One Minute Review: X-Men (2000)

Release Date
July 14, 2000
Director
Bryan Singer
Screenplay
David Hayter
Tom DeSanto (Story By)
Bryan Singer (Story By)
Based On The Comic Books By
Jack Kirby
Stan Lee
Distributed By
20th Century Fox
Budget
$75 million
Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
104 minutes

X-Men

Bryan Singer starts off strong with “X-Men”, proving that the biggest feat in this venture is casting. Assembling the perfect looking crew to embody these characters from the comic books is the most effective way to introduce them to the non-comic book reading parts of society as well as pleasing those hardcore X-Men fans that are finally seeing their heroes of choice come to life. “X-Men” is so strong because there are so many important characters, as opposed to other comic book heroes, where they are the star of their own show.

In “X-Men”, you have Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who has the most interesting storyline, coming from nowhere, not knowing his past, and being welcomed into the world of Dr. Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his school for the gifted. A strong connection is made between Wolverine and Rogue (Anna Paquin) as they embark on this discovery together, with Wolverine becoming her guardian of sorts. We also meet Storm (Halle Berry), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Cyclops (James Madsen) who are all strong in their own ways.

The plot of this first installment gets the ball rolling with the two sides of the mutant wars, one with Dr. Xavier and the other with his long time friend Magento (Ian McKellen), who believes that mutants should not have to hide and should be the superior race, having had a childhood as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Germany to drive his strong will. Although his crew is not ideal, with the absent-minded Sabretooth (Tyler Mane) and the quippy Toad (Ray Park), his main associate Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) becomes one of my favorite characters from the series. With so many characters, many directors would find it cumbersome to move any sort of story arcs along, but Singer proves to have a grasp on the world and very early on in the comic book movie revolution provides a strong indicator that these films are here to stay, opening this world wonderfully and setting the stage for the great films to follow.

 

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