I am a big comic fan and when the original X-men films came out I was all over it. I wasn’t a big fan of a lot of the changes they made to the history, but was still happy overall with what we got. Singer knocked the first two out of the park and really made X-men films like I always hoped for. Last Stand was a bit weaker, but I still can enjoy it for what it was with all its flaws. The concept for this new addition to the series had me worried. Doing a prequel could work, but how well now that the whole mythology of the X-universe is changed?
This was so much more than I expected. Above anything else, this was easily the best X-men film so far for a lot of reasons. As a comic nerd, the changes to this universe drives me crazy, but through the years of this series I have let that go for the most part and try to look past it. The story here is not just an origin of the xmen, but also a deep journey of torment, angry, and hope. The main story is obviously the history of Xavier and Magneto and how it went horribly wrong. What is really cool here, is that it’s not just that story, but personal stories for each character and why they not only respect each other, but why they are best friends, but arch enemies all at once. Seeing that aspect of the film ads so much more depth to the relationship of these guys in the previous films. The performances were decent from the majority of the cast and they worked pretty well together, but McAvoy, Fassbender, and Bacon stole this movie on multiple levels. Bacon was the perfect amount of evil, crazy, and campy to make Shaw a great villain. McAvoy nailed the young Xavier character with and original take, but growth to see him grow into the Stewart version. Fassbender was the true star of them all. His torment, passion, and depth he brought to Magneto were great to see. The core members they chose for this film would not have been my first choice, but they ended up working pretty well. I also loved the way the story twisted in actual history to tell this story and evolve into more than just a superhero movie.
This is almost a brilliant piece of superhero cinema, if it hadn’t been for a couple stiff performances by some of the secondary characters. I loved this film and with the exception of a couple of things that don’t really match the continuity of the original films, it works perfect as a prequel to this series. Watch out for some surprises a couple of times in the film that will make any fan smile. Now I am full on ready for next installment in this all new planned trilogy.