Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Full credits at IMDb
Just like the old X-Men Saturday morning cartoon, the latest prequel in this hit-or-miss franchise uses "mutation" for allegories as broad as competing strands of American ideologies, and as narrow as puberty and sexual preference. You know me: I'm gonna start with the broad. X-Men: First Class is about Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) as young men—before the school, before the wheelchair, before the bald head. I read their coming-of-age as the birth of the political struggle in this country between hawks and doves: Magneto born of Nazi savagery (in a flashback to a 1944 Polish ghetto) like many a conservative American, Xavier born of Westchester affluence like many a munificent liberal. Ethnic minority and privilege—two "mutations," two forms of freakishness that are potential sources of embarrassment or defiant pride for the thoughtful young man.
Keep reading my conversation with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine
Watch the trailer: