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School for mutants,
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This review is from: X-Men: First Class (DVD + Digital Copy) (DVD)
Continuing on from X-Men Origins: Wolverine [DVD] in telling the back story of how characters in the X-Men [DVD]  got to the point where they were at the start of that one, it's now time for the story of everyone who isn't Wolverine.
We thus start with the concentration camp scene from the beginning of x men, but played from a different angle. As a nazi who has a slightly different bunch of eugenics theories to his comrades takes an interest in the abilities of young eric.
Meantime in a big house in america young charles xavier and a young girl both find that they're not as alone in life as they thought.
Flash forward to the 1960s and a hirsute charles is on the verge of a professorship, thanks to his theories about evolution. Telepathy comes in very handy when youre trying to chat up the ladies.
Eric is all grown up and on mission to get revenge on those who did for his parents.
CIA agent Moira Mctaggart, a lone lady agent amongst men who think women should stay in the typing pool, is fighting hard to do her job and be taken seriously.
A certain nazi hasn't gone away. And has his own plans for the future of the planet.
And the Russians aren't taking kindly to nato putting missles into turkey.
A missile crisis is upon us. With hidden forces pulling strings behind the scenes, it might be up to charles and his band of special people to save the day. But not everyone may agree on the way to do that. Or think that humanity is worth saving.
This doesn't have as much exposition to get through as Wolverine did, although it does have to introduce a lot of characters and get them to a certain point. Plus be a good blockbuster at the same time. And throw in the usual moral debates about whether erik or charles has the best approach to the mutants v humanity situation.
It does all that it needs to do very well. James Mcavoy does command the screen very well as the young charles, making him a calm but commanding presence. And he plays off Michael Fassbender - barely suppressed anger throughout - superbly. All the claims that the latter might be a good james bond would, on the basis of this, appear to be justified.
A long film at 132 minutes but after a little while you will find it commanding your attention. If offers x men characters who both have and haven't been seen on the big screen before. And the final action set piece is one of those that does seem to go and on and yet in this case it doesn't feel stretched. It plays out exactly as it should. It also manages an excellent aerial combat scene that hardly has to resort to superimposiiton.
Kevin Bacon makes a superb villain. Some of the female characters don't quite make as much of an impact as most of the males. But that's the 1960's for you. It is also very good as a period piece. And the burgeoning attraction between shy science guy hank mccoy and mystique is delightfully and quite touchingly played.
There is one delightful surprise to be had about a third of the way through. You'll know what I mean when you see it.
But for once in a marvel movie there are no extra scene during or after the end credits.
Matthew Vaughn this finally gets to direct an x men movie. And he did a really good job.
The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:
English audio descriptive.
It has a digital copy that can be downloaded to other media allowing you to watch it wherever you like. A short piece about this at the start of the disc can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.
The only extras are five extended scenes. Four from the training moments in the middle of the movie and one character scene. All run a little over a minute each and can be watched on their own or all in a row.