Freeview film of the day: X-Men: First Class

A youth injection for the X-Men franchise, with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as cadet versions of Professor X and Magneto

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X-Men: First Class  ★★★★ 

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9.00-11.35pm Film4

The self-refreshing X-Men franchise has grossed almost $5 billion over ten films so far. For me, it has the stylistic edge over branded stablemate the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I retain the softest spot for this, the fifth instalment and the second prequel, which, under the sure direction of Matthew Vaughn, traces the roots of various X-folk, including founder Professor X (played with wry English suavity by Scot James McAvoy) and future nemesis Magneto (a teeth-gritting Michael Fassbender). Returning to Nazi- occupied Poland in 1944 for a striking opening sequence, the action moves to the early 60s for some witty training sequences, and a climactic crisis off the coast of Cuba. Days of Future Past is showing tomorrow.


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