The 394th film I have seen in theaters…
The X-Men are back, and in their best film…
It is the future, and the world has been taken over by The Sentinels, robots designed to hunt down and kill all Mutants. They eventually turned on the humans too. A small pocket of X-Men, led by Professor X and Magneto have a daring plan where they can use Kitty Pride to send Wolverine’s Consciousness back in time to his 1970’s body. This is the pivotal year where Bolivar Trask, scientist, creates the Sentinel program for Nixon. Mystique kills Trask, and this starts the series of events ending in the dystopian future. Once in the past, Wolverine must get Professor X and Magneto working together to stop Mystique and prevent the Sentinel program from starting. Spoiler: They succeed, a new timeline is forged, one where the events of X-Men 3 never happened. Score.
His 7th outing as Wolverine, and High Jackman is still killing it. Rumor has it that there are only 2 more movies for him (Wolverine 3 and X-Men: Age of Apocalypse). The recasting is inevitable, but we should appreciate Jackman while we have him. He never lets us down in this role.
Michael Fassbender, my favorite actor of my generation continues his tour de force portrayal of Magneto. He actually pulls it off in this film- exceeds Ian McKellan in the role. No easy feat in a film also featuring McKellan.
James McAvoy returns as young, drug addicted, Xavier. McAvoy plays it perfectly as young Professor X suffers from the fallout of the Vietnam war and his problems with Magneto and Mystique.
Jennifer Lawrence, plays the almost murderous Mystique. In many ways, this film is her story. She is person on whom the entire future hinges. The casting directors of First Class really lucked out here.
Peter F’ing Dinklage. His stature is never referenced in this film. The role could have been played by anyone. That he got the role is a great testament to the filmmakers. The performance was great. This guy could be the first actor with Dwarfism to transcend it in Hollywood. People will look back on him as one of the greatest actors of this era, not the greatest dwarf actor.
Nicholas Hoult returns as the young Hank McCoy/Beast. Not much going on for him in this other than being Xavier’s last friend.
Evan Peters appears as Quicksilver. His scene was probably the best in the whole movie. Secretly Magneto’s son. I hope that plays out in the next film.
Patrick Stewart, the original X returns and is phenomenal. Alongside him is Ian Mckellan as Magneto. This will, in all likelihood, be the final appearance of these men in the roles.
Ellen Page, also amazing casting back in the day, returns as Kitty Pride. While comic fans know it is SHE that is supposed to go back in time, as this version of the story takes place in the 70’s, before Pride is born, the change makes sense.
Famke Jansen as Jean Grey. Alive. Scott Summers, alive. Almost brought a tear to my eye.
Even Kelsey Grammer comes back as Old Beast! Basically, ALL of the original X-Men made small appearances and they were a welcome sight…except…
Yeah, Halle Berry is a terrible Storm. She was a bad Catwoman too. I did enjoy watching the Sentinels kill her though.
The best X-Men movie. A tremendous achievement, knocking on the doors of Avengers as greatest comic movie ever made. The next film in the series is Age of Apocalypse- set in the 1980’s. We will be seeing the “First Class” cast move forward in that film. I presume that there will be a 4th film set in the 1990’s. I am not sure where we go after that. 2000 was the original X-Men, and that original cast is getting a little long in the tooth. Do we see Fassbender and McAvoy grey haired and bald or do they recast? The final scenes of this film with Wolverine in the future were a wonderful send off for those actors. Will we see an X-Men 4 with the originals carrying on? It’s possible. With the nature of taking this series back to the 1960’s, they have created the idea of LEGACY. We can see X and Magneto die, or they can be de-aged. In the comics, Magneto went through two or three “de-agings” over the years in the comics to allow him to be a threat, not a 70 year old man. I can see this happening with Fassbender to allow him to carry on in the part. Not sure how they will address Professor X if they want to keep McAvoy, but anything is possible.
The type of movie I never thought I would see. I am truly living in a golden age of entertainment. My X-Men Rankings:
1: Days of Future Past
2: X-Men 2
3: First Class
4: The Wolverine
6: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
7: X-Men 3