Monthly Archives: May 2016
When a lot of people think on superhero movies that changed film forever, and brought the genre of comic book movies to the forefront, the answers are almost always Spider-Man 2002, Superman, Batman Begins and Iron Man. However, one film that seems to go under the radar nowadays, is a still quite amazing film called X-Men.
The first of 9 films in the franchise-minus two really bad ones so 7-this film does a good job at not only setting up the rest of this particular trilogy, but it’s just a solid MOVIE first and superhero movie second. Sure we see their awesome powers, some of the effects hold up better than others-but it focuses on where all movies should focus; the characters and their interactions with each other. Namely it focuses on an X-Man we’re all familiar with-Logan aka The Wolverine and his interactions with the X-Men group, who need to work together to save one of their own and the world from Magneto, who has his own ideals separate from Charles Xavier on how humans should be with mutants. Especially when Senator Kelly goes full force against mutantkind and wants them all registered….
- The STORY
- What makes this movie work is that the story is rather simple. Stop Magneto from turning every human on the world into mutants, because through the Senator, the X-Men along with Wolverine-we’ll get to his awesome later-figure out that humans simply can’t survive that kind of genetic onslaught. Magneto doesn’t quite believe them or just doesn’t care as he’s had quite enough of humanity. It’s a legit threat and shows just how fundamentally good our heroes are; that even through all of the prejudice they have faced, they’re still willing to fight for what’s right and fight for humanity. It’s got just okay pacing, well-acted, and a solid build up to greater things to come while still keeping it focused on where it needs to be. The Professor’s voice over while showing off the mutants at the school does a good job at not only showing how their powers work and what the school is for, but telling the audience members who might not have a clue about the X-Men franchise. Seeing Kitty Pryde, Jubilation Lee, Iceman, Pyro, and others use their powers or just seeing them in general here was fun fan service as well.
- The WOLVERINE.
- Hugh Jackman is AMAZING as James Logan aka The Wolverine. Which isn’t a surprise as Hugh Jackman is an amazing actor and on top of that a really friendly guy-total opposite of Wolverine. He puts his all into this performance, and it really shines through.This iconic X-Man is big for a reason. Despite what some may think, he’s a deeply complex character. His mutant ability is not only his regenerative abilities, but his iconic claws that come out of his knuckles when he needs them to. Originally they were just bone-part of his skeleton. Through nightmares during not only this film but others, we find out that a metal alloy called adamantium-the strongest fake metal there is even stronger then vibranium-was surgically grafted into his bones throughout his entire body. And that’s about all we learn of the Wolverine until the next film. The movies keep him shrouded in mystery and it’s a serious bonus point for a series that already has so many characters. He’s a for sure flagship character- a frontrunner of the X-Men but he doesn’t completely overpower the movie. Everyone has a chance to shine. Except for Cyclops really.
- The EFFECTS
- Something I don’t think I’ve mentioned before in reviews that I really should start talking about is post production or VFX. And BOY do those still hold up. This movie was released in 2000; SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. And while some of Storm’s lightning effects and Sabertooth and Toad look a bit off, everyone and everything else looks amazing. Especially when it comes to Logan’s claws. The extreme close up shot of his middle claw coming out in particular is a wonderful show of just how well done the effects are. Whenever the X-Men and young students use their powers in any of these early films you really feel like they’re actually using them. I could gush about the effects on Wolverine and his healing and claws in particular for days but everything is rather well done. Magneto’s powers also look awesome too.
- The OTHER X-MEN
- While the movie’s focus is centered for the most part on Logan aka The Wolverine, it also allows other X-Men to shine and use their powers. We get to see a little of how powerful Professor X’s magnificent powers of telepathy and mind control, Rogue’s power stealing ability, Jean Grey’s telekinesis, Scott’s lasers, Storm’s lightning strikes and weather control. We also see some of the Brotherhood of Mutants including the lovely Mystique who has the ability to shift into ANYTHING-including into men, and animals though that’s never shown in the films-Toad who can lash his tongue out to great distance, Sabertooth who…eh. And Magneto who has the power over anything metal; including Earth’s magnetic fields which is why he can fly but for some reason has never thought of using our own planet against us in his quest to destroy humanity. It’s done an okay job at setting these characters up and for the most part, they have things to contribute to the plot.
- The ACTION
- From the first time we see Wolverine in action-which is also the first time we see his mutation take effect-you know the action in any X-Men film is going to be a star point in this franchise. You can see what’s going on, the camera stays still, the shots are where they need to be and it’s amazing seeing these guys fight on the silver screen…Though I DO call BS on Wolverine of all people being beaten down by Mystique. Given their physical strength alone.
- The PACING
- While the story is fine, the pacing makes the story feel a bit….meh. it along with Magneto’s plan (it doesn’t really make sense to me) and the whole Logan/Jean thing are the only things wrong with the film. The pacing makes the story seem like it meanders a bit too much. There’s enough character development and character interaction, and GOOD character interaction-especially with Logan and Marie aka Rogue-to satisfy the viewer. But to anyone who have no idea who these people are….it could come off as boring.
- The SOUNDTRACK
- A bit of an odd thing to comment on but the music save for the ending after Logan saves Rogue is less than memorable.
- The whole LOGAN/JEAN THING
- I never really bought that these two were meant to be TOGETHER. And they try to force it into the next X-Man movie as well and it just falls flat considering what happens in the Last Stand movie. I always felt that Logan wanted Jean just cause Scott had her first. His attempts at flirtation really make you go “yeesh STRANGER DANGER JEAN STRANGER DANGER!”
Overall, this is a surprisingly SOLID film and a SOLID start to such an incredible franchise. I’m not quite ready to see Marvel buy these guys from Fox. I’d like to see what Fox does with this new universe after Days of Future Past with Apocalypse. Perhaps they’ll run into Deadpool and his little X-Men friends Colossus-though wouldn’t that be confusing?-and Nega Sonic Teenage Warhead (WHAT A KICKASS NAME). For this movie though, it has great characters, good build up, a strong villain, and stronger heroes you can relate to in some way.
I’m going to give X-Men 2000 a 4/5. It’s good but not quite GREAT. I’d still highly recommend it.
So it’s the summer movie season….So let’s see if I can try and see what makes a blockbuster the way they is.