X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Reaction (Video Blog)

     May 21, 2011


Earlier today I got to watch Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class.  While we’re not allowed to write a review, we’ve been given permission to write our initial thoughts.

If you were nervous the latest chapter in the X-Men franchise might disappoint, I’m happy to report it’s a huge home-run.  Everything from the great script to the awesome performances by the entire cast (with special mention to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) makes this X-Men film my favorite in the franchise.   Also, the film is loaded with incredible action and a ton of Easter Eggs for the fans.  Even the sets and costumes are great.  Trust me, as soon as the movie is over, you’re going to wish the next chapter was coming out next week.  Hit the jump for more.

Even though I have a lot more to say, I’m late for another screening, so I’ll have to let the video blog I did with Germain and Peter from Slashfilm do most of the talking.   I’ll update with more thoughts later tonight.


Here’s the official synopsis for X-Men: First Class:

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga. Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.  The film also stars Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon.



  • Jake

    I knew this movie was gonna be a great one the second Matthew Vaughn was announced as director, i really can’t wait to see this, my most anticipated movie this year. Especially with all you saying it’s up there with X2.

  • Strong Enough

    yea but steve u liked Thor and that movie was piece of shit

    • Griz

      Could somebody please explain at what point did online movie webpages become the place to express your disappointment with online journalism?

      I mean, seriously, people . . . . most of us come on here to talk about whether we like or dislike the latest news release about films we’re most excited about.

      If you’re bothered by the lack of investigatory skill displayed by a certain reporter, and yet still can’t refrain from viewing and then commenting on said reporter’s story, then here’s an idea: either stop reading or shove it up your ass.

      • Griz

        Apologies, strong enough . . . . . that was supposed to be a reply to Super Duper

      • Edward Lee

        This coming from a poster who can’t even hit “reply” to the right post? Yeah, thanks for the advice.

    • Ian

      Steve didn’t say Thor was great, he said he found it entertaining. Those are two different things.

      And you realize people have opinions other than your own, right?

    • Migz13

      Thor is a piece of shit? That’s new.

      • fluff-caddy

        fucking yanks

  • Super Duper

    Steve likes everything he sees early, does a presser on, has people that he’s interviewed, or is ‘allowed’ to talk about before others. That’s why he likes this movie already…

    Not implying he’s a bad guy, but he’s a perfectly serviceable online critic, the type who’ll say all the right things when commanded to, and offer little (if any) real criticism or insight as to what he’s talking about. The method pioneered by AICN is now commonplace among most of the online community, which is largely made up by rabid fans all too willing to squawk for their crackers and let others clean up their soiled newspapers.

    I guess it could be worse, as I’ll take Steve’s on-command work to the hyper-negativity of his compatriots any day of the week. It’s just a shame that undisciplined online critics only seem to ride the very edges of the toilet bowl anymore…sigh.

  • tarek

    I am pretty sure this movie will be as good as it seems it will be.

  • Merlin

    Thor like X-men 3 The Last Straw were pieces of shit.

    I have high hopes that this movie will be the perfect prequel and addition to X-Men & X2: X-Men United. Whether they do a sequel to this film or do Bryan Singer’s own sequels to x2 remains to be seen.

    Let’s just hope this film lives up to it’s expectations and does great at the box office!

  • Cassie

    I can’t wait to see Nick and Jennifer in this movie *w* really i hope this movie will be better that the others x)!

  • chris

    i don’t get why people are trashing Thor … were you really expecting oscar material ???? It wasn’t the best movie on the planet but it wasn’t bad by any means. The dude playing Loki killed it … Loki’s portrayal was awesome.

    Super Duper is a self important dweeb … you can tell by the language he uses … he tries very hard to make himself sound smarter than he is.

    Collider is a great site and i appreciate Steve’s first impression of what i know is going to be a good movie.

  • Alex–

    Ignoring the ridiculousness and cynicism of Kick Ass, Vaughn is a decent direct as evidenced by Layer Cake and Stardust.

    When other people write the scripts for him and he directs a good film seems to result. And I wouldn’t discredit the praising of the actors, for some reason Vaughn get’s good performances from actors in his films. X-Men will be no different.

