Twentieth Century Fox, 2000
Mutant peaceseekers find success in first of trilogy
If you get around some of the changes to the silver screen adaptation of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s merry band of mutants, you’re bound to find enjoyment in this film. If you can’t, expect to be frustrated.
The first film in the trilogy of films about Marvel’s homo sapien superiors deals with their fight for equality and peace. Thrown into the maelstrom is Charles Xavier and his self-named X-Men: Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, Rogue and Iceman. Hoping to thwart their cause is the other side of the mutant coin: The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Where Xavier and his merry band hope to instill peace and order, Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth and Toad hope to bring chaos.
Now, all of this fighting between groups makes for excellent cinema and storytelling. Director Bryan Singer does a great job working with the source material and introducing the various powers of the mutants. With such a large cast, however, not everyone got their fair share of screen time. Halle Berry’s well-known quibble about Storm not having enough prominence (she is Gold Team leader after all, or was) carries weight when it boils down to it.
While we enjoyed the movie greatly, we do have a bone to pick with it. Iceman is the same age as Rogue? That’s really unbelievable. Neither were teenagers when they encountered each other in their stints with the X-Men, nor were they romantically involved at any time. Because there’s no Gambit, Rogue would be left dangling but it is more than a little weird trying to imagine that they would be in a relationship. Also, while Iceman was a teenager when he joined the crew, he was also one of the original X-Men. Technically, that would make him the same age as Jean and Scott, who are clearly adults in charge at Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Youngsters.
Aside from the head-scratching changes, the film is paced well and tells its story really well. The casting is superb and the acting is believable. We can picture these folks as X-Men from the comic if we had to go that far. And as a side note, Rebecca Romijn managed to make Mystique hot.
How we grade
We score the properties in three categories: Casting (or voice acting in the case of animated), plot and similarities to its source material. Each category receives points out of maximum of 10 per category, and 30 overall. The percentage is the final score.
Like the comics?: 7
Final score: 8