August 25, 2007
Well this certainly feels a bit dated these days, the very first X-Men film, the backbone of the modern comicbook adaptations craze, the one that started it all. Had this film not done as well as it did then we possibly wouldn't have all the superhero flicks we have today. Heck just looking at the films poster shows how far this genre has come, its positively awful, bland and extremely unimaginative, the two groups just standing there against a city skyline, eh?
I remember this coming out back in the day and I recall pretty much poo pooing it as an obvious looking lazy CGI filled cheese fest. Upon seeing the film I didn't actually like it all that much, mainly I think down to the lack of decent action. Low and behold yet again my personal tastes have changed with age and I find myself actually appreciating this film a lot more now. The plot naturally includes the origins of certain main characters and the introduction of the X-Men lead by Charles Xavier and his school for the gifted (mutants). We are also introduced to the bad mutants lead by Magneto and his dastardly plan to turn all the world leaders into mutants presumably so they know what its like to be a mutant.
'Storm? Sabretooth?...What do they call you? 'Wheels'? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard'
The general plot may be simple but I do like the easy to understand similarities with real time age old issues such as prejudice discrimination and plain racism. Magneto's (Erik Lehnsherr) family were German Jewish and killed by the Nazi's during WWII, so he had first hand experience of the effects a madman can have in power, himself being a Holocaust survivor. Ironically though Magneto himself turns into the thing he once survived and fought against as here he wants to exterminate the human race to protect the mutant race. Whilst Xavier wants to gain peace between humans and mutants Magneto is constantly trying to start a race war between them, not too subtle but hey it works.
The main thing I notice with this first film in retrospect is how much dialog there is and how little kickass action there is. There is a heck of a lot of exposition to take in as we learn about the various characters and their individual flaws and powers etc...But that's not to say its boring, not at all, its actually delivered very well and you want to know more, meet more mutants and see their powers. The action is sporadic and not exactly top dollar in all honesty, we mainly see Wolverine getting into the odd scrap, mutants going up against the police but not killing any and the finale at the Statue of Liberty gives us some semi decent one on one action but the CGI and wire work is pretty hokey to be fair. Prime example being the scene where Wolverine does a 360 spin around a section of the Statue using his claw...looks real nasty.
Most of the characters are really well visualised and well cast there's no denying that, twas the worry at first, that these guys would all look ridiculous in their silly costumes. But no! almost every character is realistically designed and performed. The main three of course being Stewart, McKellen and Jackman all brilliantly cast adding such a classy authentic epic feel to the comicbook tomfoolery, Jackman being the main surprise as he was completely unknown. At the same time Marsden, Berry and Janssen also come across in a surprisingly believable fashion, none of these actors ever really come across as hammy which is some feat in this. The only characters that let the side down visually has to be Toad and Sabretooth both of whom look totally daft.
I'm not an X-Men fanboy so I don't know the ins and outs of the franchise but some things I do find a bit silly. For a start Toad is just a pointless character, his tongue, jumping and spitting green goo are his mutant super powers?? how is he useful? how does he crush a human by jumping on him? and why include him in this film?! The main main running quibble I have throughout has to be the invincibility thing going on. Wolverine especially is virtually unbeatable, you can't kill the guy so it seems pointless to have him fight at all, we know he can't die or get hurt. Then there's the fact that most mutants seems to be super strong...but why? OK they have unique powers but is a side effect to this automatically having super strength because they all have it apparently. How come Magneto can fly? he can manipulate metal but how does that enable him to fly? and how the hell does Rogue get through even one day without being able to touch another human? Her super mutant power seems utterly pointless and more of a curse than anything surely as she can kill real easy.
In the end the film does start to crack towards the finale as things do get a tad stupid, inconsistencies with mutant power abilities, the fact no one notices all the commotion going on at the Statue of Liberty, all the destruction, Mystique doubling as the Senator but showing her yellow eyes etc...I guess the main thing that made me think was simply...Magneto is kinda right, mutants should be very weary of humans, maybe not wipe them out but you can kinda see his angle, humans are a violent dangerous unpredictable species. On the other hand I dunno why he worries so much because in any war the mutants would win hands down.
The film isn't your standard comicbook flick gotta give it that, its not light-hearted silly kids stuff, there is a good solid serious tone to everything that does combine well with this material. Dealing with mutants as people who are treated differently because of their looks or abilities is a strong concept that many will relate to. Visually everything generally is quite realistic and doesn't look like a comicbook movie. The black leather outfits, big rich 'Wayne Manor-like' X-Men school, fancy super hi-tech gadgets/equipment and big black super jet are all cliched sure but obviously you need some fun fantasy elements. Despite being 14 years old this film still holds up well today and even better it still blends in with the whole X-Men franchise which has since moved on big time.
November 20, 2014
Ein guter Start der Mutanten Stadel! Sicherlich sind die Figuren noch nicht ganz ausgereift, wie bei den letzten Filmen. Bietet aber ein bisschen Nostalgie und eine Spur Naivität. Auch die Effekte sind noch nicht ganz so gut, kann sich aber sehen lassen. Man merkt auch, dass das Drehbuch nicht perfekt war und man etwas ausprobieren wollte. Das ist auch gut so, denn die folgenden Filme wurden auch besser! Nicht der beste Film ist aber eine Unterhaltung wert!
November 12, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
November 11, 2014
Good first part, cool battles and a satisfying Final. X-Men introduced the characters well and prepares for the second part.
July 17, 2012
I own this on DVD and on Blu-Ray in a seven movie pack along with:
* X2 (2003)
* X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
* X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
* X-Men: First Class (2011)
* The Wolverine (2013)
* X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)
November 6, 2014
Never been the biggest fan of the film, felt too plodding and dull
August 23, 2007
Very good comic-book adaptation by Bryan Singer. It has its dull moments, which I think are neccessary, but which still take it down a star because of the time overspent on them.
