X-Men First Class Graduates at the Top of 2011

The summer is practically over and the Fall movies are just around the corner so I’d say it’s time to crown the best movie of the year thus far: X-Men First Class. Not only does it include phenomenal seasoned actors like Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt, but the lesser knowns easily step up to the plate. Aside from a few missteps, there are few cheesy moments in this blockbuster and its earnings of over $350,000 attest to the fact that it’s no Green Lantern.

First Class is one of Marvel Studio’s few movies that doesn’t stick to the same old superhero story. Thor and Captain America were eye-catching, but highly predictable-I had no problem with getting up to refill my popcorn because I knew what would happen in the next three scenes. Not only is it more creative than other blockbusters, but it has so much more emotional depth than many Oscar-praised movies.

Michael Fassbender blew me away in portraying Magneto not as a senseless villain, but as a man haunted by his past. James McAvoy’s role as Professor Xavier wasn’t necessarily anything to write home about, but it felt genuine and that’s part of what made the movie work. Lastly, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique was a special treat because it revealed the personality behind an otherwise reticent character in the other X-Men films-all with genuine emotional depth.

First Class is energetic and the score by Henry Jackson only makes things better. The score to this movie is especially exciting because it doesn’t have the same “epic” sound that pervades every blockbuster movie these days. Magneto’s theme adds to the idea of him as “Frankenstein’s Monster” and the overall theme of the movie was enough to keep me enthralled for the full two and a half hours.

X-Men First Class is visually compelling, smart, and chock-full of impressive acting from the lead role to the security clerk at the government building. It’s setting in the Cold War era is a nice touch and one of the best parts (if you’re an X-Men fan) is to see how Marvel builds the origin story of each character.

Even if X-Men isn’t the best movie of the year, it has my vote as the best summer blockbuster and it’s easily something that can be seen again and again. And I was never able to refill my popcorn.

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