X-Men: First Class

ACTION; 2hr 11min

STARRING: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones

Class action: from left, Fassbender and McAvoy

Ever wondered how mondo X-Men evolved? Me neither. But trust Marvel Comics to serve up quite some saga, dating all the way back to 1944 when Professor Charles Xavier (McAvoy), Erik Lensherr/Magneto (Fassbender) and Raven/Mystique (Lawrence) were just mutant kids. Step forward a couple of decades and the Prof, his then-bestie Erik and a troupe of superfreaks are working with the CIA’s Agent Moira MacTaggart (Byrne) in a time-racing bid to nail the diabolical Sebastian Shaw (Bacon). A fellow mutant whose past actions have turned Erik into a seething wellspring of bitterness, Shaw and his chilly right-hand woman, Emma Frost (Jones), are now mixed up with the Russian military. Cuban missile crisis, anyone?


The body-morphing, shape-shifting, fire-starting effects are phenomenal but that’s all in a day’s X-rated work. Director Matthew Vaughn and a seriously qualified cast have also rolled out a juicy chunk of story about the realisation of potential through self-acceptance that kicks dramatic action butt into the bargain. And all in an actual political context! Modern history never looked so hot.