Teen Mystique, above; Older Mystique, below
The producers of the X-Men series have tried to do what the producers of Star Trek did–to go back in time to when the characters were young and just getting started in an origin story that would revitalize the franchise.
In X-Men: First Class, the movie might as well be titled X-Boys and Girls, but here's the important part about the rewind:
They did a great job.
Two things to save you some looking: There's no sneak preview of anything following the credits, and no Stan Lee cameo that I could see. I kinda missed not having the sneak, but Stan? Not so much ...
The new movie answers all kinds of background questions viewers have wondered about, plays with the tropes a little–it's not the comic books—but although it is early, it is the best summer movie so far.
Green Lantern and Cowboys and Aliens, the two I've been looking forward to the most will have to work to leap over the bar set by this latest Marvel offering.
Why does Magneto really wear that helmet? How did he and Mystique hook up? How did Hank McCoy get to be Beast? And a funny cameo with Logan/Wolverine will set any fanboy audience howling with laughter.
Sean Cassidy/Banshee has the funniest scene and line in the movie. Look for it as he goes out the upstairs window at the school. You know it's coming but it's still funny.
Morgan Lily's ten-year-old Mystique is as cute as a ladybug.
There are the usual in-jokes, and bits that only work if you know the older characters.
Fastbender's Erik/Magneto is perfect, Kevin Bacon steals every scene he is in. The story is a metaphor for whatever you want it to be regarding how people who are different are treated: Jews, blacks, gay, pick whichever one you want.
There is a pretty good early 1960's look, the whole Las Vegas sequence looks as if it could have come right out of Dr. No or From Russia With Love.
Go. Get popcorn, but not the large drink–at two hours and twelve minutes, you want to avoid the rush to the loo at the end ...