The X-Men (2000)
Director: Bryan Sunger
Patrick Stewart/Professor X
Famke Janssen/Dr. Jean Grey
Mutants are a reality. The "normal" population fear them and want them gone. Many mutants live in fear until Professor X (Stewart) a mutant himself, opens up a school where all mutants can find refuge and also learn how to control their powers. A specific group of mutants, led by Magneto (McKellen) have a nasty plan reserved for the masses and it’s up to Professor X and his team of brave students to stop them. It’s a freak war that will blow your mind.
I cannot compare this film to the comics it’s based on cause I never followed them. But on its own, I must say this is a very good movie, a solid platform to build a franchise on. First off, the casting is dead on and I predict a new star in the guise of Hugh Jackman (Wolverine). The man looks like a young "Clint Eastwood" has rough charm to boot and knows how to move when it comes to fight scenes. Wolverine is by far the more interesting character in the film and trust me, you will love him. I appreciated that the movie took its time to set up its situation and main characters. It makes the last 20 minutes of slam, bang, mutant action way more rewarding. The visual effects are top notch and the combat scenes rival the ones we saw in "The Matrix". Prepare to be dazzled.
My few complaints are A) The movie has many characters but spends most of its time developing Wolverine and Rogue. In the process it leaves other "main" characters in the dust. Storm (Berry), Cyclops (Marsden) and the villains were way underdeveloped. I guess we’ll find more about them in the sequels.
B) Ian McKellen is a wonderful actor and when Magneto was out of costume, he worked. But for the life of me I laughed my butt off when I saw him in his get up, metal helmet and all. I would compare the feeling to going to a rave and seeing a 60 year old dude, flashing glow sticks and sucking on a lollipop. He just looks silly. Maybe a younger actor would have been a better casting choice.
But enough nit picking, this film delivers on most fronts, has a likeable cast, wonderful visual effects, a good story, breathtaking fight scenes, some humor (the bantering between Cyclops and Wolverine is hilarious), great heroes and amusing villains (I especially enjoyed the morphing, ass kicking Mystique). Enter the world of The X-Men.
No gore but some kool cartoon violence and amazing effects. I loved the "Mystique" design, the Toad tongue and the Wolverine claws.
Patrick Stewart is Professor X, he doesn’t have much to do but he’s the perfect chive for the part. Hugh Jackman has a cool name and gives life to one of the most interesting anti-heroes of the year. Wolverine walks the walk and talks the talk, I couldn’t get enough of him. Anna Paquin (Rogue) also does very well, her vulnerable show will surely touch you and her scenes with "Jackman" are amazing. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Mystique) has maybe one line but she’s by far one of the coolest villains in the flick. She has a bod to kill for and knows how to whoop that ass. Ray Park (Toad) also does good in a mostly physical part. He brings some humor to the film and even gives us one of his "Darth Maul" moves.
Tyler Mane (Sabertooth) let's the makeup do most of the acting cause he doesn’t have much to do but look menacing. He didn’t do anything for me either way but he does have a great fight scene with "Jackman". Ian McKellen (Magneto) gives another solid performance, he brings depth to the character and we understand where he’s coming from…too bad he looks funny in that funky helmet. Famke Janssen (Dr. Jean Grey) and James Marsden (Cyclops) don’t have much screen time but bring lots of presence when they’re on. Janssen is sexy and Marsden is witty. Can’t wait to see more of them in the sequel. Halle Berry (Storm) looks amazing in costume but is very underused. Also what is up with that accent…it comes and goes like the flu.
T & A
We're blessed with Mystique’s blue breasts and Storm’s (Berry) bobbling cleavage.
Singer is very effective giving the film a comic book feel but somehow managing to also keep it grounded in reality. It makes the fantastic scenes more powerful (an example would be the police showdown with Magneto). He moves the film at a fast pace, gives us some kool shots and well directed fight sequences. Good show.
The score is very under whelming. A bit more juice in the music would have been appreciated.
X-Men fans rejoice, the film gives the comic book justice. Movie fans rejoice, we got ourselves a good summer movie that will surely thrill you. The movie looks slick, has a sympathetic cast, good writing, good production values and a kickarse ending. And for all you "Marvel" fans out there let's see if you spot the reference to the "comic book" Wolverine and another Marvel hero that goes by the name of "Iceman". I for one am looking forward to the sequel already. I can’t wait to witness more of the X-Men world. Have a blast!
The film was shot in Toronto, Canada. Hugh Jackman is Australian and will surely follow in Russell Crowe's footsteps.
David Hayter, who wrote the film, also plays Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid video games.