MOVIE REVIEW: Conflicting loyalties heat up tension in ‘X-Men: First Class’

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

I’m not sure of the exact time, but there was a moment in “X-Men: First Class” when I realized I was thoroughly enjoying this movie.
There is a large number of cast members and stories to keep up with, and that required early concentration.
But director Matthew Vaughn and his cadre of writers, actors and, one assumes, editors weave the different stories together wonderfully.
First, a primer: X-Men are people who’ve mutated to have special powers that set them apart from the rest of humanity.
In the 1960s, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) begins to assemble a group of fellow mutants to work with the CIA.
Evil is afoot. An American general is being blackmailed to put nuclear weapons in Turkey, and a Russian leader is being pressed to put nuclear weapons in Cuba.
A page ripped out of history, right?
Except a powerful mutant named Shaw (Kevin Bacon) is the one pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) team up with other mutants to fight Shaw, but loyalties are an issue.
Some team members just want to stop Shaw; others think Shaw’s plan is a good one and decide to help him; still others admire Shaw’s plan, but want him dead, all the same.
These shifting loyalties create fantastic tension, even if fans of other “X-Men” movies know which path Erik and Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), aka Magneto and Mystique, will eventually choose.
I’m not a comic book fan, but I’ve seen and enjoyed all of the “X-Men” movies, which are set in a time after this prequel. As entertaining as the “X-Men” films are on the big screen, they’re not the sort of movies I tend to enjoy in later viewings on television.
That could happen this time, but I have to respect the fun I had in the theater on Saturday. I give “X-Men: First Class” an A.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

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– “Roadkill” Bill with Wizard 106.7 gives “X-Men: First Class” a C.

“It was a fun movie with a good back story. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a bad popcorn film.”