You just gotta love a movie that opens with our hero as a small boy in a Nazi death camp. Of course, Erik is not really the hero, but then, he’s not exactly the great villain either. At about the same time, we find Charles at home at stately Wayne Manor, well, stately Xavier Manor. Little Charles meets little Raven and they are happy to find that they are not alone in being ‘special.’ And so starts X-Men First Class.
We jump forward to 1962 where most of the action takes place. Charles and Erik find allies in a group of other young mutants, notable among them The Beast, Banshee, and Havoc. The bad guys are lead by uber evil Sebastian Shaw, who was working for the Nazis and torturing little Erik when we first meet him. Like Wolverine, who makes a great cameo appearance, Sebastian is pretty much immortal and shows no signs of wear between the 1940s and the 1960s.
Back stories are always fun, X-Men First Class has a group of characters we know, for the most part, but we don’t know everything about them. There are the usual debates about good and evil and humans vs mutants and so on and so forth. These are the same debates that Charles and Erik were having in the first X-Men movie, and presumably, will continue to have for all time.
The cast for the young heroes was close to perfect, my only real gripe was with the girl they got to play Mystique. She had the wrong body type and her face was the wrong shape-I have to admit that I really love the way Rebecca Romijn looks in the Mystique makeup. I did like the eyes in the new Mystique, they had a kind of random pattern of dots instead of irises and pupils.
There was a lot of talking and there were a lot of things blowing up, so what’s not to like? It was funny and it was touching. And it had Kevin Bacon-that makes Kevin Bacon one degree away from Stan Lee and the entire Marvel Universe. Nice.