X Men: First Class
(M) Fox DVD/BD
X Men: First Class follows a group of “mutants” enlisted by the United States Government in 1962 in order to undo a plot to begin World War III.
The relationship and conflict between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) is the driving force of this film, and Kevin Bacon’s villainous Sebastian Shaw and his bland henchmen are easily overshadowed by it.
Charles, rich and privileged from infancy, lived a much easier life than the rage-filled, German-born Erik, who lost his family in the Holocaust and seeks revenge. Their differing ideologies lead to the conflict that causes them to be enemies and become known as “Professor X” and “Magneto”.
The plot is occasionally hard to follow and certainly takes second fiddle to the action, but it at least provides a vehicle for the mutants and their various “powers” to shine; particularly through the training sequence in which Charles challenges and encourages the younger mutants one by one to reach their full potential.
X-Men: First Class is entertaining and fans of the franchise will enjoy the back-stories of various characters, as well as strong performances from not only the two leads but also many of the supporting younger cast as well (Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult in particular).
It works best when the mutants explore their identities and relationships, but becomes tedious when grandiose government plots become involved.