X-Men: First Class Reviews
McAvoy and Fassbender are a casting triumph. These two have, yes, real star magnetism, both individually and together: They're both cool and intense, suave and unaffected, playful and dead serious about their grand comic-book work.
Mr. Vaughn doesn't bring conviction to the story's identity politics (say it loud, I'm mutant and I'm proud), but he gives Mr. Fassbender and Mr. McAvoy room to bring the brotherly love.
Preaching mutant pride with endearing fervor, "X-Men: First Class" proves to be a mutant in its own right -- a zestfully radical departure from the latter spawn of a sputtering franchise.
The scene where the mutants stand on a beach and mentally duel by causing both American and Soviet missiles to shuttle back and forth in the sky is ... hilarious, I was going to say, but no, I should consider this scene more devoutly.
The notion of a period-piece comic book movie, which could fancifully reshuffle historical episodes, has great potential, but neither the cast nor the filmmakers aim for the sort of period detail that would have made the premise interesting.
There's just so much you can do with lines like "You're not alone, Eric, you're not alone" and "the president's about to make his address!" before you get sucked into the vortex.
A richly layered, intelligently worked-out prequel, it melds a dozen back stories, globe-hopping thrills and historic political confrontations, yet it never packs too many sardines into the tin.
"X-Men: First Class" isn't anywhere close to being a genre classic like "Spider-Man 2" or "The Dark Knight," but it is good enough to rejuvenate a franchise stuck on idle.