Editor’s note: we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a word from OWL assistant editor Kendra Brown. (Craig will be back next week.) Enjoy!
From Thor to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, it’s just one big blockbuster after another these days! And this week, I’m here to tell you about X-Men: First Class, which opens in theatres today. Summer movie season is in full swing, folks!
As some of you may know, this is the fifth film in the X-Men series, but it’s not a sequel. It’s a prequel, focusing on the origins of the X-Men team. It begins in the 1940’s during World War II, where we meet some of the young mutants, including Erik Lehnsherr, Charles Xavier, and Raven Darkholme, who will grow up to become known as Magneto, Professor X, and Mystique. We are also introduced to Sebastian Shaw, who is another mutant with formidable powers and the movie’s main villain.
The action then jumps to the 1960’s, where Shaw is plotting to set off a nuclear war and wipe out humanity so that the mutants can inherit the Earth. However, not all mutants are on his side, including Charles Xavier, who agrees to team up with the CIA to stop Shaw. And as Xavier’s team of young mutants, who will become known as the X-Men, fight to save the universe, they also fight for acceptance in a world of humans.
Here are a few observations about the movie:
1) It’s intense. War, nuclear weapons, evil villains, and a newly formed team of super-powered mutants, all combine to make one very intense movie. Some of the scenes are pretty scary, and even a little bit sad, thanks to some seriously evil villains, like Sebastian Shaw. But luckily, there are some laughs along the way to lighten the mood.
2) It looks cool. Actually, it looks awesome. The special effects, makeup, and costumes in this movie are amazing, especially when it comes to the X-Men. I read that it took seven people eight hours to get Jennifer Lawrence camera-ready for her role as the blue-skinned mutant, Mystique! But all that hard work was well worth it. I loved watching the mutants transform into their superhero selves and show off their powers.
3) It’s about acceptance. This is a major theme in the X-Men series, but it was particularly clear in this movie since it takes place just as the young mutants are discovering who they are. Mystique’s struggle to be accepted, not just by others, but by herself, is something that most of us can relate to at one time or another. I guess you could say that even though the movie is about mutants, it’s incredibly human.
I may not be a big X-Men fan, but I have to say, I was a fan of this movie. However, a warning: X-Men: First Class is rated PG (PG-13 in the U.S.) and has some violent, scary scenes, plus some strong language. If you’re not into that type of thing, you may want to skip it and try something else this weekend, like getting outside to enjoy the sunny weather!