The X-Men film franchise has been hit and miss from the very beginning. For every X2: X-Men United there is a The Last Stand, for every X-Men: Days of Future Past, comes an Apocalypse. It’s a shame, considering how consistent the performances have been throughout the saga. The standout is, of course, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.
In a brilliant bit of casting by Matthew Vaughn, Fassbender and McAvoy were brought in to play young Magneto and Professor X in First Class. Fassbender took the ball and ran with it, adding a whole new dimension to the popular comic book character previously embodied by Ian McKellen. He certainly has gotten the approval of not just fans and critics, but his equally talented co-star as well. In a recent chat with Rotten Tomatoes, James McAvoy praised Fassbender’s performance throughout the franchise, most notably his work in First Class.
“My favourite performance of his is definitely First Class. It was a great film balancing an ensemble, giving everybody an arc and stuff, but in terms of who that film is really about, that was the origin story for Magneto. And just getting to see him rock this, not just mutant leader figure, which he wasn’t yet, but actually imbue it with a sort of James Bond, espionage, spy-like quality as well. Like that was just a wicked thing to do with your character.”
The ever so humble Fassbender was quick to extend the praise to First Class helmer Matthew Vaughn, who co-penned the screenplay with Jane Goldman, Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller. “A lot of that was Matthew as well, gotta say.”
While McAvoy agreed with Fassbender’s statement (after all, it was Vaughn and his co-writers who wrote the character in an organic way), he went on to say that it was Fassbender’s performance which transformed the character.
“Yeah, but you had the style, the chops, and the gear and the silhouette to carry that shit off beautifully. That was a tall order, you know what I mean? You don’t expect that with an X-Men movie, and you really subverted what it was to be in an X-Men movie.”
While Fassbender has been the clear standout of the First Class-and-beyond era of Fox’s X-Men saga, praise should also be given to James McAvoy’s work as Professor X. After all, who can forget drugged out Charles Xavier in Days of Future Past? Heck, even Sophie Turner proved to be pretty damn stellar in Dark Phoenix, taking an averagely written character and elevating it to the sky.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is currently playing in Malaysian cinemas.