After a disappointing end to the trilogy and a mediocre popcorn film for the first origin film, the X-Men franchise has briefly redeemed itself with brilliant casting and an emotionally complex storyline that digs deeper into the superhero mythology. Unfortunately, there are also a great many cheesy and laughable moments which belong in a B-film rather than a film with great acting. And despite my appreciation for the complexities of the screenplay and leading actors, superhero films are also often about action and special effects, two areas where X-Men: First Class is severely lacking in quality.
First Class takes us back to the initial creation of the X-Men, and the beginning of Xavier’s school. James McAvoy plays the enigmatic younger Professor Xavier, with a full head of hair and the ability to walk. With the ability to find mutants, he begins recruiting them for his school and a larger purpose of good, specifically the stopping of a super villain (Kevin Bacon). Teaming up with a mutant with a WWII grudge and the ability to move metal (played excellently by the increasingly impressive and versatile Michael Fassbender), Professor X and his mutants set out to stop the evil man with big plans.
The Blu-ray release includes two hours of special features to go with the high definition presentation of the film. The high def helps with the stodgy special effects, but not enough to make the worst of them look any better. And even high definition can’t help bad dialogue. The special features include a mutant database, a multi-part documentary and deleted scenes. The film can also be viewed with an optional composer isolated score, and the two-disc set comes with a digital copy.