So many super hero movies get released these days that they mush into one big blur. Usually they range from absolute crap (Hang your heads in shame, Green Hornet and Hulk) to the mildly entertaining but utterly forgettable (Hi there Thor, we see you hiding in the corner). However there are a select few that rise above. The ones that place priority on story and character before super powers and special effects and yet still maintain a level of excitement and action (Please put your hands together for Superman and The Dark Knight). Into this latter category belongs X-Men First Class. Rather than devoting 30 minutes of the movie to an origin story that has little or nothing to do with the rest of the plot, X-men First Class is all origin story. That is a good thing for it is cohesive from beginning to end. And it is a good story, devoting as much time and energy to allowing us to understand the motivations of Magneto, Xavier and even Sebastian Shaw and his Hellfire Club as it does to fight scenes and explosions. Even the second tier characters such as Banshee and Havoc get a decent amount of attention. Ok, I admit that Beast looks ridiculous in the final scenes but hey give them some cred for having attempted his appearance with practical effects rather than CGI. Also, seeing January Jones dressed up as the White Queen makes up for it...a lot. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is great. I think that girl has real super star quality and Michael Fassbender as Magneto just rocks. He really steals the show.
Netflix Status: DVD only but is on HBO on demand.