X-Men First Class follows both Eric Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), before they were known as Magneto and Professor X. When evil mutant Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) shows plans to start a nuclear war, Xavier and Charles unite to form a team of young mutants to work closely with the government and take down Shaw, forming the X-Men in the process. Not only is this an origin story, but it's a plot very different for the franchise. The story is dark, all while still painting a sense of fun. It's exciting, action packed and it's one of my favorite X-Men films.
I'm also a big fan of how this film plays out as almost a young adult film (better than almost any YA film). The recruitment and training of all the X-Men is both fun and exciting. It truly feels like this group is forming before your eyes, and these kids are growing as characters. The recruitment of the X-Men is a stand out scene, featuring one of the best moments in the franchise, Wolverine's cameo. The training montage is a highlight as well, I'm usually not a fan of the training montage, but it's just so much damn fun here. Following the majority of the X-Men as kids was ballsy, but it makes the characters much more realistic and easier to relate to. Director Matthew Vaughn took this formula and applied it to 2014's Kingsman The Secret Service and it worked just as well as it did here.
The thing is, I would have liked more action. There's not that much. There are some cool scenes here and there, but I just expected more, especially considering the director and the franchise. I just watched this film a few days ago and I can only recall handful of memorable action set pieces. The fight where Shaw and his crew attacks the young X-Men is amazing. It's exciting and really shows off those cool powers and visuals I mentioned earlier. The final action scene is decent. It's nothing too breathtaking, however, which is rather unfortunate seeings as how this is a superhero movie, and an X-Men one at that.