Sunday Double Feature: “X-Men”

And this wraps up the pair of superhero reviews in
this week’s double feature. Next week, Timeshredder
will regale us with tales of The Naked Lunch
and Liquid Sky.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Patrick Stewart as Professor X

Ian McKellen as Magneto

Famke Janssen as Jean Grey

James Marsden as Cyclops

Halle Berry as Storm

Anna Paquin as Rogue

Tyler Mane as Sabretooth

Ray Park as Toad

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Mystique

Bruce Davison as Senator Kelly

Stan Lee as Hot Dog Vender

Written by Tom DeSanto (story), Bryan Singer (story),
and David Hayter

Directed by Bryan Singer

Complete information is available from the

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Past movie reviews can be found here.


Mutants are among us. Some wish to peacefully coexist
with regular
humans, while others are planning a war.

High Point

The school montage. Storm’s exit from the elevator
and deliberate
approach to Toad might have made it had she kept her
mouth shut.

Low Point

The lack of respect for the audience. For example,
dialogue like
“Jean, use your power, try to stabilize him” instead
of “Jean, try to
stabilize him,” is out of character, and implies that
the audience
needs her power explained at that point. For another
morphing back from Xavier to Bobby before morphing
into Mystique is
pointless from a story standpoint, or even from an
standpoint. The only reason to do that would be if
you were afraid
the audience wouldn’t realize that this Bobby was
actually Mystique.
The eye special effect gave that away, as did Bobby
morphing into
Xavier in the first place. Similarly, the shot with
two Bobbys can
only serve to tell the audience that the Bobby we’re
supposed to like
wasn’t the mean one, but we already knew that.
Seeing this footage
stay when the film was being cut for length so
dramatically that the
bedroom scene was badly botched is just irritating.
(Check the DVD
special features to see what the bedroom scene was
supposed to look

The Scores

This is not original. They took a property
respected in its
field and showed it no respect, adapting it into a
standard popcorn
flick, right down to rewriting the characters to turn
villains into
archetypes. (eg. Sabretooth is a grunting bruiser,
Mystique misguided
by love, Magneto the mad scientist, and Toad the
lackey who seems
useless until the fighting starts.) I give it 2 out
of 6.

The effects were decent, but the wire work
and tongue CGI had
some major flaws. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is a substandard Silver Age villain
plot combined
with a pretty good persecution plot. Too bad the
characters were so
botched up. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting is often limited by the writing.
There were some
good moments, but there were at least as many bad
ones. I give it 4
out of 6.

The emtoional response was good for me, as a
fan, to see the
X-Men on screen at first. (The geek in me is probably
the reason the
school montage won out over the concentration camp as
the high point.)
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize that
these were not the
X-Men I remembered from the comics. It still holds
some entertainment
value, but it’s ultimately a disappointment. (That
goodness the
sequel turned that around.) I give it 3 out of 6.

The production had issues. These are not the
lenses for
Singer’s style. The distortion when switching from
near to far focus,
or in the “zoomed” shot of Wolverine cradling Rogue on
the statue,
just remind the audience that it’s a movie. If CBS
can afford to
matte and layer these shots on CSI, Fox could
have paid for
that here. I’ve already griped about the editing, and
the music as
just plain uninspiring. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s decent, but those of us
familiar with the
comics, or those who have seen the sequel, know what
it could, and
should, have been the first time out. I give it 3 out
of 6.

In total, X-Men receives 22 out of 42.

3 replies on “Sunday Double Feature: “X-Men””

  1. Harsh
    I think you’re being way too hard on this flick. Especially about Toad, who, far from useless outside of fight scenes, is a regular modern renaissance man! He pilots helicopters, he paints replica parts of the statue of liberty, he eats live pigeons! A man of many talents indeed.

    • Re: Harsh
      I’d agree that the review was fairly harsh, especially since you’ve given it one less point than Blade! In a film like this, with such a large and varied cast, there isn’t time for every character to be subtle and detailed and complete. Personally I think it’s better than the sequel.

  2. Production Time
    In 2000 I managed to get in to a press screening in Berlin, and thoroughly enjoyed the film, even though I found it way too short.

    I’m a fan of Wolverine one might say, and keep my favorite story (Graphic novel ‘Wolverine’ by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller) in a safe place.

    The films less than stellar performance is probably due to its cut in production time by six months, which can ruin most films if not all. I’m shure the film would have turned out a lot better had they given them six months more instead of less. XMen2 certainly showed us what these folks can do if given that kind of time.

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