The magic of X-Men is back. To be short, this is what epic is all about. Not since Avengers has a story had such a collective scope and built upon it in such interesting and adept ways. It may hurt your head, but it won’t be because they goofed.
Allusion aside, it is still very much of its own style. It isn’t the action-packed, wise-cracking, freneticism of the Avengers collective, it is a more considered, but still action-packed story of humanity and survival. And yet, the humor and irony come through; both as inside and outside jokes. Nods to other movies, other shows, even other timelines abound. So too do moments that are pure and unto themselves… especially one sequence set to a 70s classic tune that you’ll never see coming.
The cast is superb: Stewart, McKellen, Fassbender, McAvoy, Lawrence, Hoult, Page, Dinklage, Jackman, and some surprises. Frankly, too many to name and list accomplishments for, so I won’t even try. Look ’em up on this site and elsewhere if you want. It is a great ensemble that works so comfortably with one another on screen you will utterly forget who they really are and see only their characters (past and present).
Honestly, after Jack the Giant Slayer, I wasn’t sure Singer, the man that started the Marvel ball really rolling with X-Men, still had it in him. But with help from Vaughn’s story (Kick-Ass), whose First Class corrected the disaster of X-Men 3, Singer really showed his command of film. Despite a wide ranging story, with a large number of characters and an enormous history to juggle, this movie never stumbles. It is riveting in both its quiet and most explosive moments. They even managed to get around all kinds of time paradox… or explain it well enough that you’ll just go with it. That in and of itself is a major accomplishment. And now, of course, I want to rewatch all the previous films to see how it knits together.
Without question, this is the best movie of its kind I’ve seen so far this year. It ranks among the best I’ve seen in a while. It didn’t require 3D, though it may be fun with it, because it had Story (yes, with a capital S). It also had action and visuals to beat the band, but without solid story (Godzilla, I’m roaring at you) it would have just been OK. There are other films I’m waiting for this summer, but as the unofficial launch to the season, they couldn’t have done it much better.