Movie Review: X-Men
Release Date: July 14, 2000
by Alex Keen
Published: July 16, 2000
USA, 2000 - 20th Century Fox
Directed by Bryan Singer
Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Francis Xavier/Professor X
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Ian McKellen as Erik Magnus Lehnsherr/Magneto
Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm
Famke Janssen as Dr. Jean Grey
James Marsden as Scott Summers/Cyclops
Bruce Davison as Senator Robert Jefferson Kelly
Tyler Mane as Victor Creed/Sabretooth
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Raven Darkholme/Mystique
Ray Park as Mortimer Toynbee/Toad
Anna Paquin as Rogue
Additional information available at the Internet Movie Database.
I went to see X-Men on Saturday. Stadium seating, sold out theater, packed with kids and GFBs. I sort of knew what to expect. I knew that I was a little disappointed with the casting, and also with some of the character selections. I had read X-Men passionately for about 6 years in my prime teen years, and had many of my own favorites and expectations. As the film began, I instantly had one powerful opinion I wanted to see fulfilled. I wanted the character origins to be exactly like the comics. Why? Well I remember reading origins when I was younger, and one of all of them stood out. It was the origin of Magneto. I won't spoil it. But lets just say Singer not only made it right, he made it perfect. Magneto may be one of the most complex and compelling comic book villains of all time. Even calling him a villain limits him from his full potential.
Now onto the other mutants. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. No doubts at all. He hits every single nuance of the character. I think that if Fox was willing to make a spinoff film just about Wolverine, they would not only get REALLY rich, they would be really smart. I am so thrilled that that phony Dougray Scott did not play the most beloved of mutants. Jackman is able to avoid any preconceived ideas, because, well, he's never been famous or noticeable before. All we know him as is Wolverine, cigar smokin' Logan.
Rogue. Had my doubts. Big doubts. Take Jubilee's age, add Rogue's power, result: Baby Rogue. That was what my doubt was. But Pacquin takes command of every scene she is in. She can act. The Bobby Drake-Iceman scenes were by far my favorite scenes from a film this year. Although it is widely known that Rogue and Gambit share love, throwing in an iced monkey wrench was thrilling. Singer was thinking on his toes every second that he was preparing this film. EVERY SECOND.
Now onto the rest:
Cyclops- always hated this character. I am not really into James Marsden. But he is very good. He makes Scott seem like real dork. Thats the way it should be.
Storm- Berry is good. Not much space to work though. Very few scenes that she really shares her opinion.
Prof. X- Again a chracter that does see as much attention as maybe he merits. But Stewart is very good.
Mystique, Sabretooth, Toad- the three weak links. Neither of these really enocuraged me to rally for their presence in the sequels.
Jean Grey- AMAZING. Famke is hot. But even more impressive is her acting ability. Jean Grey was always a very interesting character in the books, filled with love and emotional troubles. Famke conveys a sense of confidence that I never ever realized in the comics. She was amazing, and if any one of the stars will be remembered for their part in this film, it will be either Jackman or this wonderful woman.
Overall I was impressed by Singer's attention to detail. He left many open endings in the film that I was thrilled to realize pointed towards future projects. Whether it be a Wolverine smei-sequel or an X-Men trilogy, I promise you that I will be in line.
Overall Rating (9 out of 10)