January 3, 2014
One of the most unique and spectacular superhero movie that's been made.
X-Men is one heck of a ride, it's so amazing. It highlights many ethical questions like how we define our species and how different we are from each other. It illustrates how people can react to the unknown, in this case mutants. X-Men is a powerful movie with groovy action sequences, and there's always something going on, so I never got bored! In might got some slow scenes but it totally is a great superhero film! The opening scene and the ending are both great and the CGI is incredible, much better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The film is overall very unique and it's also highly entertaining. The actors are all incredible, the best are of course Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Anna Paquin as Rouge might be a less perfect actor, but in the end is she okay. The story of X-Men is superb, and you can in a way interact with the main villain and why he do what he do. The soundtrack isn't as powerful as I would define as awesome, but it's close!
X-Men is a spectacular film that's got wonderful actors and a wonderful story. It's so great!
X-Men get a 8/10
December 23, 2012
An entertaining and action filled start to the X-Men franchise and comic book movies in general
October 19, 2014
Self conscious and unfocused, conflicted between a few decent characters and a poor plot of the ensemble piece that it wants to be.
October 16, 2014
Imagine you've never read the comics before, and your not familiar with any of the characters, it's going to be difficult discovering what's going on because the movie leave's out character development and a detailed plot. X-Men is a flawed but entertaining superhero flick that showcases some pretty impressive action sequences.
February 2, 2007
The success of X-Men was so great that it seemed to pave the way for Spider-Man, Hulk, Batman Begins, and a slew of other successful movies based on comic books. So in a way, one could probably make an argument that director Bryan Singer is responsible for the superhero movie craze that is now the staple of the summer season.
You can't deny the significance of X-Men in the evolution of blockbuster cinema. As a movie though, it unfortunately does feel like the obligatory pilot episode to a great series. It puts all the pieces into place, sets up the themes, and introduces some great characters. But the lame fight choreography, wonky dialogue, and vaguely explored social issues keep it from being a great stand alone film. It's nice to look back at a time when movies didn't resort to blowing up cities at the climax or forcing epic action sequences to entertain, but the film hasn't quite aged all that well. On the plus side, Hugh Jackman and Anna Paquin steal the show. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan show great chemistry. And the story sets the stage for its sequels very well.
October 10, 2014
This film always had a type of indie movie feel with its direction editing choices and filmography as well as its budget (fearful producers lol ). X-men does have its moments from magneto's origins and the scenes featuring patrick steward (professor X) as Jackman's outing as wolverine add depth to the film, however a few plot issues and lack of development for its other characters because as always its wolverines show (In all the x-men films) keep it from greatness..
May 18, 2014
Great cast and story, X-men is a fun and action-packed comic-book.
October 6, 2014
Before Hogwarts - the school for wizards and witches - there was Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. These Gifted Youngsters are mutants look just like us, but have incredible powers that some believe to be an endangerment to those around them. This first entry in the X-Men film franchise kicked off a commercially successful film series, though their critical reception varies greatly. Simply titled "X-Men," this was among the first successful comic-book films, and more or less ushered in Marvel's eventual reign over the super-hero genre. And to be honest, I'm a bit surprised that this film was such a mainstream success.
X-Men focuses primarily on Wolverine who has the ability to self-heal, and can also extend huge, claw-like daggers from his knuckles. He doesn't remember anything about his past, but perhaps Charles Xavier - a mutant himself - can help him.
X-Men is really silly, and really stupid. But the film seems to know that it's really silly and really stupid. Whether its self-aware and almost parody-like environment was an intentional factor or not, the X-Men is a solidly entertaining super-hero film, despite its multitude of problems.
Even though Wolverine is the primary protagonist of the film, there's a massive array of other characters that the film tries to give ample screentime to. As a result, X-Men is cluttered and despite quite a bit of exposition, nothing really gets explained. The direction is all over the place, and the opening scene (a bit of backstory for the antagonist, Magneto) seems completely unnecessary.
And yet, X-Men is an enjoyable film thanks to solid performances and (mostly) interesting characters. Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine with just the right amount of heroism, frustration, and sarcasm to avoid falling into obvious cliches or stereotypes. The highlights of the cast are undoubtedly Ian McKellan as the evil Magneto, and Patrick Stewart as the wise Charles Xavier. They bounce off of each other brilliantly. Every scene they're in truly brings the film to life.
Unfortunately, there are several less impressive cast members. The worst of the bunch include Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, and Anna Paquinn - the latter of which occasionally uses a strong Southern accent, and at other times, forgets it.
Michael Kamen's score is less enjoyable than the film itself. While it has a smattering of tongue-in-cheek fanfares, it also contains dated synthetics, and unmemorable themes. It works well enough in the film, but I'm not inspired to seek any of it out elsewhere.
It's far from perfect, but it's a lot better than many other super-hero franchise-starters. It's got plenty of interesting action sequences, likable characters, and fresh ideas. I'm surprised that audiences have taken to it so much considering its many inconsistencies and notable problems, but it's an excellent time waster.
September 2, 2014
X-Men is a well-made spectacle that is sure to please fans as well as those unfamiliar with the comics.
June 18, 2014
Despite having a flimsy plot and narrative, X-Men excels by relying on the superb chemistry between its star-studded cast members and by staying true to the established X-Men comic book mythos and themes of anti-discrimination.
September 30, 2014
X-Men has great effects, strong acting, wonderfully executed action sequences and it is groundbreaking being one of the first serious superhero films, but the direction, the script and the characters are nevers as sophisticsted or engaging as they will be in some of the later entries in the franchise.