Jeff's Review of X-Men
You know...the really mean part of me wants to say, "It's about God Damn time!!!!!"
The fan in me says, "Oh man, it was worth it!!!!"
Let's just get it out on the table. I was a comic nut as a kid. I spent so much damn money on comic books, it's obscene. I was also a huge fan of the X-men, circa the Chris Claremont and John Byrne years. So my opinion on this movie will be very biased.
If I hate it, it's probably because there is no way a live action version of the X-Men could live up to the expectations I had set for this movie. If I like it, then it is because I am such a die-hard fan and could not possibly be objective about it.
Therefore, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. That being said, here is what I thought about the movie....
THIS WAS THE BEST GOD DAMN INTERPRETATION OF A COMIC BOOK TO LIVE ACTION THAT HAS EVER BEEN MADE!!!!!!!!!!
This movie was phenomenal!! There is no other way to describe it. I am downright giddy because I loved this movie SO much!
Only my wife probably knows just HOW BAD I have wanted to see this movie. I have been on the web site, www.x-men-the-movie.com every two weeks looking for a new trailer. Every time I hear anything about it, I salivate. It's so darn sickening.
I had built up this damn movie so much, it was a let-down waiting to happen. However, I'll be damned if this thing didn't blow me out of my chair.
Every few moments, I just sighed, amazed at what I was watching. I cannot believe the comic was translated THIS WELL into a live action film.
First of all, there ARE a couple of slight differences. They are SO minor though that I hate to even mention them.
Let's start at the beginning. First of all, in the comics, Rogue did not get her white stripe "do" from Magneto. She got it from sucking the power away from Carol Danvers (AKA Ms. Marvel/Binary/Warbird). However, the way they gave Rogue the stripe in her hair in the movie is caused by the same action, a trait picked up from someone she zapped. In this case, Magneto.
Secondly, in the comics, Rogue joined the X-Men after a stint with the NEW Brotherhood of Evil Mutants after a mentorship by Mystique. In the movie, they combined the "Brotherhood" lead by original leader, Magneto, original member, Toad, and future leader, Mystique, with future member, Sabretooth. Rogue was never a member of the Brotherhood in the movie.
Third, Rogue is pretty young in the movie compared to her buxom self in the comics, but Anna Paquin seems to be packing boobage too so not many should be turned off by this. The cameo by Kitty Pryde was cool, as was the cameo by Bobby Drake, AKA Iceman, a seemingly obvious Jubilee and a kid who I can only describe as a play off of Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. There was a kid named Johnny who created fireballs. I do not remember anyone in the X-Men comics named Johnny who could create fireballs, though I could just be forgetting. In any case, having Bobby Drake as a kid rather than one of the original members was a bit odd. However, not enough to matter.
Finally, I am not sure why they named Magneto "Eric" and not his comic name Magnus, or even his later persona, "Joseph."
No big deal though, because the characters were DEAD ON. I kept reading that the character development was priority ONE to director Bryan Singer. It is obvious. You learn exactly what you are supposed to learn regarding these characters AND I love how very close to accurate Bryan pulled it off.
Hugh Jackman as Logan was 100% perfect. I had heard several complaints about him not being big enough, but that is horse shit. No, he is not Lou Ferigno, but he pulled off Wolverine better than anyone I can think of off the top of my head. Anyone who is a die-hard Wolvie Berserker freak who does NOT like Hugh's portrayal basically will NEVER be satisfied.
James Marsden, who played Cyclops, did just what he was supposed to do. He looked good, he lead based on what Charles has taught him and he tried to be as calm as possible while watching Wolvie move in on Jean. STRAIGHT OUT OF THE COMIC!!
The relationship between Wolvie and Cyclops mirrored the book so well, it was scary. Even down to the line where Cyclops asks Logan to prove that he is who he is instead of being a Wolvie-impersonating Mystique. He says, "Ok...you're a dick." I CRIED!!!! What a great line!
If I wanted to be critical about the relationship, I guess the ONE thing I could say is that you never really have anything happen between Logan and Scott that makes them so antagonistic toward one another. It is almost as if the competition was just instantly there. Yes, you could say it is because of Jean, but even BEFORE Logan knew Scott was seeing Jean, he was inexplicably giving Scott an attitude.
Jean's character, played by Famke Jannsen, has been criticized because she does not have the real red hair of the girl in the comics. It is more strawberry colored in the movie. If you complain about this, you are an idiot. I feel her character will really blossom in the next movie too. The rumors are that the next movie will be Dark Phoenix- driven, which will ROCK! I can see it now....Sharon Stone as the White Queen...YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!
Halle Berry as Storm was probably the weakest character. She was, of course, very beautiful and pulled off a great Storm, but she seemed almost whimpy as Storm and, quite frankly, I picture Storm taller. I'm thinking David Bowie's wife IMAN as Storm in the next movie...she is tall, good looking and has the attitude that Halle was missing.
I was SHOCKED at how much I liked Ian McKellen's Magneto. Not only does he play a great evil guy, but his relationship with Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart, was done so well that I could not have pictured anyone else as Magneto. This was probably the hardest thing, next to Wolverine, to pull off. Kudos Bryan, you did it!!!! I think the perfect example of how well the relationship was presented is in the scene where Magneto and Xavier are playing chess. GOD it was great!!!! I heard a rumor too that Magneto's helmet was designed by PRINCE.
MAJOR die-hard fans may be a tad upset that the X-Men movie did not focus on the original members much and chose to focus primarily on more recent (albeit early 80's) characters Rogue and Wolverine. However, the story was just SO good and fit SO well in a live action format, I really did not care that Beast, Angel or an adult Iceman were not in the mix. Though, I must say, I was beginning to think they were preparing to make Senator Kelly THE BLOB, which would have been interesting.
A SIDE NOTE: Being a huge AVENGERS fan as well, I did notice that the first person Mystique killed in the movie was Henry P. Gyrich, the governmental troublemaker for the Avengers (remember their security clearance being taken away from them?) and for the later collaboration of the original X-Men, X-Factor. I am surprised that as much of a visible asshole as Henry was to the mutant community, he was not made the central troublemaker rather than Senator Kelly.
Ray Parks' Toad was dead on and quite entertaining. Tyler Mane's Sabretooth was fantastic. I expect to see him in the sequel, especially since a Wolverine-centric story was setup at the end of this movie. Heck, since Wolvie was heading back to Canada, maybe we will see some Alpha Flight in there as well. I'm thinking George Clooney, "Puddy" from Seinfeld or Alec Baldwin as the original Guardian and the midget friend of Kramer's or Danny Devito as Puck....
Rebecca Stamos' version of Mystique was great, but she had NO dialogue. Mystique was very much a verbal, influential person in the comics and was a great leader. She was almost the "Boba Fett" of this movie, silent and ominous.
And, of course, Patrick Stewart was a natural Xavier. He had such warmth as a teacher and a leader. You really thought he cared about his mission. It was so incredibly believable.
If you were a fan of the comics back in the Chris Claremont/John Byrne years, you will THOROUGHLY enjoy this movie. Bryan's writing made this such an interesting story and captured the real literary heart of the early "Uncanny" years, while not losing the political undertone of the Lee/Kirby years, that I dare to say that there has never been a more successful translation of comic-to-movie EVER.
I am drooling again just talking about this movie. You have to see it. There is no way I can put it into words. Get up off your ass and go see it. You won't regret it.