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X-Men: First Class

The 2011 prequel to the "X-Men" film franchise directed by Matthew Vaughn.

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There's no other way to fly.

  • Jun 4, 2011
Written by Ahsley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughan
Directed by Matthew Vaughan
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Bacon
Charles Xavier: I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the X-Men within the ever-expanding realm of comic book film adaptations. Given my own, and what I imagine are most people’s insecurities, it is easy to identify with people who feel they don’t belong amongst regular society, people who genuinely believe themselves to be freaks. Only these particular freaks aren’t ashamed of who they are, rather they are more advanced specimens because of their abnormalities. That confidence can perhaps be no better pinpointed that at its moment of inception. And so X-MEN: FIRST CLASS tells us the tale of how a mutant comes of age.
It is 1944 when Matthew Vaughan’s first adult superhero movie opens. (He also directed KICK-ASS but that’s more pubescent superhero-ish really.) The man who would become Magneto, Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), is but a boy, being separated from his mother in a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Across the world, a boy named Charles Xavier (played in adult form by James McAvoy) is alone with his thoughts in a Westchester, New York, mansion. They don’t know it yet but they will grow to become sworn adversaries in an eternal debate surrounding the true nature of humanity – are we in fact inherently good, hopeful and open to change or are we just hateful beings acting out of fear and desperation attempting to destroy everything we cannot understand? One believes is harmony while the other doesn’t believe humanity capable of it.
A little less than 20 years later and these boys are now adults. Charles is bit of a cad with the ladies, finishing his doctorate on genetics at Oxford University. Erik however has focused his ability to manipulate and control all metals to a fine art and is determined to find the Nazi officer that ruined his life. Unbeknownst to either of them, this particular Nazi is a mutant himself and one with grand plans at that. Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) wants to start World War III by pitting the Russians against the Americans in what we would know as the Cuban missile crisis. As nuclear radioactivity gave birth to mutation in humanity, Shaw believes a post nuclear war world will be a mutant utopia. Charles and Erik must band together, along with a group of misfit mutants who have barely become adults, to defeat a common enemy. Their idea of defeating him though differs drastically.
I’ve always known Professor X and Magneto to be enemies. I knew they had a respect for each other, which at times bordered on admiration but all the same, they ruled on opposing sides. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS provides the insight as to just how complex their relationship truly is. They are not really enemies after all; they are equals and even brothers who have fundamentally different values. The fact that they each adhere to their core beliefs so passionately and with such unflinching resolve is what inspires the respect that each accords the other. The strength of their fraternity is testament to the great depth Fassbender and McAvoy bring to the roles, all of which allows Vaughan to bring a great deal of class to a franchise that was going the route of crass.

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LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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There's no other way to fly. There's no other way to fly. There's no other way to fly.

