Like Bryan Singer’s X2 (2003), this fifth entry in the X-Men franchise is noteworthy for its gay-rights subtext and for its noted actors (Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence) delivering comic book dialogue with Shakespearean portent. Otherwise it’s indistinguishable from most other recent blockbusters—crammed with ideas in the first hour and with digitally animated explosions in the second. The prequel story line explains how the famous mutants first met, under the auspices of the CIA, during the lead-up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The notion of a period-piece comic book movie, which could fancifully reshuffle historical episodes, has great potential, but neither the cast nor the filmmakers aim for the sort of period detail that would have made the premise interesting. Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) directed.