MUTANT AND PROUD (I wish..)
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence
Hypothetical IF – If the ridiculously good-looking characters of X-Men: First Class were real, and I (being a mere mortal) somehow managed to time travel and stand in their glorious 1960s presence, I would most likely drop down on my knees, embrace Magneto’s leg like a leech and beg him to take me on as his human-slave, forever supplicant to the superior mutants that deserve to rule Planet Earth. Let’s just say – that’s how much I loved the movie, and how I oddly sided with the bad guys because Michael Fassbender is just so darn good at his job.
It’s 1962 and history gets X-mened as the missiles in Cuba, the frightening tensions between the U.S and Russia, and an impending third World War involve the mutants before Professor X and Magneto formally get their superhero names. Earlier days show Charles Xavier befriending Raven at a young age, writing theses on mutation and joining forces with other mutants, including a Holocaust survivor by the name of Erik Lehnsherr who is bent on getting his revenge on Sebastian Shaw, who not only killed his mother as a doctor working for the Nazi regime, but also cruelly conducted experiments on Erik to strengthen his power in controlling metal.
Now while I mentioned totally abandoning my own species (some might see that as betrayal… others a formality in desperate times), the conflicting views of Erik and Charles Xavier essentially ask whether acceptance and pride in being a mutant can peacefully co-exist with the human race – Erik believing it’s impossible and Xavier believing that wiping out the human race is kinda mean. The way X-men: First Class explore this idea is wonderfully crafted – the story picking up a pace from the first frame and carrying it all the way to the end with special effects that make you appreciate our cinematic technology today and performances that will move you to fully grasping the concepts of heroism, evil, and ultimately the conflicts within the human race itself.
Oh, and whoever cast Michael Fassbender as Magneto … GOOD choice.