Newest Review: ... great with everything looking good and realistic. The Special effects in the film also were very detailed and very realistic when it was u... more
X-Men-In a league of their own, but among us!
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Advantages: Great story and great adaptation
Disadvantages: Too short
In the near future, mutations in the genome are gifting some members of the human species with strange abilities. This has led to divisions and segregation, with many 'normal' humans resenting and fearing the mutants, and some calling for segregation and registration. The most vocal of these proponents is US Senator Kelly, who has introduced a bill to that effect.
Mutants of course oppose him, but they themselves are split into factions. Professor Xavier's group wishes for mutants to coexist peacefully with humanity, both working for the common good, while Magneto's group wishes for mutants to reign supreme over a human underclass. The superior beings ruling the lesser for their own good. It is the battle between these two factions that is the heart of this story.
Presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen, the fact this is a recent film results in crystal clear and flawless picture. Directed by Brian Singer, X men is a character piece, driven solely by the needs of the story, which is a major reason why the film is so good.
The effects are therefore secondary to the story, but are seamlessly blended into the film. You really believe what you see on the screen and never once are you tempted to look for the seams. The effects when you do notice them are quite brilliant and awe inspiring. The climactic battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth atop the statue of Liberty speaks for itself.
X Men comes with DD 5.1 sound. The sound is as accomplished as the picture and I couldn't spot any flaws. The score from Michael Kamen is spot on, and he defines this movie with his music.
Starting with well-constructed menus, this disc is well stocked with special features. There are 6 deleted scenes, totalling 11 minutes. There is an option to view the movie with these scenes branching from the film, but they are incomplete, lacking music and completed effects. It is a shame that they weren't in the final cut as they expand on the characters, especially Rogue and Cyclops.
There are two featurettes. The first is the Fox Special: The Mutant Watch, which is a look at the characters and the making of the movie wrapped in a spoof news report, starring Senator Kelly explaining the need for a bill in Senate. There's a neat twist in the tail as well. The documentary sequences are informative also.
If you just want the making of, look at the other featurette, which contains much the same material without the dramatised news report linking the segments. There is also Hugh Jackman's screen test with Anna Paquin, which goes a long way to explaining why he was ideal for the part. There is an Art gallery containing character and production designs.
The cast is excellent throughout, though of course some performances are especially noteworthy. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. He is so good that when I look back at the cartoons, I automatically see Jackman in the role, the same for many other of the cast, particularly Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart as Storm and Xavier respectively.
I was concerned that Ian McKellan may not be suitable for the role of Magneto, who is always the big bad guy, yet McKellan accomplishes by sheer force of personality what any number of muscle-bound actors could ever do, bring depth to the role.
This can be said for the entire cast, they make this film work by doing what is rarely done in similar films, they play the roles as characters, not caricatures and this more than anything makes the film work. If any one disappoints, it is James Marsden as Cyclops. His character has very little to do other than being jealous when Wolverine pays too much attention to Jean Grey, but that is a problem with the length of the movie being insufficient to develop his character rather than in his performance.
X Men works because of the fundamental story it tells. The performances are consistently outstanding and the story gripping from beginning to end. If there is one drawback to the film, it's the length. It is far too short. I would have loved to see more character development, actually I would have preferred more, full stop. This is the way all comic books should be adapted.
Summary: What a great film, would watch this over and over.