  • Edward Lee

    Sorry, but I never trust fanboy reviews. I think the ongoing problem with them is that, in order to maintain the status of being invited to these “events,” you almost always have to express a deep love for the film in your press release comments. I’ll maintain a wait-and-see-myself attitude with FIRST CLASS. I can say that the previews look pretty solid.

  • aaronsullivan

    Thor wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was a fun ride that went deeper than I thought it would. It’s biggest sin is breezing through some character moments that should have been far tougher to weather for the sake of pacing. Made it all feel a bit too simple, especially since the actors all seemed up to the task.

    If you’re a “genre fan” and you didn’t enjoy that movie on some level, I’d say some self examination is in order. You may, in fact, be actively defeating your own ability to have a good time or you may not actually be a “genre fan” after all. Just sayin’.

    Oh, and even though X-Men feels very tired to me as a franchise, this new one could do the trick. Latest trailers are getting me intrigued and an above average set of reviews would get me in the theater.

    • Alex–

      Thor was pretty crap.

      Zero depth in character development.
      Zero romance.
      Zero amazing action scenes.
      Zero amazing story.

      All in all it was pretty lame. The only reason people say otherwise was because it had so much potential. Just because it could have been good doesn’t mean it was a good. If had lesser actors and production quality it would be a straight to dvd flick.

      • Gabeisgone

        WHOA WHOA there bud, did you watch the same Thor i did?
        i think i remember a battle between the frost giants and asgardians
        another sequence between Thor, the warriors three, Sif and Loki against some frost giants
        a battle between Thor and the Destroyer
        and a fight between Loki and Thor

        are those fights not amazing actions scenes?

        was Thor not in some way into Jane?(romance)

        as for story, ill concede thats arguable but everyone knows it wasn’t meant to win any academy awards

      • Carmichael

        Well, that’s the first time i see somebody asking for more Romance in a comic book movie.

      • Merlin

        Thor was one of the dumbest movie I’ve seen in a long time and that is saying something. It was an empty shell of a movie. Good special effects and very little else. Kind of like a really good looking person with nothing going on between the ears. I’m sorry I wasted my time and money on Thor

        P.S. Where were all the Valkyries?

      • Ringbearer1420

        Hey, your making it sound like a crappy bryan singer (x-man, or superman, or nazi assasination) movie.

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  • Tey

    OK first of all STEVE did not watch the enitre THOR film! just a few scenes. Now Steve has watched the entire XMEN: FIRST CLASS film so I believe in him this time

  • Johnny Blaze

    YES!!! So glad to hear this! :-)

  • ajnapjr

    Thor was what he said it was: an entertaining summer blockbuster with an awesome villain.
    Bridesmaids was what he said it was: a hilarious film that many people will enjoy.
    So yes, I’m trusting Steve again here with X-Men First Class. The trailers look great, and Matthew Vaughn has yet to disappoint me. Looking forward to June 3rd.

  • zootcatchy

    so why did they make such a crappy posters??
    still can’t believe the movie is good.
    though vaught directed stardust, layer cake and kick-ass…
    i dunno, too much contradictions here

  • Vanning

    I hope the climactic fight between Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr/ Magneto) and Kevin Bacon (Sebastian Shaw) will knock everyone on their ass and be so amazing and action-packed, audiences all over the world will be left breathless.

  • Katarzyna

    Harry Leland, Donald Pierce, Tessa and Selene should have been included rather than having randomly chosen mutants whose names were picked out of a hat.

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  • Rob

    (sigh) So all the fanboysfrom ainitcool are dumping there cynical and begative attitudes here now. I stopped reading aicn for exactly these raines. Im sorry for those people who think that just because a movie didnt work for them specifically that its automatically shit. You know, you’re entitled to you’re opinion, as long a you realise that other s are too. Just because you werr joyless enough nit to enjoy Thor, doesn’t mean it was bad or crap to everyone else. Stop being a pontificating jerk, and jumping on purple bcause they dont agree with you. If you hate it so much, get out of the lazyboy in your mothers basement, and go see how easy it is to make a movie., like Bill Shatner says… Better to be a has-been, than a never was. Grow up, or shut up. We dont want you here.

