X-Men: First Class Blu-ray Review

Set in the 60’s against the time of the Cuban Missile crisis, this prequel entry into the X-men Franchise finds James McEvoy taking on the role of a younger Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender taking on the role of Erik Lehnssher long before the X-men evenb came about.

Whilst Charles is off cavorting at university, applying his mind tricks to impress the ladies, Erik is somewhat much more involved in tracking down the Nazis responsible for the fate of his parents – Headed up by supreme mutant (and leader of the Hell Fire Club) Sebastian Shaw (a wonderful Kevin Bacon).

Into the mix comes many other mutants – some you will be familiar with from other films. Comic hounds will be interested somewhat in the tinkering with some of the characters background as some have been displaced from present day to this era instead. In terms of the films themselves it is probably only Mystique who has a background here that many will need to suspend their disbelief about a bit as it was never reference to in the other films (as Charles’ surrogate sister? Yes the same Mystique who casually tried to kill Charles in the first X-Men film by tampering with Cerebero).

The narrative of the film is fun to follow as you meet new characters along the way and as they band together to form the titular “First Class.” For a new franchise though they are eager to have them split apart as well. If they film-makers had a little more faith in their product they could have taken their time with this over a series of films instead of hastily having to explain where people lay politically by the close of the film.

Despite all the fun that our gang of heroes bring, and how dominant a force Kevin Bacon can really be – top honours have to go to Fassbender who has the most interesting arc to travel through. His early scenes working solo perhaps hint at what the one proposed Magneto movie would have been about. It’s where the real power of the film and the character lay, but it is also nicely juxtaposed by his bond with Charles later in the film.

Despite a few bumps that need ironing in the characters, this is a good entry into the series with a memorable enough score, some hilarious cameos and a real 60’s vibe to it that helps it stand out amongst the rest.

The Blu-ray quality is nice and loud – you may need to have the volume down a bit for this one, and looks as clear as you’d hope. The extras have a lengthy documentary that covers the production of the film and there are some decent deleted scenes that add even more flavour to Lehnssher’s early vendetta.

Steven Hurst

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