X-men: First Class is a pretty decent prequel to the X-men franchise.  It manages to entertain, keep the continuity of the previous movies and keep much of the comic book.   I found it somewhat entertaining and a little too long, for those of you who have no idea who the X-men are, you’ll probably like it a lot more.

Where does the movie miss?  Well, I guess that depends on your demographic.  If you’re old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, then you’re probably too old to have read the X-men comic books in their hey-day.  And if you grew up with the X-men movies, the historical context might be lost upon you.

The story takes place mostly in 1962, which, for those of you counting was 49 years ago.  The Soviet Union has been gone since 92 (19 years ago).   That kind of takes the punch out of the threat.

Charles Xavier is just getting started and is recruited by the CIA to fight a growing mutant menace started by the Hellfire Club.  Using them as the villains was probably one of the strongest choices in the movie.  I was pretty wary of Kevin Bacon playing the lead villain, but I got to say, he’s the bright spot in the movie.

James McAvoy does a pretty great Charles and Michael Fassbender a fairly ominous and haunted Magneto.  The rest of the cast is decent, but they’re not given much to do.  I mean, there’s action and powers and stuff, but some of X-men lore is thrown overboard for the story, while other lore is rigidly adhered to for no reason that I can figure out.

I guess you can say, it kind of suffers from what the comic books always did in that there are too many characters, too many stories going on.  It’s both too old (the time period of the story) and too young (hey let’s see all the X-men party instead of train) all at the same time.  The only one that seems focused on a plan is evil Kevin Bacon.

Growing up in the 80’s with Claremont X-men, I gotta say I’m pretty biased.  I did enjoy the first two X-men and thought they were fairly true to the comic.  Maybe if I didn’t know so much about comic books and history I would’ve enjoyed it more.  I guess you can say its entertaining, but not compelling.

Anyhow, with that admitted bias, I give X-men: First Class 7 out of ten keggers.