X-Men First Class (2011)

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Platt, Alex Conzalez, Jason Flemyng, Zoe Kravitz, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones, Edi Gathegi, Lucas Till, Glenn Morshower
 
This starts with two very different characters in Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Charles is a young scientist looking into genetic mutation, While Erik is out to get Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) the man who killed his mother and unleashed his power.

In the early sixties a young C.I.A agent Morra MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) is investigating Colonel Hendry (Glenn Morshower) when she find the secret passage to Shaw’s secret meeting place. Shaw is trying to get Hendry to put missiles in Turkey incase of war with the Russians. Shaw has a few assistants who have powers in Emma Frost (January Jones), Janos Quested (Alex Gonzalez) and Azazel (Jason Flemyng). Having little option Hendry agrees to the plan.

Morra tracks down Charles to help talk her bosses that these people are real. Using Charles and his only friend Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) they meet with William Stryker (an enemy for a later film) and a man only known as Man in Black Suit (Oliver Platt) who take up their offer to work together.

The first mission is to locate Shaw but they are not the only ones looking for Shaw this night Erik is on a mission of his own. Shaw escapes but Erik is now recruited by Charles. Going to their new base they meet Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) a genius who also has a mutation that he has hidden.

Charles is introduced to Cerebro the equipment that shows Charles where the mutant are hidden. Charles and Erik set off to find as many different mutants as they can. The ones they find are Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), Angel (Zoe Kravitz) and Havok (Lucas Till).

Will this new team the X-Men be able to stop a potential nuclear war? How Did Erik and Charles friendship collapse?

When it comes to X-men films they were becoming plain with the Last Stand being quite poor. this new idea to show origins the characters is working well Wolverine proved that. First Class goes one better seeing how Charles and Erik become the figures they are in the first three films. Having cameos from later heroes and villains gives the future story an extra touch.

Some of the action sequences are simply brilliant. The fact all the new mutants are younger adults or children makes the idea that Professor Xavier teaches them to control the power or Magneto to unleash the powers adds to a real life prospective of being given guidance by a more experienced mutant.

Kevin Bacon does an excellent job as a mastermind of potential nuclear war while this is the first time i have thought James McAvoy has give a massively impressive performance. Michael Fassbender proves he is a rising star with another great performance as Magneto and having a character who never really shows which side he will be fighting for.

If your a fan of the characters in the films you will like this, as i have never read comics or seen cartoons i couldn’t tell you how closely it follows those. This is one of the best superhero movies I have seen which makes two highly recommend this year.

My rating is 91%

Thor (2011)

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Tabanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo
 
A team of astrophysicist lead by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) are in New Mexico researching unusual phenomenon. Jane has flown in Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) an expert on what could be happening. Also on her team is Darcy (Kat Dennings) are grad student who major is political science but was only student who applied to help. While the event is happening they drive closer and hit a mysterious man.

We get taken to Asgard the land of the Gods. We learn about how the ice giants tried to conquer all worlds only to be stopped by the Gods of Asgard and an agreement to stop war once the iron giants are about to be defeated. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) the king of Asgard has two sons that will one day take his throne, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). When some ice giants get into Asgard Thor takes his four loyal Asguardians Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Farndral (Josh Dallas), Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and Loki and go to Jotunheim where the frost giants roam. A big battle starts before Odin save the Asguardians and Banishes Thor to Earth.

The mysterious man the scientist hit with their car was Thor and the event was him being banished. While rescuing Thor his hammer falls to Earth which brings out SHIELD lead by Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). SHIELD take all of Jane’s research and quarantine the hammer location.

Where Thor is stuck on Earth his father Odin falls into a sleep meaning Loki becomes king of Asgard. When Loki becomes king his plan is revelled and his real father is also revealed.

Can Thor regain his power and return to Asgard? Who are SHIELD? this action adventure will answer all you questions in very entertaining style.

I watched this as someone who knows nothing about the Thor comics or myths so i enjoyed they movie for its own story. The story comes over very well filled with great action sequences and one liners that don’t put the story down. Chris Hemsworth does a brilliant as Thor in one of his first feature lead role. The story leads up to the eventual Avengers movie well too with Ironman, Captain America, Nick Fury, Hawkeye (who makes a cameo in Thor) and Hulk.

I personally think this is one of the best comic book superhero movies ever keeping me on the edge of my seat all the way through all characters are convincing and believable too.

My rating is 90%