Don't call it a comeback!
At the onset, I was concerned with X-men: First Class. Because, well, the team here isn't the first class. The first class was Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel and Iceman. As a comic book fanboy I'm protective like that. But color me surprised, I actually warmed up to this not-so-First Class a lot. With the story they wanted to tell, the original 5 X-Men would not have worked, so I'd rather let them mess this up with these guys than mess up the originals.
But in a way, they *gasp* didn't mess up! X-Men: First Class is first and foremost a story of friendship. Particularly, the friendship of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender). Charles' brilliant mind is surpassed only by his vast telepathic powers. Erik is a tortured Holocaust survivor with the power to control metal. Together they form a bond that will change them forever. But when a sinister force threatens to ignite a nuclear war between the US and Russia, their beliefs, along with a young team of newly-discovered mutants, will be put to the test.
The first thing I noticed (and loved) about X-Men: First Class is that it's a very visual film, which helped sell the different mutant powers shown in this movie. From Charles' subtle touches to the temple to the 'mind's eye view' of telepathy to Banshee's sonic screams, the visual cues paint a picture of how mutant powers work for the uninformed layman, and it's a very nice touch.
The story worked for this comic book fan, no complaints here. X-Men: First Class was more or less Charles and Eric's story, and their journey to becoming Professor X and Magneto, respectively. The film is an intimate look into what made these people, these future polarizing leaders of homo superior, who they are today, and it's such an interesting ride that you could just sit back and enjoy it.
The cast did what it needed to do. Kevin Bacon seemed to enjoy playing a scary powerful Sebastian Shaw. Jennifer Lawrence gave us an interesting portrayal of Mystique, a blue-skinned shapeshifter searching for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. The movie's gem, though, is Michael Fassbender, who pulls off a tormented Erik Lensherr/Magneto so well that you feel for his plight and what he's been through. So much so, that when he finally claims his birthright as Magneto, it's a moment you just won't forget. The biggest disappointment is January Jones, who could have done an iconic take on the sexy bitch telepath Emma Frost, but instead turned in such a wooden, unsexy performance it made Keanu Reeves in The Matrix seem animated and alive. It says something when a buxom blonde wearing nothing but lingerie made me fall asleep while watching.
The first 10 minutes of X-Men: First Class is a hokey, corny mess, but the rest of the movie is filled to the brim with cameos, easter eggs and powerful performances that proves the movie has the heart and soul that the first X-Men movie should have had in the first place. You will cry, you will rage, you will be awesome'd...if you can stomach the fact that this isn't the first class you grew up with, you might grow to like X-Men : First Class. I know I did
Oh, and whoever designed Magneto's final costume in the film should be fired.