By: Sean McQuillan

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Produced by: Gregory Goodmanm Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer

Screenplay by: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon

Music by: Henry Jackman

Studio: Marvel Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donner’s Company

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Release date: June 1, 2011

Running time: 132 minutes

Rating: First class experience.

Set in 1962, this film reveals how Professor X and Magneto met and came into their own.  We see the origins of the X-men team and many of its members.  The X-men must work against another powerful group of Mutants called the Hellfire Club, to avert nuclear war.  Set during the Cuban missile crisis, the world stands on the edge.  Will knowledge of Mutantkind’s existence be the tipping point?

This movie hits the ground running and does not pull any punches.  We see the vastly different childhoods of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr.  You see their defining ideals clash and change as they meet and become friends.  The movie is beautifully cast, and is led by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.  I admit I was quite skeptical when I heard that McAvoy was going to be filling Patrick Stewart shoes as Xavier.  I had only seen him in “Wanted”, but he does great work in this movie.  Kevin Bacon also joins the cast as the primary villain Sebastion Shaw, and fits his role perfectly.  As an added bit of fun, watch the movie and try to recognize all the actors playing members of the American or Russian Militaries.  They are packed full of great actors you’ll recognize from countless movies.

The visuals in this movie are also top notch.  It feels period appropriate, and the effects are just as good as ever.  Jennifer Lawrence wears Mystique’s trademark blue makeup and is perfect as the young mystique.  Sharp-eyed viewers will find a nod to Rebecca Romijn, the original Mystique, as well as countless other nods to other characters from the other movies.  One point where I feel the effects differ is the brutality of some scenes, many of them by Magneto.  While not gory per se, you should probably not take younger children.

The story is wonderfully constructed and introduces the characters organically. There is wonderful depth and character development for much of the cast, not just one or two.  You see how Erik and Charles came to be friends, why they became like brothers, and how through it all they became two very different people.  The movie does change some of the continuity from the comics, as we see Alex Summers introduced while in the comics he would be Scott Summers’ (Cyclops) little brother.

Should you go see it?  Absolutely.  If you enjoyed the first X-men movie you will certainly enjoy this one.

Here are some other Marvel Entertainment films you might like;

X-men, X2, Thor, Ironman, Ironman 2

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