X-Men: First Class
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 132 minutes

GENRE: Action/Adventure, Superhero

TEASER: See where it all began.

SUMMARY: The story begins with a look at Charles and Erik’s childhood. Erik is a a prisoner at a German concentration camp in occupied Poland. He is being kept there and experimented on so that they can exploit his powers. Charles Xavier catches a young shape-shifting mutant, Raven, stealing food one night and decides to adopt her as his sister. We move ahead to the year 1962. Erik has been tracking down the doctor how experimented on him and killed his mother, Sebastian Shaw. He seeks to get his revenge any way necessary. Charles is now a professor of genetic mutations. Meanwhile, a CIA agent Moira MacTaggert is seeking Charles help in identifying the mutants she saw on an investigation. She gets the help of Charles and Ranen to help stop these mutant terrorists. While investigating them, they run into Erik who has just failed to kill Shaw. Charles convinces him to join them and help stop Shaw and Emma Frost from killing all of humanity. Now they must seek out new mutants and train them to fight their own kind in order to protect the human race.

CRITIQUE: There is very little negatives that I can say about this film. The movie was well cast and well written. The problem with some of these films is that they are taking characters that have been developing and changing for years. They are very complicated and the subtle nuances are difficult to pull off. The writers did an excellent job at exploring the complex relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto. I also appreciated the attention paid to Mystique’s character, another complex character within the Marvel universe. The score to the movie was also fitting and added atmosphere to the scenes. The only think lacking were the special effects. Normally this can make or break a movie but the writing and character development was so well done that I hardly cared about the badly done CGI.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn is an English film director and producer. He actually studied anthropology and ancient history at University College London. However, it was short-lived. He soon dropped out and moved to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. He has also directed Kick-Ass, Stardust, and Layer Cake. He is married to supermodel Claudia Schiffer. They have three children together.

WEBSITE: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/

CHALLENGE ISSUES: Some people might be opposed to the sexual situations, violence, and terrorism that are in this movie.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.


BOOKTALKING IDEAS: Discuss the topic of genetic evolution. Do you think that the mutants will someday outnumber the humans? Will humans eventually disappear?

WHY INCLUDED: Comic book movies are becoming immensely popular. I felt that this was the best one this year.