in about 100 words or less
US/UK 132m, Colour
Director: Matthew Vaughn; Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones. Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon
First Class is a terrifically entertaining prequel to the Marvel Comics X-Men (2000) and the series of films which followed. The movie revisits Magneto’s childhood from 1944 onward, as well as introducing the childhood years of Charles Xavier, the founder of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Upon revealing the background stories for these two main characters, and their circumstances which led them to become arch rivals in later years, they reluctantly work together against a small but powerful anarchist group led by Sebastian Shaw, a fellow mutant who can absorb and redirect energy, who plans to pick up the pieces after initiating the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis – a clever plot derived from a thoroughly engaging and well-written piece of revisionist history as screenplay. As with the previous films, First Class is marked by seamless special effects and fantastic mutant powers (Klaus Ming June 2011).