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'X-Men: First Class' looks to live up to its name [Video]

April 27, 2011 |  7:22 pm

Compared to other comic-book movies, "X-Men: First Class" hasn't made much noise ahead of its June release. But that's starting to change, and will likely continue to change, with the release of the below trailer, which makes the Matthew Vaughn film look like the best of the summer superhero lot.

Some of the Professor X-Magneto back story we've seen in prior spots, but that doesn't diminish the trailer's virtues: subtly creepy special effects as humans become mutants, a keen sense of pacing -- things actually don't explode until well into the the trailer! -- and even the suggestion of some rich themes.

As with some prequels, the movie does seem to require knowledge about the films that came before (er, after). Still, it's hard to find fault with a more organic integration of a historical event (the Cuban missile crisis) than its "Captain America" competitor, or with one of the more intriguing casts this side of "Iron Man"; Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence are all here and have, apparently, been given something interesting to do.

-- Steven Zeitchik



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If X-Men is any better than Captain America, at least part of the reason is the source material. CA is a product of his time -- bland patriotism -- while X-Men is inherently edgier, since the ongoing subtext of X-Men comics is how society deals with difference and one's responsibility to be ethical/non-violent in the face of hostile opposition.

(All that said, the comics are pretty ham-fisted about these points.)


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