Let me start this off by saying that I’m not a comic book purist. Sure, I owned my fair share of comics growing up, but my comic book fascination was casual at best. I don’t know the back stories of every major comic book character. I’ve picked up what I’ve picked up with over the years. I’m not gonna win any origin story arguments with nerds, but I’m not going to totally be totally lost in these debates either.

So X-Men: First Class is a reboot of a franchise that needed some serious refreshment. The first couple X-Men films we’re pretty solid, the last one got kinda stale and that piece of trash Wolverine movie was borderline unwatchable. I went into X-Men: First Class with the expectation that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are two pretty decent actors. S how bad could it be?

Well, it was awesome. For all the reasons I thought it would be awesome. The supporting cast isn’t shabby, but Fassbender and McAvoy make this film better than good. McAvoy single-handedly made Wanted watchable and Fassbender’s performance in Inglorious Basterds gets better with every repeat viewing.

These two guys bring new life to their characters. McAvoy adds depth to the young Professor X, the optimistic, diplomatic, naïve genius with budding leadership skills and cheesy pickup lines. Fassbender’s take on Magneto is fantastic. He balances light scenes with serious emotion while portraying the damaged, defiant realist who slides into super villainy.

The film is set in 1962, and that added a nice touch as well, especially when it came to January Jones and her wardrobe selections. Man, that chick was smokin’ in this movie, but she just can’t act. It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. Thankfully she didn’t have too many lines.

Kevin Bacon made me forget that he was Kevin Bacon by the end. That’s no small feat, that. His performance as Sebastian Shaw was pretty commendable, and he did the super evil thing pretty well.

I know some comic book fans are bitter about the origin story remixing that went down, but get over it. The franchise needed a Batman-style restart, and it went pretty well. With comic book back stories changing all the time in the world of actual comics, it’s difficult to be bitter about the way this film used its rebooting license.

Sound casting choices, good pacing, the strong relationship between the two main characters and some clever fictionalized historical plot maneuverings make this film a strong summer blockbuster. You’ll laugh (a little), you’ll cry (k, maybe not), but you’ll definitely be down to watch the next movie with this new team of X-folks. And that’s what a quality reboot is all about.

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