X-Men

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x-menmovie.jpg

Join the evolution.

2000

Genres:
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action, Comic

Starring:
Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Famke Jansen, James Marsden, Halle Berry

Summary:
In the near future, humanity's natural mutation rate has quickened to produce people with a variety of special powers. Feeling threatened by the new superhuman powers, a political party is organized to attempt legislation monitoring and controlling the mutants' behavior.

Based on the long-running Marvel comic series of the same name, the movie X-Men revolves around Rogue (Paquin) and Wolverine (Jackman), a couple of confused souls travelling nowhere in Canada. Attacked by a being of enormous strength, both are rescued by Storm (Berry) and Cyclops (Marsden) and taken to a mysterious building run by the powerful telepathic mutant, Professor Xavier (Stewart).

The building is a school for gifted youngsters, in other words, a school for young mutants where they learn of their powers and responsibilites. The school is also a cover for Professor X's more important job; he leads a team of older mutants who oppose bad guy Magneto (McKellan) and his cohorts, a group dedicated to establishing mutants as the dominant beings on the planet at the expense of normal humans.

Although at first reluctant, Wolverine eventually joins the X-Men in their battle with Magneto after Rogue is kidnapped and X severely injured. The final confrontation isn't just for Rogue's life or X's recovery, it's for the future of humanity.

Response:
I have to admit that I'm not that familiar with the comic, but I do know enough to realize that X-Men is a damn good adaption. I know a few fans were disappointed with the absence and/or inclusion of some characters, but when you stop to think how many characters there are in the decades of the comic series, a fair chunk of the main ones were included in the movie. And there are of course the sequels which introduce others (but unfortunately still no Gambit!).

And, okay, so Rogue's a little younger than she should be. But Paquin played her so well that I can't imagine anyone else sucking the life out of things with as much vulnerable appeal.

Patrick Stewart was the perfect choice to play Professor X. Commanding, calm, wise, and completely bald, he was probably the only one besides Jackman who utterly matched my preconceived comic-spawned image. McKellan was great also, but I giggled a bit when Sir Ian put on that absurd X-blocking metal hat.

The special effects were quite good, but nothing that we haven't seen in other over-the-top movies. The storyline requres some suspense of belief (so we mutate into superbeings? put me by the nearest nuclear fallout), but was engaging enough once that little hurdle was over. The actual movie crosses over into fantasy a helluva lot more than sci-fi.

The main attraction is the fun little things that the characters can do. Yep, the draw for X-Men comes down to the unique superhuman powers. Whether it be razing everything with red eye beams or spitting deadly suffocating loogies, each mutant has his or her own entertaining abilities. When I was a little kid, I used to watch the X-Men cartoon and dreamed of being able to control the weather like Storm. I have to admit-- and please remember the title of my site here-- I had regressive dreams of me flying in a cape after watching the movie.

One of my friends said in disgust after the movie that he didn't like it because it was so unrealistic. Um, it's based on a Marvel comic book. Realism is not the goal. X-Men is pure fun, another eye candy movie that even manages to bring up some decent issues about prejudice. Watch it if you ever dreamed of flying to the supermarket or reading your friend's mind or moving the beer bottle from the table to your mouth without touching it.

Point Blank:
It's science fiction in the loosest sense, but it's one helluva fun comic adaptation!