X-Men: First Class


X-Men: First Class

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Movie Introduction & Synopsis: The Run Down 

X-Men: First Class provides an in-depth view of the origins of primary X-Men characters Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), as well as Raven (Mystique) – and their relationships therein. The movie kicks off with a most foreboding introduction, taking place at a German concentration camp during the Holocaust. We see a young boy struggling as he’s taken away from his parents – when the guards shut the gates, he reaches his hands out and attempts to crush the gates with his fledgling electromagnetic-manipulation [1]  powers. Afterwards, he has a confrontation with a Nazi scientist (Dr. Schmidt) who kills his mother when he is unable to use his powers – this action fuels his rage and triggers his abilities, leading to him wrecking the Dr. Schmidt’s office, much to the man’s pleasure. From this point on, Erik is establish with a motive for revenge, and this single goal will drive him to make drastic decisions. In contrast, we are introduced to Charles, a respectable young boy born into a wealthy home. We begin to see his kind, benevolent character at his confrontation with Raven as she attempts to steal from his home. Instead of being angry, he welcomes her with joy and invites her to stay at his family’s luxurious home – glad to find another child with unusual abilities much like himself. All three characters grow older, developing their motives and values – we discover that Raven has grown self-conscious of her looks, with much internal conflict. She sees herself as a socially unacceptable monster, while Charles continually insists there is nothing wrong with her.

Even further on, Charles and Erik meet – forming an alliance and developing a brother-like bond as the movie continues. They differ dramatically in opinion, which ultimately determines the movie’s finale. Throughout the film, Charles attempts to persuade Erik to let go of his vengeful nature and rely on less hostile methods – his efforts prove futile. Raven, the originator of nicknames (she comes up with Magneto, Mystique, etc. MacTaggert, a female CIA operative, comes up with Prof. X), ultimately falls in love with Erik – locking in her future alliance with him. Much of the other characters are introduced when Charles and Erik join the mutant division of the CIA – together training for a seemingly imminent nuclear war.

The movie’s finale takes place during the Cuban Missile crisis where the X-Men team intercepts a rogue Russian ship controlled by Dr. Schmidt who has formed his own team of mutants. The two parties face off – Erik gives into his hatred and kills the doctor, Charles is indirectly shot by Erik, and the Russian and American militaries open fire their missiles upon the mutants (which Erik deflects). Once the “coast is clear,” and Schmidt’s mutants are without a leader, the two parties divide themselves into teams (to put it quite simply) – Erik, now Magneto, forms his team of Raven and Schmidt’s mutants, while the remainder stay loyal to Erik, and effectively serve him in future movies.

Character Analyses (TBU: To Be Updated)

  • Charles Xavier: TBW (To Be Written)
  • Erik Lehnsherr:  TBW
  • Raven: TBW
  • Dr. Schmidt: Doctor Schmidt is a man without morals who cares only about his own selfish ambitions. When a young, Jewish boy is presented before him with extraordinary powers (Erik Lehnsherr), he seeks to exploit his abilities and scientifically examine them. When Erik cannot activate his powers, Schmidt has two Nazi soldiers bring in the boy’s mother, only to be held at gunpoint. Schmidt counts down from five, threatening Erik that he will shoot his mother if he cannot demonstrate his powers before then. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Erik tries desperately to use his powers, emotion and fear overwhelming him, yet his efforts are to no avail. Dr. Schmidt coldheartedly shoots Erik’s mother dead, then laughs as Erik’s anger triggers his powers. “Good, good!” he says. “We’re going to have a lot of fun together.” From the beginning, the doctor is set up as a merciless human being, and his qualities will transfer into Erik’s undeniable hatred.

Conclusion

X-Men: First Class is certainly a successful prequel – the cast was splendid, and I eventually overcame the initial surprise of having James McAvoy as Prof. X (instead of Mr. Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia). As a fan of the previous movies, I greatly enjoyed the nostalgic look back at the origins of many pivotal characters. If you haven’t seen the movie, though plan on seeing X-Men: First Class, I would advise against it. A friend of mine, who watched the movie as well, did not find the movie to be well-developed, having no prior introduction to the series. Watch the other movies first to gain a taste and feel for the series, then enjoy First Class with prior knowledge of it’s characters, not having to feel empty when the character development appears unfulfilling. From a family-Christian perspective, the movie has some very questionable content. One of the mutants was a stripper before joining the team, many of the female characters wear low-cut outfits, and there’s some evident sexual content. Many of the beliefs presented oppose those of Christianity, being Evolution-based in nature – thus removing the spiritual side of humanity.

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About Zechariah Barrett

Greetings! Jambo! Hola ! 你好 ! Bonjour ! Hallo ! Привет ! Buongiorno ! こんにちは ! Thanks for checking out my profile. I'm Zechariah, an author, photographer, graphics designer, language learner, techie... I'll stop there for now. One more thing. I'm also a Christian. Depending on your life experience, that may mean different things to you. I want to assure you, however, that I don't subscribe to all the prevailing views. I don't subscribe to hate. I don't engage in party politics. I both care about a robust economy as well as the environment and social issues. I want to truly live my life by the Spirit of Christ, and that entails loving others and caring for this world. That's how I'm different. I'm not here to cast judgmental glances or make you feel like trash. My heart is to help others, and I hope that shows in all that I do. I also want to have a discussion. Not a debate, not an argument. I want to engage with my readers and viewers regardless of our differences, and then start a conversation. Let's make this world a better place. Together.

Posted on 06/13/2011, in All-Things-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Post-A-Day {2011}, TA Marvel Reviews (2010-2013), Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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