable as a power brokering, behind the scenes mastermind. He fit's perfectly into the 60's, and you have to believe that Sebastien Shaw would have had a secret entrance into the Playboy Mansion to hang out with Hef and the girls whenever he wanted to.
I was not overly blown away by January Jones as Emma Frost. In her defense, Emma is a tough nut to crack. One of the more overly sexed-up characters in a genre that makes fan-boys happy by sexing up even their most mundane creations, it takes more to be Emma Frost than just a white bustier. There needs to be a charisma that Ms. Jones didn't bring to the role. Early rumors had said that Alice Eve, from 'She's Out of Your League' was going to play Emma...this might have been better...more lifelike at least.
My only other real problem with this movie was the use of Moira Mactaggert. Now, I would rather have seen Eve Myles play the part than Rose Byrne...but Rose wasn't bad...it's more the fact that the character was warped from a Scot's geneticist to a CIA Agent. I know it fit the plot better, but instead of trying to cash in on the Moira MacTaggert character....make up a new one! They already created two (new to me anyway) mutants for this movie....would creating a CIA liaison have been too much?
Minor complaints, all.
For the fan-boy's out there(SPOILER!)...there was a cute little scene with Hugh Jackman, and another nod to Marvel continuity with a cameo by Rebecca Romijn as an older Mystique. I liked the girl(Jennifer Laurence) playing Mystique...I know she has been cast as Katniss in the upcoming Hunger Games movies...so...I look forward to her showing her acting chops playing a very different type of character.
8.5-9 out of 10.