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
Survival of the fittest!
Member Name: Mauri
Date: 09/10/01, updated on 09/10/01 (491 review reads)
Advantages: Great Special FX, Good characters, Fas, action packed
'X-men' is a big budget Hollywood Sci-fi film based on the Marvel Comic characters, X-men. Though not all the cartoon super-heroes are featured in the film it does stick reasonably closely to the original comic strip story. The original comic stories go back to the 1960's, the X-men first appearing in 1963 and over the years new characters have been added.
Evolution has taken a further step. A new breed of Humans is appearing. They are known as Homo superior or the Children of the Atom. This is a new breed of powerful mutants possessing many special powers.
Some such as professor Charles Xavier, argue that the mutants should be integrated in to human society and their powers be used for good but other such as (played by Bruce Davison) believe them to be a threat to mankind, and as such should be isolated and controlled.
When Senator Kelly's views become widespread an opposing faction, the mutant terrorist, led by the powerful mutant Magneto decide that the time as come to show mankind they are the true rulers of the Earth. Magneto has built a powerful machine with which he can extend his powers and produce a massive radiation wave, which will mutate ordinary non-humans. He plans to use this machine on the leaders of the world nations as they gather for a meeting in New York.
Magneto's idea is that once the world leaders are mutants too they will see the logic of considering mutants superior to non-mutants. Magneto realise that the power needed to produce the amount of radiation needed is within his capability but that he would not survive the procedure. Not willing to sacrifice himself to his cause he finds Rogue a young mutant with the ability to absorb and mimic the powers of other mutants, in order to use her to power his machine. Rogue however has just met and befriended Wolverine a mutant drifter and just as they were about to be captured by Magneto's men Storm and Cyclops two mutants belongi
ng to the X-men rescue them take them to the stronghold of Professor Xavier.
Through subterfuge Magneto manages to disable Professor X's powers and capture Rogue. As he prepares to complete his plan only The X-men stand in his way….
***THE CAST AND CHARACTER BACKGROUNDS
THE GOOD GUYS
PROFESSOR X (played by Patrick Stewart)
Professor Charles Xavier is most powerful mutant but also a force for justice and good. His dream is to have a peaceful coexistence between mutants and ordinary humans. He established his School for Gifted Youngsters to help young emerging mutants to cope with their powers and to protect the rest of society from those who would use their mutant abilities to take control of the world.
Xavier possesses vast mental abilities. He has the ability to move objects by telekinesis. He can induce temporary mental or physical paralysis, illusions, loss of specific memories, or amnesia. He is also capable of projecting mental bolts and sense the presence of mutants within his proximity. With the help his invention the super computer Cerebro Xavier can detect mutant brain patterns over vast areas.
Xavier's is the son of nuclear researcher Brian Xavier. He began noticing his telepathic powers while still a boy. He became a brilliant student and attended Oxford University. After University he joined the military. During his service he realised that he had to devote himself to protecting Humans from evil mutants. At this time he met and befriended Erik Magnus Lehnsherr, the mutant who would become Magneto, Master of Magnetism, a powerful genetic terrorist and Xavier's greatest enemy and rival.
On his way to the US Xavier confronted Lucifer an alien part of an advance invasion force. During their encounter Lucifer badly hurt Xavier and crippling his legs. After a prolonged recovery Xavier went about setting up a force of Like-Minded mutants that could protect the world from threats both int
ernal and external. His first student was 11-year-old Jean Grey. Soon after he set up the School for Gifted Youngsters and began enrolling other mutants. Amongst the original students were: Scott Summers, Cyclops with the optic blast; Warren Worthington III, the high-flying, heroic Angel; Robert Drake, the Iceman; Henry McCoy, powerful Beast; and an older Jean Grey, known as Marvel Girl. Thus the X-men were born.
JEAN GREY (played by Famke Janssen)
One of the first mutants recruited to the X-men, Jean Grey is a telepath she can read minds, project thoughts and illusions, and discharge powerful mental bolts. She also possesses telekinetic abilities that allow her to levitate herself or others. She as been a member of the X-men since the beginning and is a mother figure to some of the younger recruits.
Her powers were discovered when she was only ten and she saw a best friend being run down by a speeding car. The emotions of this event brought her powers out and made it difficult top control them. Her parents took Jean was taken to Professor X. Since he was also a telepath, he helped her to gain control of her powers. She became a pupil at the newly established School for Gifted Youngsters and the fifth member of the X-men.
WOLVERINE (played by Hugh Jackman)
Wolverine has the ability to track people and objects using his animal like senses. He also has the ability to heal himself at an accelerated rate from all wounds and injuries. Wolverine's skeleton had been surgically bonded with an indestructible metal Adamantium including powerful retractable claws, which he can release at will. Wolverine's real name is Logan but little is known of his past. It is believed he trained as a samurai in Japan and later became a secret agent, an assassin codename Wolverine, for the Canadian government. Due to memory implants, even he is not sure of his past. It is even rumoured that he was active in World War 2 where he met Captain America. Wol
verine's accelerated healing extends his lifespan and thus it is possible that he is considerably older than his physical appearance would suggest.
In the film he finds Rogue and together they join Professor X and the X-men. In the original story he is recruited by Professor X to rescue the original X-men from Krakoa.
