I don’t have much to add to this review from Big Hollywood. First Class is a really fun movie and Fassbender as the man who would become Magneto is great in his role, just as Kevin Bacon carries the movie as the evil lunatic Sebastian Shaw.
X-Men: First Class had virtually everything going against it in pre-production– series fatigue (it’s the fifth entry in Fox’s X-Men saga), none of the original actors in starring roles, 1960s period costumes–on paper, it seemed like the ultimate studio cash-in, only to be outdone by the inevitable X-Men in Space: Electric Space Boogaloo from Space (in 3D!). Fortunately, it’s nothing of the sort.
Despite many flaws common to the superhero genre, First Class is quite possibly the best film in the series, not because it’s chock full of impressive special effects and action, but because broiling beneath its main characters’ performances are ideas–not just any ideas, but the central political and philosophical questions of the film’s time period whose minutiae our modern pundits still grapple over. This is not so much a review as a jumping-off point for discussion, so beware of spoilers ahead.