X-Men Movie Review
X-Men is set in "the not too distant future" where mutants are the next step in our genetic evolution. However, most humans are scared of mutants and their powers and don't know what to do with them. This creates a conflict of sorts between mutants and humans. Enter Charles Xavier and Magneto/Erik Lensherr.
Charles (Patrick Stewart) wants mutants and humans to coexist. He runs a school to help mutants grow their power. Magneto (Ian McKellen) wants mutants to rule over humans. This is where the big conflict of X-Men starts. Charles' team vs Magneto's team over what is best for mutant kind. With the United Nations meeting soon to talk about a new mutant registration law, Magneto and his team make a plan to stop the humans once and for all. It's up to the X-Men to stop them.
Seeing as this is the first film in the series, the first half introduces all our main characters. These include but are not limited to: Rogue (Anna Paquin) a young mutant starting to discover her powers. Cyclops/Scott (James Marsden) the "leader" of the X-Men with laser vision. Storm (Halle Berry) a teacher at Xavier's school who can control the weather. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) a powerful mutant and doctor. And Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) a mutant drifter with a hardened life and a fan favorite.
What this film does best is with its casting. Every single character is played fantastically! All the characters bring the right amount of emotion and believability needed for this type of superhero film. Hugh Jackman is a standout as wolverine and would go on to play the character for 17 years. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen sell old rivals extremely well and you can feel the history behind those characters.
The action in this film is also done spectacularly. Bryan Singer manages to keep all these mutant super powers grounded. The effects still hold up today. One of my favorite shots is the first time we see wolverine's claws. The final battle is extremely well shot and choreographed. The location of the battle only adds and makes for some fun visuals as well and doesn't take anything away. In fact, all the set designs in this film are well done. From Xavier's school, to Magneto's lair. All of them are done great.
My only complaint with this film is the first half gets bogged down with exposition as it tries to set up this world and all the characters. However, they do break it up with a fun action scene and some fun character interactions. There is also one line of dialogue that just doesn’t fit with the rest of the film's tone. You’ll know it when you see it.
Overall, I love the first X-Men movie and I highly recommend it. It's fantastic to watch all these characters and see them join together in as team. The only problem being the slow first half. It tries to keep upbeat but there are so many characters to show and establish that it takes a little too long to get going. Once it does get going though, it's a fun ride the rest of the way.