X-Men: First Class
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Jason Flemyng, Zoe Kravitz, Caleb Landry Jones, Edi Gathegi, Lucas Till, Matt Craven, Glenn Morshower, James Remar, Ray Wise, Alex Gonzalez, Michael Ironside, Jason Teghe, Brendan Fehr, Tony Curran
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only):7
Synopsis:The "X-Men" universe is back after the disappointing last outings that were "X-Men: The Last Stand" directed by Brett Ratner and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" directed by Gavin Hood, both of which had mediocre results. "X-Men: First Class" comes with a new director and with the association and touch of Bryan Singer, who directed thus far the two best films in that specific universe, namely "X-Men" and "X-Men: United". The film follows the story of two men, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. While Charles is born into a family of wealth, Erik on the other hand, loses his family in the Holocaust and ends up being the target of experimentation at the hands of Stan Shaw, a mutant himself. Twenty years go by and Erik is now chasing the Nazis responsible for the demise of his family, including Shaw. Xavier on his side, is associated with the CIA when his talents are used to identify potential threats from the soviets. These two men join forces, alongside with young mutants to battle the common threat that is Stan Shaw, his Hellfire Club and the looming nuclear holocaust.
Following the success of "Kick Ass", Matthew Vaughn returns to the comic book universe, with some of the most iconic characters of the Marvel Universe. Whereas the last two films of the "X-Men" universe faltered under the mediocre hands of two disappointing directors, Vaughn clearly knows and understands the opportunity he has with these characters. The story cleverly mixes the Cold War tension, with the fear of Nuclear Holocaust and the mutant agenda - ultimately the common thread to all the "X-Men" films has been the lack of tolerance towards those who are different (something that "X-Men:Last Stand" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" completely disregarded). Matthew Vaughn also has fun inserting elements from the classic James Bond films, something that adds an extra layer of sophistication to the film. The cast is uniformly good, from James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon who makes a perfect villain. A fantastically entertaining film!