X-Men (2000) mini review

based on a comic book

In my opinion, X-Men (packaged this week in trilogy form with X-Men 2 and 3) is probably the best serious superhero or comic-based movie ever made; it doesn't miss a beat. Who would have thought that Hugh Jackman would have made the perfect Wolverine? (Especially if you've seen follow-ups Swordfish and Kate & Leopold - both movies I enjoyed but with Jackman playing very different characters.) Or that Professor X would have been played by Patrick Stewart - who was on every X-Men film fantasy cast list since the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects), this film succeeds in just about every way I can think of - overcoming nearly every obstacle that tends to run a comic book movie aground. No extended origin stories, not a lot of corny dialogue; in fact, there are lines stolen straight from the comic book that sound right when spoken out loud, Bub.

In this movie, the X-Men- mainly Professor X, Cyclops (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Storm (Halle Berry), along with many, many cameos - are first introduced to Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Wolverine. These X-Men are pit against Magneto (Ian McKellan) and his Brotherhood of Mutants (consisting of Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Sabretooth, and Toad (Ray Park - Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I)) in a scheme that is much more interesting if I don't spoil it for you here. The scheme works (as part of the film, that is), the action sequences work, the characters work, all leaving you screaming for a sequel.

So, how do I give this a 9/10 after singing it's praises? I guess because after rating about 30 or so comic book films, I realize my ratings are of a film's quality overall, not ratings "for a comic book film". So, while for a superhero movie, X-Men is the cream of the crop and would garner a "10" in comic book world, it's still a "9" (IMO) as an overall movie. Worth seeing if you've never even heard of the X-Men.

See it if you like action films in general, even if you have to ask "what's an 'x-men'?"

Don't see it if your form of movie escapism keeps you out of the realm of "suspension of disbelief".

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