In a movie season guaranteed to be over crowded by heroes in tight fitting outfits, how is one supposed to choose which film in the genre to be enthused about? We've got men with hammers, men with lanterns, and men with shields. I'm putting my vote in for the men with class. When "X-MEN: First Class" hits the multiplexes, here are three reasons to apply to Xavier's School For the Gifted.
The first thing to pay special attention to is the mutation of the role of Professor X now being handled by James McAvoy instead of the usually steady presence of Patrick Stewart. Fans of the bald baron of badness should have no fears. McAvoy has built up a solid variety of jobs to fill his acting resume. He flexed his dramatic chops with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland" (2006). But he also proved he could do action by upstaging the goddess Angelina Jolie (though not in the looks department) in "Wanted" (2008). James is our man here for the younger more action oriented Charles.
McAvoy envisioning a future of baldness
A strong lead like McAvoy must be countered with an equally strong performance by the villain of the piece. Michael Fassbender should fit in nicely here as Magneto. He's impressed me before as Archie Hicox in "Inglourious Basterds" (2009), and will be playing a large part in Ridley Scott's Alien prequel slated for 2012. As Magneto, we could be seeing a star making performance here. Fassbender has a fantastic voice and a chameleon like ability with accents that all but guarantees we'll be seeing more of him in the future.
Fassbender "make fun of my helmet, I dare you!"
Finally, you've got to be excited that this picture was directed by Matthew Vaughn. He has yet to make a film that has disappointed me. Vaughn seems to be a guy comfortable with almost any genre. He's done crime films like 04's "Layer Cake" with a pre-Bond Daniel Craig, but has also shown the ability to tell a fairy tale with 07's "Stardust." Vaughn has already dipped his feet into the super hero pool with the under appreciated "Kick-Ass," so I have no doubt that the powers that be have picked the right man to make X mark the summer sweet spot.
Vaughn "all of my movies Kick-Ass"
Only time will tell if the mutants will score a passing box office grade. But in a season saturated by spandex, my money is on "X-Men: First Class" to graduate with honors by summers end.