In 1962, Charles Xavier discovers the existence of other mutants and
brings them together to combat a mutant who wants to start a war.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Written by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman,
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon, January Jones,
Lucas Till, Caleb Landry Jones, Zoë Kravitz,
Jason Flemyng, Oliver Platt, Edi Gathegi
Prequel to 2000's X-Men
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
This prequel was easily my favorite of the entire franchise. It does an excellent job of showing the early days of Professor X and Magneto. It also has the coolest score of the X-Men series, giving Fassbender's Magneto an epic theme that perfectly shows how far he's willing to go for mutant freedom.
After the disastrous X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it was refreshing to see an original take on the X-Men mythology. We got a prequel that didn't suck and actually gave us some insight on the creation of the X-Men and the foundation of Charles and Erik's relationship, both of whom were played magnificently by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
With Kevin Bacon as the bad guy and a plot involving the Cold War, it's easy to see why X-Men: First Class is the best of the whole franchise. It's beyond entertaining and is on its way to becoming a classic.
As the series was experience a diminishing return in quality with for a short while, X-Men: First Class came along and gave the series the adrenaline shot it needed. This prequel gave us an excellent early look at Professor X's and Magneto's complicated friendship, while also successfully reviving the franchise to this very day.
After failing to do an origin story the first time around, there was understandable trepidation when the next film in the series was also set to be a prequel. Luckily, First Class proved to be one of the best entries in the franchise and offered a unique look on two of the comics iconic characters. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy do an excellent job at portraying younger versions of Magneto and Professor X, respectively. Seeing the beginning of their friendship and the inevitable fallout is what made this film work so well. Kevin Bacon also makes a welcome appearance to the series as villain Sebastian Shaw, doing a great job in a more villainous role. The only issue I have with the movie is January Jones as Emma Frost. I've never found her performance that believable.
Overall, X-Men: First Class was exactly what the franchise needed. It offered an intriguing insight to tow of comic most well known characters and paved the way for more exciting adventures. First Class stands as one of the best in the series.