    • Excpired

      I’m sorry Rob, but just because somebody doesn’t direct themselves doesn’t mean they can’t make valid points about the quality of a piece of work (art if you want to take it that far).

      Everyone is entitled to their opinions, however, some opinions are better than others.

      Thor was exactly what most fanboys wanted as far as I can tell. Since I am not a fanboy I was bored to tears through most of the film. The action scenes were overdone and outrageous (Thor flying thousands of feet through the sky and going through a giant beasts head and blowing a hole in him was just childish and ridiculous).

      The reality of the matter is they were trying to please fanboys so much that they neglected everything that actually makes a comic book movie good. Spiderman 2 isn’t good just for its villain, but also for the dynamic between Peter Parker and Mary Jane and their conflicted relationship. Thor lacked any real character study outside of the Loki, which ultimately made Loki the most interesting character in the film (and the scenes between him and Odin were worth watching). The scenery is beautiful, and the special effects were well done but the central character (Thor) felt like a walking action figure throughout the film. They had one or two scenes where Thor builds a relationship with Jane Foster and quits acting like a Viking for 2 seconds; then it was back to being the Viking. I think for Americans especially Thor is a hard character to relate to when he behaves like this, perhaps that is why it made way more money overseas than it did on these shores.

      I must say it was better than Iron Man 2, and I’m hoping that the sequel (if we get one) will be an improvement now that the initial story has been told. Thor is probably more like Batman, where the sequels just get better and better. I just wasn’t entertained enough by the film to justify the 10 dollars I spent to go see it in theaters. The good news is I hardly cringed during the film like I did watching 2012 and a few instances during Iron Man 2.

      Matthew Vaughn impressed me greatly with Kick Ass. It had a youthful feel to it that made it stand out from any movie I’ve seen before. I loved Layer Cake and I found Stardust to be whimsical and fun, but ultimately shallow and a bit to cheesy. He is a great director and very good at getting what he wants from actors, and X-Men is one of my favorite comic series so I am hopeful that it is a great movie. I’ll be seeing it opening night.

      • Purist

        You’ve obviously never read the ridiculous mythology of the Norse.

  • Rob

    And before you ridivule me,that post waswritten on a phone keyboard, hence the spelling mistakes.

  • Andrew

    Everyone has their opinion. Such is the world we live in.

    HOWEVER, saying that Thor is good or even just decent, will immediately make that persons (whoever) future opinion on movies, invalid in my book.

    And just because someone disagrees on something, doesn’t mean they have to stfu. The term “we” is sorta an easy thing to make it sound like everyone agrees with it.

    Some people are easily entertained (see Thor) and some aren’t (like myself).

    • Reggie

      You are absolutely right some people are more easily entertained and some are not. But just because you did’nt like something that someone else did does’nt give you or anyone else the right to insult people for liking what you did’nt. That’s downright offensive to me and to others. Why not just express why you did or did’nt like something and let it go at that. The best way to express to others how smart or progressive you are is not to piss on others opinions and praise your own. It’s about being objective remember when that was in style?

  • João Paulo

    Woow nice hear this, now i saw this movie soon.

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  • Jacob

    I find it hilarious you people are so damn press to just say this movie is shit. ALL the people who have seen the movie so far, have had positive, great things to say about it.

    But try. Try and continue hating on it, just preach it to the WORLD how much this movie will suck. It won’t matter. This movie is bound to be a phenomenal ride and the best, if not second best, X-Men movie around.

    So take your whining, take your “this isn’t based off the comics” which by the way, there are HUNDREDS of, if not thousands, of various different ones. You can’t just use that excuse. Continue on, because it’s still bound to be a great movie.

    Have a nice day, all.

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  • Aurora Vampiris

    I’ll be watching this in the cinemas. Most definitely. Although the reactions in the comments thread are amusing.

