Popcorn On Couch presents Cinema Clash where I invite someone to debate two movies which are similar or connected in some sort of way and we battle it out, pitching why we thought our choice of movie was better. To celebrate the release of X-Men Apocalypse, in this edition of Cinema Clash we have X-Men Vs X-Men: First Class. I have invited Chris Wilson from Movie Corner who will be pitching for X-Men in this epic mutant showdown.
Battle One: Intro
It would be crazy to not give Bryan Singer the up most respect for “X-Men” 2000, to say singlehandedly would be a stretch, but he and the first instalment in the X-Men franchise is a huge reason in why we have superhero films today. That’s not to take away from Matthew Vaughn and “First Class” he helped revive X-Men after the less than brilliant X-3 and abhorrent “Origins: Wolverine”.
Bryan Singer did a fantastic job of directing “X-Men” and bringing our favourite mutants to the big screen. But Matthew Vaughn had the difficult task of reviving the X-Men series after the horrendous movies “Last stand” and “origins: wolverine”. Not only did he do a brilliant job with “X-Men: first Class” he took it up a notch and managed to top Singer’s “X-Men” and remind fans why we adore the X-Men.
Battle Two: Cast
If I am to be perfectly honest, I think X-Men one is one of the most perfect cast superhero films to date. While everybody scoffed at the idea of 6’2 Hugh Jackman playing 5’3 Wolverine, he has gone down in film history as an all-time favourite of many, with people worrying how they will ever continue without him after “Wolverine 3”. Along with acting powerhouses like Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, not only does the film have high calibre brilliance it also help springboard the careers of some favoured actors today James Marsden, Famke Jensen and Halle Berry. For me the cast of the film trumps First Class, McAvoy and Fassbender while great, are kind of replicating their predecessors which goes to show how great they are.
I must admit X-Men does have a great cast, however X-Men: First Class is packed with extremely talented actors with incredible range who all have beautiful on screen chemistry, the likes of Jennifer Lawrence who is now an academy award winning actress, Michael Fassbender who never fails to deliver stunning performances, James McAvoy a brilliant and versatile actor who always gives outstanding performances and Nicholas Hoult a natural and gifted actor. They have all gone on to do very interesting projects and some have even starred in Oscar nominated movies. These actors didn’t replicate their predecessors instead they surpassed them; as they did a fantastic job of portraying the younger versions of their predecessors while adding more depth to their characters and using their own style.
Battle Three: Lead Actor
While Jackman wasn’t the calibre actor of McAvoy is during his time on X-Men he certainly commanded the screen like Wolverine commands any panel in the books. I just find that Jackman oozes badassery and aggression like you’d expect from a man who is called “Wolverine”. I think Jackman trumps McAvoy too given the fact that he has two spin-off films with a third in the works, while the first was awful that wasn’t his fault, also Jackman went on to put in incredible performances in “Prisoners”, “Boy From Oz” and “Les Miserables” the latter getting him an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award in 2013.
McAvoy truly shined as Charles Xavier, really showing how capable he is as an actor. As the lead actor he gave a better performance than Jackman did in X-Men. McAvoy’s character may not be as aggressive or badass as wolverine, but McAvoy did steal the show with his portrayal of Professor X as he added more depth and showed other traits of his character. His on screen chemistry with co-stars Lawrence and Fassbender was amazing throughout the movie. That’s why I believe McAvoy tops Jackman due to his chemistry with others and acting ability. McAvoy didn’t star in many movies after First Class, but he has the potential to be nominated for an Oscar if he stars in the right movie.
Battle Four: Action
While “First Class” has some great action, I find the action in “X-Men” to be more enjoyable, not to take anything away from First Class but I feel it is heavily into characters more than action. Which isn’t a bad thing, but the fight scenes from X-Men nearly two decades ago have stayed fresh in my mind, especially the fight scene in which Mystique uses her powers to become Wolverine and Storm to fight the team. While the effects in First Class look superior, the sequences in X-Men will live on if not their brilliance but for their pure nostalgia.
X-Men First Class definitely doesn’t have as much action as X-Men as the movie focuses more on the characters. However the scene where Azazel teleports, snatches people from their room and drops them in the air from a massive height, is a pretty cool scene which will probably be imprinted in your brain. A satisfactory amount of action is spread out through the movie, with most of the action scenes showing the badass mutant Azazel teleporting and kicking people’s ass, although the action is short, it is enough to keep you entertained.
For me the cast and what X-Men meant for the future of comic films on the big screen without Singer and Fox taking such a risk to make a comic film open to mass audiences we possibly wouldn’t have the MCU and DCCU today. Not only is the film a comic film it also has brilliant character development throughout, it’s just a brilliantly put together film that happens to have comic characters in it. The action and character work just blends together perfectly along with some funny scenes, the casting is a huge selling point for this film which is pretty much as perfect as any film you’ll see today.
X-Men First Class had a brilliant cast with a great storyline and interesting subplots which could easily be turned into their own movie. Showing the early lives of our favourite mutants, telling the story of how Charles and Erick met, while throwing other mutants in the mix plus a cruel, menacing villain portrayed well by Kevin Bacon really made First Class the superior movie. First class rejuvenated a film series which was tarnished by the previous two movies, first class set the bar for other superheroes movies after it, this bar was raised even higher after the release of its sequel, Days Of Future Past.
Now you guys have the opportunity to vote, which movie was better? Use the poll below and leave your opinions in the comment section.
— Popcorn On Couch (@popcornoncouch) 18 May 2016
I’ll like to thank Chris Wilson for collaborating with me on this epic Cinema Clash, be sure to visit MovieCorner and check out the awesome movie reviews and movie articles.