Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers (screenplay): Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Writers (story): Sheldon Turner, Bryan Singer
Running Time: 127 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release Date: 1st June 2011
Watched on Sky+ Friday 29th June 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I saw this film on the first day of release just over a year ago and was keen to see it it was still as good when it aired on TV for the first time this week. What follows is basically the review I wrote then with a few alterations and additions. A really enjoyable film with quite a complicated plot but I found that despite a running time of over two hours it really flew by! Testament to the writers, actors, director and everyone else involved, it’s a big thumbs up from me. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
We are told the story of how Charles Xavier founded his school for mutants in 1963. How he and his best friend, Erik Lehnsherr, later to be known as Magneto, had differing visions for the future for mutants. The stories of Hank McCoy (Beast) and Raven (Mystique), amongst others, are also told, particularly how Raven grew up with Charles but ultimately couldn’t see his vision. The narrative is set against the Cuban Missile Crisis, which, for the purposes of this story, is manipulated by one Sebastian Shaw, who has his own reasons for wanting to start a nuclear war. Shaw also has a very strong significance to Erik but I’m not going to tell you about that here (no spoilers here).
A really well made film with, at its’ heart a really enthralling, well thought-out storyline. Great performances all round, particularly from; James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto, Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, Rose Byrne as CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique and Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy / Beast.
As we have come to expect from these films, the special effects are of the highest quality. Fortunately this does not distract from the excellent plot that gives so much more depth to the main characters. There is a fair amount of humour as well, look out for a very brief appearance from Wolverine (very funny). Over all, an exceedingly well made film that I hope becomes a big hit. It’s intelligent without ever talking down to the audience and I really enjoyed it. I would be happy to see it again and it’s still pencilled in to be added to by DVD collection… Recommended.
My Score 8.2/10
IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 195,866 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 65/100: (Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 87/100 (based on 239 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 88/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 115,264 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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[about the Class going into action]
Professor Charles Xavier: They're just kids...
Erik Lehnsherr: No, they WERE kids. Shaw has his army, we need ours.
1st German: Who... What are you?
Erik Lehnsherr: Let's just say I'm Frankenstein's monster. And I'm looking for my creator.
Sean Cassidy: You truly believe I'll fly this time?
Professor Charles Xavier: Unreservedly.
Sean Cassidy: I trust you.
Professor Charles Xavier: I'm touched.
Sean Cassidy: [pointing at Hank] I don't trust him.
Professor Charles Xavier: [to Hank] Say nothing.
Sean Cassidy: I'm gonna die!
Professor Charles Xavier: Alright. Look, we're not gonna make you do anything without...
Erik Lehnsherr: Here, let me help you.
[pushes Sean off the antenna]
Professor Charles Xavier: Erik!
Erik Lehnsherr: What? You know you were thinking the same.
Raven Darkholme: We have to call him, Havok. That's his name now. And we were thinking...
[points to Charles]
Raven Darkholme: ...you should be Professor X...
[points to Erik]
Raven Darkholme: ...and you should be Magneto.
Erik Lehnsherr: Exceptional.