X-Men: First Class is the best X-Men movie so far. There, I said it. The Bryan Singer films are well-regarded because of when they came out - at the time nobody was making serious superhero movies. But now, years later, X2 is revealed as a barely watchable mess while First Class is a light, zippy and exciting film. I just rewatched big parts of it last night and it holds up; yeah, the FX are dodgy, but if you think movies are all about FX you're a nincompoop anyway. Movies are about characters and conflict, and the characters and conflicts in this film are wonderful.
My biggest complaint is that they rushed the film to the modern status quo of Professor X crippled and Magneto a bad guy way too fast. Like they had no faith in being able to continue telling the story. Where will this leave the sequel?
We will soon find out! Matthew Vaughn has signed on to direct X-Men: First Class II or Second Class or X-Men: Adult Education or whatever. I've heard lots of wacky behind the scenes stories about First Class and who was responsible for what, but for now I'm happy that Fox is bringing back Vaughn to work with Bryan Singer. Simon Kinberg is writing the script, which isn't great, but you know Jane Goldman's just going to rewrite it anyway.
Matthew Vaughn being signed now is no guarantee Vaughn will remain signed. He's slippery like that. Also, the weird pressure cooker situation of the first film isn't being repeated here, so who knows how this film will turn out. I remain hopeful, as First Class is still my favorite comic book movie of 2011.