WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Evolution has begun to affect the gene pool, spawning humans capable of incredible powers and mysterious abilities. Two mutants (Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin) meet by chance only to discover that they are being followed by two separate factions, eager in recruiting their services. One group, led by Magneto (Ian McKellan) is bent on punishing regular humans for ostracizing mutants. The other is headed by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) who seeks to protect them from societyís persecution.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Having been a huge fan of the X-Men, I was stunned to see how many characters failed to make the transition to the movie. Conspicuous in their absences are Beast, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Gambit and a host of others. Heck , where was the groupís ultra cool training facility, the Danger Room? I guess the aforementioned basically leaves the door open for the inevitable sequel. What disappointed me more was the lack of depth given to many of the mutants. Theyíre barely even managed to scratch the surface in terms of their personas with many having only a handful of lines. The only character who really gets the full treatment is Jackmanís Wolverine who basically carries the whole movie with his great charm and biting wit. I was also pissed at the decision to portray Sabretooth as an incapable dumbass, heís supposed to be a cunning killer! Even the special effects seemed lackluster, nothing really jumped out at me as being spectacular. On a side note, the opening credits completely ripped off FIGHT CLUB. When youíve got unrealistically high expectations, I guess disappointment is inevitable. It still makes for an entertaining movie which as a whole, seemed all too brief and lacking in the substance department.
Letís not beat around the bush here, the special features leave a lot to be desired. The DVD claims to have over 10 minutes of bonus footage, the deleted scenes are basically extended takes on scenes youíve already seen in the movie. You can watch them separately or have them spliced into the movie. When you choose the latter, the movie actually pauses to search for the extra scenes and theyíre only in non-anamorphic form! You also get a 20 minute special "Mutant Watch" which originally aired on FOX to help promote the movie before itís release. It highlights interviews with cast and crew, introduces the characters and elaborates on the extensive make up required to bring the X-Men to life. It comes off as being really fluffy and unnecessary, providing information we already knew. A separate feature includes a Bryan Singer interview with talk show host Charlie Rose. Itís basically split into 5 parts, running only several minutes. They also included Hugh Jackmanís screen test which runs about 2 minutes. Also included are 2 trailers and 3 TV spots. To round things off, you get 2 very brief animatics features and a gallery of conceptual art. The menus feature great animation and booming audio but it takes too damn long to switch between options! After having gone through all the extras, it seems as though they could have included so much more. Where were the FX explanations? Commentaries? Bloopers?
I had hoped that my initial disappointment with the movie would be redeemed by the prospects of a surefire kick ass DVD release. Not so. While the audio and video are certainly up to par, the extras, well, sucked. With director Bryan Singerís recent announcement that they will be re-releasing X-Men on a double disc set in the near future, I suggest steering clear of this DVD and waiting for the "better" version. It makes for a good rental but not much more.