X-Men: First Class is a fantastic film that surpassed my expectations after the disappointment of X-Men 3 and the forgettable Wolverine. The story begins in 1944, with a young Erik in a Nazi concentration camp. His powers are discovered by Dr Schmidt (Kevin Bacon), who encourages him to unleash them in a brutal way. Meanwhile, a young Charles Xavier befriends young Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) when she’s caught stealing food disguised as his mother.
Fast forward to 1962, where Charles (James McAvoy) teams up with CIA agents to search for other mutants. During a mission, they encounter Erik (Michael Fassbender), who is still on the hunt for Schmidt, now a wealthy man named Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is assembling his own group of mutants to rise up against humans.
The acting is superb, with Fassbender and McAvoy delivering standout performances. However, the film does suffer slightly from having too many characters, making it challenging to give each one adequate screen time. Some of the mutants include Angel, Azreal, Banshee, Beast, Emma Frost, Darwin, Havok, and Riptide. Hugh Jackman also makes a cameo appearance as Wolverine.
There are some continuity issues that die-hard fans may notice, such as Xavier being left wheelchair-bound in this film, but walking unaided in the flashback opening of X-Men 3. Additionally, in the ’80s-set Wolverine, there’s a teenage Emma Frost, while in First Class, she’s a fully grown adult. The only significant flaw in the film is January Jones’s performance as Emma Frost, which falls short of expectations.
Despite these minor criticisms, the film is thoroughly enjoyable, and the standout performance of Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast is noteworthy. His American accent is convincing and natural.
Overall, X-Men: First Class is an excellent addition to the franchise, and I would welcome another film with this cast.