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'X-Men: First Class,' A Story of Origins Worth Pursuing?

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    "X-Men: First Class" opens in theaters June 3.
By Eryn Sun, Christian Post Reporter
June 3, 2011|4:46 pm

Already reported to have grossed $3.4 million in midnight runs at the domestic box office, “X-Men: First Class” is expected to rival opening figures close to “Batman Begins” and the first “X-Men” film, according to Twentieth Century Fox.

If you’re into back-stories and reworked beginnings, Matthew Vaughn’s latest interpretation of a classic Marvel Comics series is sure to please.

Exploring the origins of the relationship between Professor X and Magneto, the movie focuses primarily on the two archenemies, who were once the closest of friends, working together with other mutants to stop the greatest threat the human and mutant world had ever known.

While Charles Xavier hopes to help humanity and thus garner acceptance for his mutantkind, Erik Lehnsherr is not so optimistic, with wounds from his past so deep that it appears no human, or mutant, could possibly right them.

Though many comic book lovers have complained of the liberties taken from the original source material, many critics still find the story fresh and applaud the new venture.

Screen Rant calls the story between Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) “the glue that holds the film together,” with both actors excelling in their roles and displaying “awesome chemistry.”

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Avid Marvel fans, however, were disappointed to find writer Stan Lee a no show in the movie, as he usually makes a cameo in Marvel Comics adaptations.

Nonetheless, the film appeared to be engaging enough to spend all two hours and eleven minutes locked down and dutifully seated.

Focus on the Family’s Plugged In critiqued that “the film [was] an artistic return to form for the franchise: it’s a well-told story loaded with the sorts of themes and ambiguity that made the first X-Men narratives interesting.”

Not just another no-brainer, summer blockbuster “X-Men: First Class” seems to go even a little deeper and offers audiences more than just an action-packed, feel-good ride.

Finding some elements of humanity, or more often than not mutanity, Plugged In shared a bit of its own interpretation, and unveiled perhaps the underlying intention of the film, as well.

“[The movie] tells us, [and] rightly so, that being good is hard work,” it noted.

“All of us, be we mutant or human, must always strive to suppress our baser, more animalistic tendencies and give voice to the better angels of our beings: Charles and the X-Men represent those better angels. Erik and his crew come to represent an embrace of our ‘true’ natures, even though those natures are often quite nasty.”

“There’s plenty of scriptural precedent for such a struggle,” the critic added. “And there’s a pretty large part of me that welcomes the spiritual discussion it naturally prompts. But while ‘X-Men: First Class’ lauds many of the right things, it dabbles in a host of wrong ones. Because while trying to exhort us all to be ‘better men,’ it gives us what makes us worse. It wants it both ways. And I’m not so sure Charles would appreciate the sentiment.”

So whether you’re in for the action, the visual effects, or for a story with a good (or bad) moral, “X-Men: First Class” promises to deliver all three, be it however weak or strong.

The film is rated PG-13 and also stars January Jones, Oliver Platt, Rose Byrne and Kevin Bacon.

 

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