X-Men First Class (12A)

Starring: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Michael Fassbender
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The Independent Culture

In which the X-Men saga is traced back to its origins, and we learn how Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart became friends before falling out over the small matter of world domination.

James McAvoy plays Professor X, rather smarmily, but Michael Fassbender is good value as Erik, aka Magneto, traumatised by Nazi experiments in the camps and determined to hunt down the evil scientist (Kevin Bacon) who murdered his mother. Amid marvels of telepathy and teleportation, the film's basic premise is that the X-Men did nothing less than save the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not "First Class", but it's OK. A pity, all the same, that promising young actors such as Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) and Nicholas Hoult have been burdened with silly characters and even sillier make-up.