By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated June 03, 2011 at 03:40 PM EDT
X-Men: First Class, James McAvoy, ...
Credit: Murray Close; Attila Dory; Everett Collection; Francois Duhamel

Class is in! And today in EW Movie Math 101, we’re taking a look X-Men: First Class, the fifth (yes, fifth!) movie in this still-alive franchise. So let’s take a closer look. Pay attention, there’s a pop quiz at the end.

1. No need to state the obvious.

2. While X-Men: First Class fits in line with its predecessors in terms of key format (heroes vs. villain), the main distinction is, of course, that they’re BABIES! Well, not babies, but younger. And, if I’m being honest, it’s kind of adorable watching Charles Xavier (Nanny?) help them take the first steps toward becoming the heroes we know them to be. I know, “adorable” is exactly the word X-Men devotees want to hear. (Sarcasm.) But stay on board here…

3. There’s also a training sequence! And that’s not a spoiler because when newbie heroes discover their powers, the only way to show their progress to full-hero status is to mash them all together. Unfortunately, there is not a scene where Xavier — known at this point sans the “professor” — catches a fly with chop sticks, but that’s a parlor trick for a guy who can read minds, I’m guessing. (Well, at least he can make someone else do it.) In related business, as we watch our heroes become heroes, we also keep in mind whilst watching that a villain is also coming into his own. And that process is possibly even more interesting than the aforementioned.

4. Finally, the sum of our equation thus far is missing key components if we choose to ignore two important factors of the movie: the prevalent ’60s era styling (which consequently turned January Jones’ Ice Queen into little more than a stoic fembot) and the Nazis! (God bless you, recurring Nazi-fighter Michael Fassbender.)

So where does this leave us? For that answer, you’ll have to ask Lisa Schwarzbaum.

Now your single-question pop quiz: Do you agree with our math? Debate!

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