X-Men: First Class is smart and sexy and thankfully, accessible even to the uninitiated.
You don?t have to be an expert on the Marvel Comics? mutant franchise to enjoy this origins story, set in the early 1960s. Actually, the film begins even earlier in a concentration camp, where Erik, a young boy with magnetic powers is separated from his parents.
The evil Dr. Schmidt, played by Kevin Bacon, kills his mother and unleashes upon the world, a damaged superhero, or as Erik describes himself: Frankenstein?s monster.
Meanwhile, his future nemesis Charles, played by James McAvoy, is at Oxford using clever lines about genes to pick up pretty women. Charles and Erik, played by Michael Fassbender, soon become part of the CIA mutant division and find themselves in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis.
In this version of history at least, World War 3 was avoided only because the mutants intervened. X-Men: First Class is a furiously busy movie.
There are half-a-dozen location shifts, an equal number of characters that we must pay attention to and reams of plot, all layered with life-lessons on being different and fitting in. But director Matthew Vaughn manages to hold the narrative together.
The solid story-telling is enhanced by strong performances, especially by Fassbender, who is at once, furious, fractured and tragic. Fassbender and McAvoy have great chemistry.
X-Men: First Class is a nicely done, industrial strength, summer popcorn movie. I strongly recommend that you check it out.