“Why do none of you understand what I’m trying to do? Those people down there – they control our fate and the fate of every other mutant!”
Yes, I know this was something I reviewed a while ago, and I have been threatening to review it from scratch again along with all the films that fall a part of this canon and just never got around to it. Here I am updating it for my X-Men run (finally)!
A new generation of man has emerged, and this generation is being drawn into the public eye more and more, and needs defenders to back it up. This is the generation of the mutants, their genetics altered from the average person, making them irrevocably different and ultimately special. Dr Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) is the public face for the mutants, defending them and attempting to veto ridiculous votes such as registries and acts to segregate the mutants from the rest of the American population. The forerunner against the mutants is Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison), and nothing he learns will sway his stance on the subject.
Marie, a.k.a. Rogue (Anna Paquin) is on the run after almost killing the first boy she ever kissed, and meets up with Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) at a bar outside a town, pegging him for being different. She sneaks in a lift with him, and he finds her. They are ambushed by a group of mutants, and are saved by another group. Wolverine and Rogue are taken back to an area that they learn is a school for the mutants, established by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Here they have a place where they are looked after, accepted and taught life skills. Being the loner, Wolverine wants out, and is intent on making that happen. He is, however, very taken with Jean Grey, and her boyfriend Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops (James Marsden) is not impressed at all.
Soon they learn that Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto (Ian McKellan), is after Wolverine, and they are sure it has to do with his abilities to heal. He believes that a war is imminent, and has en evil master plan to win no matter the costs. Magneto sends in Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) to capture the senator, and from there his evil plan becomes slowly unveiled. Professor X is convinced that given enough time the normal people will accept the mutants, being very much the idealist. As a realist, Magneto and his troubled past knows that people do not accept that which they do not know, they ostracize it, and make it suffer. He wants to hurry up the genetic mutations in people. Senator Kelly escapes and rushes off to Jean Grey at the mutant academy, not knowing where else to go now that he is one of them, and desperate to survive this. Magneto kidnaps Rogue, and Professor X uses Cerebro to locate her. Suddenly it makes sense to all of them why she would be the one. He is willing to transfer his powers to her briefly to implement what he is too weak to do, and not willing to die for.
The X-Men need to gear up and get ready to fight Magneto and his vile plans to save the rest of the world from being wiped out. Magneto has no patience, and also no desire to let people choose their own paths, their own destiny. Wolverine feels he owes Rogue, and is intent on saving her, but will he be in time? The X-Men band together to fight evil, but will they save the girl? Will they be able to save the people?
A 7.5/10. I have enjoyed this movie since I was a child. The first time I watched it I literally finished it, rewound the VHS and started all over again. You know how kids can get? Obsessive, I think, would be the only way to summarize it correctly. So because of that I have a soft spot for it. The effects were not bad for their time, but are a little dubious should you look them over too closely now. The story is alright, but has a few holes, and is slightly rushed, but not to the extent that none of it makes sense or that nothing sinks in. Hugh Jackman is so perfectly cast as the Wolverine, and I don’t think anyone could play it as successfully as he did. I am putting it out there right off the bat so it has been say, I have never been a fan of Scott Summers or the red that makes him Cyclops. I think he is a total chop, and I was not a fan of the casting, though it might be more due to disliking the character than anything else, not so much the actor. Halle Berry really had terrible acting skills, and she is truly not amazing, and doesn’t really bring much to the story. Her character was incredibly weak. Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart rocked their roles (I expected nothing less), and have a great chemistry to show how the friends have turned on one another, though still respect each other. Very well done for that! Every time I see the piece of Magneto in the concentration camps I get to sad. Definitely worth checking out, and a really fun set of films to watch. This is definitely a good entry to the superhero genre. X-Men truly sports a fantastic cast and is very well done and holds up pretty well, even after all this time.