    I don’t think I’m much of an X-Men fan though. I’ve seen the last four X-Men films (including Wolverine: Origins, which might be rebooted/ignored/retconned) and atleast three X-Men related animated series (the 1994 X-Men: TAS, X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine & the X-Men – I liked all of them… I’m not too fussy and they all had different stories to tell). I’ve also read all of the Ultimate X-Men comics (I know, I know… “true” Marvel fans hate me already… it’s not 616) and a few Wolverine comics (mostly the ones where he fights Hulk, Old Man Logan and his adventures in Japan).

    So yeah. I’m more sort of a casual fan. So I don’t mind watching this movie. And going by the video blog, I’ll probably enjoy this. As simple as that. :D

  • Louis

    Is it just me or does that guy look exactly like a real life version of the 40 year old virgin?

    Also I’m pretty stoked about this movie.

  • wayne martin

    Here is a first reaction of the new X-men movie, it’s not even out yet there’s already a review, AWESOME!! http://bit.ly/igpGzb

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  • black jesus

    As a lifelong fan of the comics i find it annoying that they mess with the original team, and the characters. The Angel is a female with wasp wings? You have Havok instead of cyclops?

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  • msbeija

    im so excited they maed another xmen i am a die hard fan btw finally a movie without wolverine lmao

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  • Jill Kenned

    Can’t wait. Here’s a wild review from Finnish film reviewer Kimmo Mustonenen attempting to write in English. He really liked it – especially Jennifer Lawrence.


  • wayne martin

    X-men First class trailer talk: http://bit.ly/imDLxp

  • _TheCritic_

    Hey Steve, I have to agree with you on the performances of McAvoy and Fassbender. The film was great and kept the audience and I, constantly entertained. I do have to say that some of the special effects we’re lousy. It still seems like the series has problems with hovering. Although the flight scenes of Banshee we’re interesting. Well thanks for your time. If you feel like commenting on my movie blog, I’m right here: http://lacritic.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class/

  • Melo

    how is professor x handicaped when in xmen wolverine when he is like 23 years older he can walk??

  • Purist

    X-Men First Class…Sacrilege, Blasphemy!!

  • seagen

    greatest movie I have ever seen!!!!!

  • miky
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  • MoviesPassOnTheInfo

    This was a pretty good movie.

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  • naugty

    X-Men first class is really ertataining no dought. but there are some misleading acts here.
    Going back to Woverings’ Origin, Prof. Charles I. appeared at the end of the movie. There he was healthy with his twoo legs functioning properly. At that age his legs were ok; but based on X-Men first class, he lost his leg frm the bulet at a younger age. IF SO WH IS HE STANDING UPRIGHT IN WOVERNS ORIGIN?

  • T-Art

    X-Men first class is one of the bigest shit pile’s I have ever seen. I know what I’m talking about because first off I’ve been reading and watching X-Men since it first came out, second all I ever do is watch movies, and third the dialoge is so bad I almost thought this movie was made in the stone age they talk and act as if their brains had been crushed by a rock an they became retardead children. This movie has nothing to do with the first X-Men. I remember reading the comics. As I recall professer-x loses his ability to walk not from a stray bullet to the spine but from a battle in a alternate universe with the shadow king. The first x-men are angel, beast, cyclops, iceman, and jean grey. The only one in this movie is beast and they dont even have the right story for him in this movie. Wy are u guys talking about Thor its an okay movie but we’re talking about X-Men First Ass. (not a typo) This movie is gay. I give it two thumbs up a monkies ass

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  • jordon

    Alright so iv watched x men first class a few times and I like it, good movie. But I just finished watching x men origins and they made big mistake with the story line :/. X men oragins is probably one of my more favorit of the searie, but at the end of the movie Charles is helping all of the teen mutants to get out by talking to syclops telapathicly. When they get outside Charles is waiting at his helicopter STANDING UP AND WALKING!(he appears to be in his 40) at first I didn’t think much of it but then I remembered the Sean at the end of First Class. Charles gets hit in the spine and sais that he can’t feel his legs(in this Sean he is aproximatly 25) so if this bullet to his spine left him paralized at age 25 how is it that he is walking at age 40 :S