Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Movie Index

X-MEN

Directed by Bryan Singer (2000, 20th Century Fox)
Starring Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Ray Park and Anna Paquin

A group of mutants developing their talents band together to thwart another group who want war with regular humans.

 

 

3 stars

May 21st, 2016, on Blu-Ray, for the 3rd time  
   

This movie dates to a time before the comic book resurgence, and as such, actually delivers a methodical story, interspersed with action. Yes, the characters are not as well developed as they could have been, but the focus was on the main four (Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine and Rogue). The story gives us a good introduction to the world and mutants in general, which is what it was designed to do. The real meat will come in the next movie.

 

 

3 stars

May 27th, 2003 on TV for the 2nd time  
   

I agree with many of the comments that I made below, however, I have a few more praises and arguments to include...

I liked the way that these people were pitted against each other because of their beliefs. The bad guys saw what they were doing as the only way to survive. The national leaders at the UN conference were bound to force mutants to register themselves, thus making them into second class citizens. Magneto really felt that there was no dialog that could possibly change "normal" people's minds. He didn't enjoy hurting and killing people, though his henchmen seemed to, but he viewed them as collateral damage in the war that was to begin soon.

Xavier, on the other hand, assumes the best in people. He tries to work within the existing rules, while creating new rules for the mutants that he teaches. The telling line comes at the very end of the movie, when he essentially says that he will defend his students to the end, in every way possible, if necessary.

The characters were still not very well developed. I think it was intentional, since this comes from a comic-book inspiration, but Storm, and especially Cyclops seemed really cartoonish. Magneto really looked silly with his helmet and cape, too!

Parts of the introduction of characters, like when Rogue and Wolverine meet, were rather slow, but at least they built up to quick action moments. I don't think there was an action moment that wasn't a lot of fun. From capturing Wolverine, to the train station, and especially the Statue of Liberty, everything gave us a heart-pumping rush.

I hope the sequel gives us some more details on what happened to Wolverine, why he is so full of metal. Carrying a mystery through to a second movie is fine, but I hope they don't try to keep it for longer.

 

 

3 stars

August 18th, 2000 in the Theatre  
   

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 rescue. 

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.

 
   

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