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X-Men (2000)
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Review Date: July 12, 2000
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: David Hayter
Producers: Lauren Shuler-Donner, Ralph Winter
Actors:
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen
Hugh Jackman
Anna Paquin
Plot:
This film is set in the near future, a time during which mutant humans are running rampant among us. These special people each have their own particular powers distinguishing themselves from each other and the rest of society. The human race is not sure how to deal with these hybrid beings, and is considering certain policies regarding their governance. The good mutants are trying to work with the humans, while the bad mutants are just pissed. Clashes ensue.
Critique:
A good beginning to a possible franchise property, this film gives us a good chunk of background on the characters, tosses in a few exciting fight sequences, cool special effects and the other bad mutha of the summer: Wolverine! Was this a great film? No. Was this a bad film? No way. It was good. It did what it needed to do, and that was to entertain me for an hour and a half, present me with many interesting and unique characters, sprinkle in some moments of levity and color me comic-ally entertained. Add all that to the tight tops on the mutant girls and I personally consider this to be a very welcome start to the latest comic book gone Hollywood. And did the majority of the characters win me over in the end? You bet your X they did! Of course, everyone and their uncle is gonna have a favorite and not-so by next week, so let's see which ones appealed to me. I really loved Wolverine the most, dug Professor X and Rogue, especially the performances set forth by Patrick Stewart and Anna Paquin, but not much else on the "good" mutants front. Didn't much care for Storm or Halle Berry's "now-you-hear-it now-you-don't" Jamaican accent, nor the jawline presented to us by Cyclops, although the banter between him and Wolvie did hit the mark.

The biggest problem that I did have with the film, or any of its characters for that matter, was the fact that the "bad guy", the main man leading this mutant revolution against the humans was...well, how could I put it, an old man! I'm not exactly sure if the character of Magneto was so old in the comic books, but even if he was, the sight of Ian McKellen flying around in those tights and helmet just didn't do it for me. I wish they would have picked a more intimidating foe. That aside, I loved the character of Toad and his long, twisty tongue, Mystique and her ultra-cool powers a la chameleon and even Sabretooth, despite his feeble-mindedness. The special effects were also all very well presented and even more importantly, not overplayed. A little more action would have been appreciated, especially during the film's first 20 minutes or so, but I suppose the film's final 20 clicks kinda make up for all that. And keep your eyes peeled for one of the cooler fight sequences of the year, with Mystique and Wolverine going all out near the tail-end of this thing. Kicking all kinds of ass with two very cool characters turning in one very slick battle! In fact, I haven't said enough about Wolverine. He is all over this movie, he's the loner, the outsider, the drinker, the guy who doesn't need help from anyone, but gets the looks from the girls and has a tender heart deep down inside. Hugh Jackman does an excellent job as Wolvie and gives you just enough juice to pepper up the rest of the good mutants and their ho-hum ways.

And remember that you don't need to have read the comic book or even known anything about the X-Men before this film to really appreciate this movie as the solid, comic book adventure that it is. It's a fun, summer romp. Real fans will likely get a little more out of it, especially with the couple of in-jokes tossed in and around. All in all, the film does leave you wanting more and I guess that for the first of a possible many others...that's the best that we could ask for. And oh yeah...Wolvie rules!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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