You know, I had very little interest in seeing this. I really saw it out of a fan-boy sense of obligation. Iím glad I did though. I really ended up liking X-Men: First Class.

X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the earlier X-Men movies. As to whether or not itís a prequel to the Wolverine solo flick is up in the air, but Iím guessing no. Actually, with all the changes in continuity in the comic book world, and in the transitioning from comic book to film, I almost say to look at this as the first X-Men movie ever...And to just forget the comics you know. But donít quote me on that.

X-Men: First Class is set mostly in the 60ís, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It does have some impressive scenes set much earlier than that as well. But the meat of the flick is in the 60ís where twenty-somethings Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr meet for the first time. The two mutants work together against an extremely powerful mutant named Sebastian Shaw. I donít want to give anything away though. So Iíll just say that there are good mutants and bad mutants, and thereís a common threat against both. Hereís a roll call: (comic book / code names donít really come into play, but to keep it simple Iíll use those)

Professor X is played by James McAvoy and he is really, really good. Really shows the kind of man Xavier is.
Magneto is played by Michael Fassbender and he is also really, really good. Again, totally shows what makes Magneto tick.
Jennifer Lawrence is Mystique, and guess what? Sheís also really good! She too really displays why she is who she is. Seeing a pattern?
Kevin Bacon is Sebastian Shaw. His performance was very good, but I know so little about the character that I donít know how to rate it.
Rose Byrne is good as Moira McTaggert, but wow, Iím very confused by the character. CIA? Her? Really? OK, I guess.
January Jones is Emma Frost and really, she was nice to look at, but Mz Jones does nothing for me. She has like no personality. Seriously. Plus, whatís with the body morphing? I dunnoÖ
Nicholas Hoult is Beast. He was pretty awesome. Before and after. Only, afterwards he really shoulda looked bigger. Actually he shoulda looked bigger throughout. But thatís OK. He was cool.
Caleb Landry Jones is Banshee, and I thought he rocked.
Lucas Till is Havok, and he was pretty cool, too. No mention of his brother Scott (Cyclops) or Jean Grey, for that matter. See? Forget what you know! SighÖ
Jason Flemyng is Azazel. Never heard of him. But he looks like a demon / devil and teleports. Hmmm. Why if he was blue instead of redÖ
Alex Gonzalez is Riptide. Who the hell is Riptide? Ed Zachary.
Zoe Kravitz is Angel. A kinda Hispanic girl with what looks like dragonfly wings is Angel. WAIT UP?!Angelís supposed to be a very Caucasian blond guy with huge fluffy white wings. Angel was already actually briefly in a previous X flick. What happened???

Sigh. Like I said, if you adhere strictly to the comics or even the previous movies, you might be confused by or even upset with X-Men: First Class, but if you look passed all that, I think youíll like it. Director Matthew Vaughn, in his third comic book adaptation (STARDUST ; KICK ASS ) shows he can handle a big budget extravaganza nicely, while still keeping a bit of an outsider vibe. Good job sir.
I highly recommend X-Men: First Class. Go see it. Enjoy.