I was very impressed
with this movie, especially in terms of explaining the origins of many
mutant humans in such a short time. The characters were engaging,
though often one-dimensional. And the story was run-of-the-mill
good vs. evil.
The story actually involves itself in two mutants who come together
in northern Alberta, namely Rogue, who cannot touch another person for
fear of killing them, and Wolverine, whose ability to heal himself made
him a target for a mysterious operation that put an indestructible metal
all throughout his body.
They are attacked by an other group of mutants, Sabretooth (with
extraordinary strength), and Toad (who can leap and bound incredibly, and
who also has a very long and strong tongue). These, along with the
shapeshifter Mystique, are under the control of Magneto, who has the very
well-developed ability of a powerful magnet, and thinks his kind is the
future of evolution, so regular humans should die out.
Fortunately, Wolverine and Rogue are saved by Cyclops (whose eye(s) emit a very powerful laser when not shielded) and Storm (who can
call forth the weather). These are under the control of Professor
Charles Xavier, who wants nothing more than to develop mutant talents for
the good of mankind.
The struggle of good vs. evil results in Magneto's group trying
to envelope a UN world summit (all the world leaders) in a strong magnetic
field, which would turn them all into mutants, thus towards his cause.
Xavier's group discovers that this process actually kills the people affected.
More important to Wolverine, though, is the kidnapping of Rogue,
whose special talent is to absorb temporarily the mutant abilities of others.
If she touches a normal human, she takes their life energy. Magneto
uses her ability, so that he doesn't have to sacrifice himself in his device,
which will drain her to death.
Most of the exposition was done very well, as we get to see everything
these people can do. Except for Wolverine, maybe, these people are
not necessarily enemies of Magneto's, but they don't see things his way.
Xavier is the perfect example, as he still visits his old friend in prison
at the end of the movie.
The characters are pretty one-dimensional, as comic book characters,
except for Xavier, Wolverine, and Rogue. The actors playing
those characters stood out, perhaps because they were given the most to
do, but most likely because they are good actors. Stewart is brilliant
in everything he does, and here he shone. Paquin was beautiful and
wonderful, and stole every scene she was in. Jackman could have used
a shave, but I understand that this is the way the character is.
He did a good job, nonetheless.
The story was focused, as we were led down the wrong track, and
the discovery of what is actually going on is a shocker. The trail
leads to the train station, where we get a delicious fight scene, and Storm
gets to knock a giant hole in Grand Central Station. It is also neat
to see Wolverine completely paralyzed by Magneto, because of all the metal
in his body. It is painful to see such a powerful man frozen like
that. I do wonder if the metal was so strong and wonderful, if it
would really be magnetic.
The other thing I wondered about was whether a magnetic field
could really mutate people like that. Ah, well, scientific accuracy
is not a priority even in good storytelling.
The best action parts, of course, were in the climax, at the
Statue of Liberty. Magneto is able to pin everybody down (is copper
truly magnetic?) as they try to rescue Rogue. Wolverine is the one
to escape first, and after that, they all work together to make a final
The coolest bad-guy has to be Mystique, who takes the form of
many people. When she takes Wolverine's form, I was very glad that
they didn't dwell on the "which one is real" aspect. Wolverine separated
the two of them from the rest of the group, so that they didn't get to
choose. When they were reunited, all it took was "you're a jerk"
to let them know it was the real Wolverine. That was hilarious.
As a comic book movie, this was a great one. Most stuff
was plausible, within the framework of the superhero story. I did
have a couple of concerns, but they do not distract from the fact that
this movie was great fun.