PG-13; 2:11 running time
Primarily for dues-paying "X-Men" club members in good standing, rather than anyone wandering by a multiplex wondering if the prequel stands on its own, "X-Men: First Class" settles for moderately engrossing second-class mutant superheroism. Plus it includes January Jones, center, as Emma Frost, here depicted as Austin Powers' dream shag, and Rose Byrne as a perpetually aghast CIA operative.
Mainly, though, the film features Michael Fassbender in a pivotal role. That's enough to lift it above the mechanics of the routine. -- Michael Phillips
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