ROGUE (played by Anna Paquin)
Rogue is young woman mutant who can absorb others' memories and abilities through physical contact. To ordinary humans this is fatal as she drains the very life force out of them. With other mutants she absorbs their special powers as well. She has not yet managed to control her power and thus is forced to keep everyone, even those she loves at a distance. In the original comic little is known about Rogue's previous life not even her name. In the film we discover she is called Marie. She first discovers her powers when she kisses a boyfriend and he promptly goes in to a coma. In the film Rogue runs away from home and is picked up by Wolverine and together they join professor X and his group, however in the original story Rogue is befriended by Mystique, a mutant terrorist and joins the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants before defecting to Professor X.
CYCLOPS (played by James Marsden)
Cyclops's real name is Scott Summers and he is the leader of the X-Men. He has the mutant ability to project a beam high intensity light from his eyes. As he cannot control these optic blasts and he must wear protective glasses with ruby-quartz lenses that block the beams. Without these glasses if he opens his eyes the beams will destroy anything they come in to contact with. Scott Summers is the son Major Christopher Summers, a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force. After an air crash in which Scott's parents were presumed dead Scott spent a year in a coma. On recovering he was placed in an orphanage. No signs of his special powers emerged until he was a teenager when he began having crippling heada
ches It was then discovered that lenses made of ruby quartz corrected the problem. Professor Xavier rescued Scott from an abusive foster parent and recruited him as him as the first member of the X-Men.
STORM (played by Halle Berry)
Storm's real name is Ororo Munroe and she was orphaned as a child. She is descended from an ancient line of African priestesses, all with the potential to wield magic. She soon developed the power to command the forces of nature with the ability to manipulate weather. She can cause it to rain, generate winds of any strength, raise or lower temperature and humidity in her proximity, and create lightning and other electrical atmospheric phenomena at will. She was recruited by Professor Charles Xavier to help in rescuing the original X-men from the island-being known as Krakoa.
THE BAD GUYS
MAGNETO (played by Ian McKellen)
Magneto's real name is Erik Magnus Lehnsherr. He was once a close friend Charles Xavier but now he is his most dangerous enemy. Also known as the Master of Magnetism he has the ability to shape and manipulate magnetic fields, both natural and artificial he also has minor psychic abilities. Magneto believes that mutants represent the next step in human evolution and believes that power must be taken by force from non-mutants. The young Magnus spent his youth in a Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, Poland; he was the only member of his family to survive the holocaust. These experiences proved to Magnus the intolerance of humans towards minorities. It was at this time that he realised he had special powers.
Years later while working as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital in Israel treating Holocaust survivors he met and became friends with Charles Xavier. At first Magnus tried to be persuaded by Xavier's tolerant views but eventually went his own way. He began planning his campaign against what he believed to be the inferior species of man. He assembled a group of so
called mutant terrorists known as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants including Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (both his children).
MYSTIQUE (played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)
Real name Raven Darkholme, Mystique is a metamorphic mutant with the ability to shift the atoms and molecules of her body and clothing so as to mimic the appearance of any human or humanoid being of either sex. She can even duplicate voices. She is however limited to duplicating beings of roughly her own size and she cannot duplicate the powers of other mutants.
No one knows her true age or her exact history. Initially she used her powers working as a covert agent. She managed to rise to a high position in the Defence Advanced Research Planning Agency in the U.S. Department of Defence. In the original story she at this time befriends Rogue. Mystique went on to re-assemble the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
TOAD (played by Ray Park)
Mortimer Toynbee was abandoned by his parents as a baby and grew up in an orphanage. After an unhappy childhood he was recruited by Magneto in his original grouping of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He has the ability to jump great distances and to excrete paralysing slime from the pores of his skin. He also is able to extend and control the movement of his tongue, using it as a whip.
SABRETOOTH (played by Tyler Mane)
Real name Victor Creed; Sabretooth is the mortal enemy of Wolverine. He has the ability to heal quickly that makes him virtually immune to poisons and drugs. He possesses razor sharp talons and feline senses. Just as Wolverine, Sabretooth's skeleton has also been bonded with the indestructible metal Adamantium. After experiencing an abusive childhood Victor Creed became an assassin for the Central Intelligence Agency adopting the codename Sabretooth. Both Wolverine and Sabretooth were products of the Weapon X project. Originally ally the two fell out after a mission.
The X-men is a thoroughly good Sci-fi romp. Disbelief has to be suspended, but as a fan of the original comics I can say that the makers of this film have made a good job of it. The story is broadly in line with the original although many of the characters present in the comics have not been included (no doubt X-men 2 will introduce us to a few more). The special effects are up to their usual Hollywood standard. The action is fast paced and keeps the excitement levels up. It does look and fell like a cartoon strip feature film and as the Christopher Reeve 'Superman' films proved this approach can be very successful. What make this film a cut above the rest are the wonderful performances by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. They both approach the roles with a suitable attitude (tongue firmly in cheek) and lend the whole project a stamp of quality which most of these sci-fi yarns need. The supporting performances by the rest of the cast are good although in most cases the special effects do tend to be on top. Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen are the only two actors whose acting talents manage to breakthrough their celluloid mutations.
This is a really fun film and I recommend any sci-fi fan to see it.