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Review by Stu; Media by Bird Boy

Original Release Date - 14th July 2000

With a war brewing between humans and mutants for domination of the planet, Magneto, a mutant terrorist who believes that humans should be eliminated begins his war against the humans. Only a group of mutant peacekeepers known as The X-Men stand in his way.

Story By: Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer
Screenplay By:
David Hayter
Directed By: Bryan Synger
Music By:
Micheal Kamen
Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Tyler Mane, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Bruce Davidson.

Review: In the summer of 2000, The X-Men finally made their leap to the big screen. Not an easy feat, by any means, but with a m odest $75 million budget, Bryan Singer and his crew went to work. The result wasn’t anywhere near perfect, but still stands as a decent flick.

The movie tells the story of The X-Men, a group of mutants who fight for mutant rights and protect the very people that hate and fear them. Fighting against them is Magneto, a mutant who believes that mankind will never accept mutants, and believes eliminating the humans is the only chance of mutant survival.

It was never going to be any easy film to make, but the main problem is pathetically simple; it’s too damn short. The vast amount of characters simply couldn’t be justice done in such a short amount of time, never mind adding the whole humans vs. mutants back-story. What is there however, is very good. The film is well shot, with a nice array of camera angles and some decent special effects as well above average score, and the sound effects are some of the best ever used in an action flick. The script is much better than your average summer blockbuster, but the acting ranges from outstanding to simply terrible.

It seems McKellan, Stewart and Jackman were simply born to play these roles. Each makes the character their own, especially Sir Ian. It’s hard to watch the film and not feel that Magneto is justified in his plan, he’s that convincing. Jackman did the near impossible and makes Wolverine look awesome on the big screen. His character could’ve come across as the cheesiest hero ever, but he played it cool throughout.

Unfortunately, not all the cast can live up the aforementioned threesome. Halle Berry is nothing short of an atrocity in her role as Storm. The character wasn’t written especially well, but Berry shows absolutely no effort in the role. I couldn’t believe when she bitched and demanded more screen time in the sequel, I consider her very lucky to be invited back, she was that bad. At current time of writing, she’s once again bitching for more time in X-Men 3, whilst the superior Alan Cumming apparently isn’t back at all.

The plot of the film is actually incredibly well done, and the villain makes it so much more compelling. His lackeys are basically that, nothing more than people for The X-Men to fight. Why Toad and Sabertooth are fighting for mutant rights is unknown… they seem like would much rather be kicking the crap out of anyone who disagreed with them. I think Sabertooth could’ve been justified had they tied his back story in with Wolverine’s, but alas, can’t win them all.

For such a short film, it has great pacing problems, moving far too slowly in some places. It’s a fault of all of Singer’s films, but with FOX cutting up the movie, it doesn’t help. I fail to see FOX insists on these short action films, I really do. After the number of critical complaints about this film’s length, it’s even more baffling that they’d do it again with Daredevil and Fantastic Four. I hope we do one day see a directors cut of this film, because we know there’s at least 24 deleted scenes which they failed to include on the X-Men 1.5 DVD, after announcing that they would be included no less.

A thoroughly enjoyable film that unfortunately didn’t see it’s full potential lived out. We had to wait for the sequel for that, but then again, that seems to be the entire point of this film, waiting for the sequel to make this film worth the wait.


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