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June 11, 2011
Excellent review
June 17, 2011
Thanks very much.
June 05, 2011
Great observations, Joseph, I especially enjoyed the bit about respect between Charles and Erik. They were just so alike but driven by different things. Thanks for the great write up! Featured it in our community.... :)
June 17, 2011
Thanks for the feature! Much appreciated. I definitely enjoyed this film more than I was expecting to. The trailers were making it look pretty weak but it was a pretty solid time.
June 17, 2011
I see you've dropped some new reviews too, Joseph. I'll be by to read up on this, it's my bday weekend so I may be a little late with everything....
June 26, 2011
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (belated now.)
June 27, 2011
More X-Men: First Class (2011 movie... reviews
review by . June 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Children of The Atom Equals An X-Citing Re-Boot Prequel!
When I first heard of the coming “X-Men: First Class” film, I will have to admit that I feared for the worst. The first three movies of the X-Men franchise have been a mixed bag for me; while the first film was decent, “X2: X-Men United” was real good, “X-Men: Last Stand” was just so disappointing that I hoped that the franchise was over. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was fun, but it just reshaped the “X-mythos” for me in the way that I didn’t …
review by . June 12, 2011
Marvel Studios must have a mutant named
It is a little sad that the when the first X Men movie kicked off the big budget comic movie boom in 1999 that it was the one that ended up needing rebooted in most people's eyes.  I actually liked X Men 3 a little bit and could at least see Wolverine as a halfway decent action movie in it's own right.  However, since X Men 3 is the movie that killed everyone's dog and Wolverine peed on the corpse; to the general public a few changes needed to be made.      …
review by . June 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Imagine if someone Nolan-ized X-Men. Ok, maybe we use the phrase “Nolan-ze” a little too often. But if Nolan ever did direct an X-Men film, it’d be something close to First Class. Whenever I was a kid I remember watching the Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films, and compared to bigger, more fantastical superhero movies I was accustomed to like Sam Raimi’s Spiderman series and even the pre-Nolan Batman films, they weren’t my favorite. In fact they …
review by . June 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Yes its a prequel, No it dosent suck, Yes im also a telepath.
I originally didn't want to see this movie because I heard that it is a Prequel/reboot two things I hate all rolled up into one package. It was actually the reviews here on lunch that changed my mind.      First class focuses on the young Charles Xavier and Erik Lensher before they become Professor X and Magneto, how they met and what tore them apart. (no it dosen't show how the Professor went Bald). The Movie also follows the lives of the first students …
review by . June 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         There has been much talk about how sequels aren’t supposed to be better than the films that preceded them. Does the same thing apply to prequels? If so, then X-Men: First Class has set a new standard. Apart from being the best of all previous X-Men films, it belongs on the same shelf as Superman, Batman, and Iron Man as one of the greatest superhero films ever made; it’s superbly cast, the characters are very well developed, it tells …
review by . June 03, 2011
'X Men-First Class' 'Two Jews On Film' Just Like Prof X & Magneto They Go Their Separate Ways- Video
   Right off the bat, I have to say that I gave 'X-Men First Class' 5 bagels out of 5.  I absolutely loved it. The director, Matthew Vaughn  did the 'X Men' franchise proud.        'X-Men First Class' is a prequel.  Before Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) was Professor X and Eric Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) became Magneto, they were just two mutant guys discovering their powers and figuring out how to use them.  Charles …
review by . June 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men" version is definitely one of the movies that made me feel sorry for the skepticism I had before it's release. This proves once again that some trailers might not say anything at all about the final content. I was not impressed with the first footage and the first trailer of the film. I thought it was going to be just decent. Well, I was wrong because "First Class" is by far the best X-Men movie made and one of the best comic-book …
review by . October 10, 2011
2 1/2 stars :
We have all heard the stories before. The stories of these so-called super-humans, people born with special abilities that grant them the power to stand above all others and look down on us like the insects that we are, these stories were told in Greece during the time of Christ. They have been retold countless times over by the Romans, and then again by writers, family members, and teachers and comic book writers. We have all heard of these stories in one way or another; some might …
review by . June 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Before becoming enemies Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr were allies and good friends. That is till they realized that their views on human-mutant relations were so inherently different that they could no longer work together. You don't need to be a fanboy to know this. Anyone who has seen the previous movies know just by watching, which any decent screenwriter will tell you is the objective, show don’t tell. However the producers decided this was neither clear enough nor a completely …
review by . June 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
12A - 132mins - Action/Adventure/Drama - 1st June 2011   One problem that every prequel has to overcome it the ability to keep interest despite us knowing the eventual outcome of the movie. If you have seen any of the previous four films then it's quite probable you can piece together how this movie is going to end and how the characters are going to turn out. This therefore needs to be compensated for and is done so successfully by the introduction of plenty of new characters to keep …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #8
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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X-Men: First Class
is a 2011 American superhero film directed by Matthew Vaughn. Based on the characters appearing in Marvel Comics, it is a prequel to the X-Men film series. X-Men: First Class was released June 1, 2011 in the UK and on June 3 in the US.

The film is set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and focuses on the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The film stars James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Other cast members include Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till. The film was mostly shot in England and parts of the United States.

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Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: June 3, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Bryan Singer, Zack Stentz
Runtime: 132 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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