Comic property review: ‘X-Men’

Photo courtesy of XMenFilms.net | From left,  Patrick Stewart, Famke Jensen, Halle Berry, James Marsden and Hugh Jackman star in  “X-Men.”

Photo cour­tesy of XMenFilms.net | From left, Patrick Stew­art, Famke Jensen, Halle Berry, James Mars­den and Hugh Jack­man star in “X-Men.”

X-Men

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.

Cast­ing: 9

Plot: 8

Like the comics?: 7

Final score: 8

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