Latest X-Men film a solid effort

X-Men: First Class

20th Century Fox

Rating: PG

132 minutes

X-Men: First Class is a decent superhero movie and fans of the series will love it because it’s a satisfying prequel to all the others.

It opens in WW II with Magneto’s future character as a boy in a Nazi concentration camp. Kevin Bacon plays the villain who kills his mother to get the boy to use his mutant powers.

We also see Professor X’s future character as a boy in England. Then we jump to 1962 with Michael Fassbender playing the future Magneto as an adult and James McAvoy playing the character who becomes Professor X.

For those only vaguely familiar with these characters; Patrick Stewart plays Professor X in all the previous films while Ian McKellen plays Magneto.

McAvoy and Fassbender team up to find other mutants (Hugh Jackman has a brief and amusing cameo as Wolverine) and battle the nasty Bacon who is trying to start a nuclear war. The big showdown takes place at sea just off Cuba, better known to the rest of the world as the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and the mutants save the world.

There’s some great special effects and the movie nicely sets up the X-Men movies that came before. However, it goes on too long and there are too many mutant characters, introduced, no doubt, for the many X-Men films still to come. But it’s a good summer popcorn movie.

Rating: three deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.