X-Men (2000)

This was originally posted on The Dragon’s Tower.

The first of Bryan Singer’s X-Men trilogy depicting Marvel’s X-Men superheroes released in 2000 by Fox studios. The other two movies in the trilogy are X2: X-Men United (2003) and X3: The Last Stand (2006). Following the popularity of the X-Men trilogy, Fox released a trilogy of Prequels consisting of X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and two Wolverine movies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). A third, and rumored to be final, Wolverine movie comes out this year called Logan (March 3, 2017). The 2016 Deadpool movie starring Ryan Reynolds is also considered a part of Fox’s X-Men film series.

Cast

  • Charles Xavier “Professor X” – Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Scott Summers “Cyclops” – James Marsden
  • Dr. Jean Grey – Famke Janssen
  • Ororo Munroe “Storm” – Halle Berry
  • Logan “Wolverine” – Hugh Jackman
  • Marie D’Ancanto “Rogue” – Anna Paquin
  • Bobby Drake “Iceman” – Shawn Ashmore
  • Senator Robert Kelly – Bruce Davison
  • Erik Lehnsherr “Magneto” – Sir Ian McKellen
  • Raven Darkholme”Mystique” – Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
  • Victor Creed “Sabretooth’ – Tyler Mane
  • Mortimer Toynbee “Toad” – Ray Park

Plot

Mutants live among us. Mutants are humans who have evolved segments in their DNA that grant them extraordinary abilities. Some control metal, walk through walls, control the weather, probe into the darkest recesses of your mind and bend your will to their whim. Afraid of the mutant population, U.S. Senator Robert Kelly proposes a “Mutant Registration Act” in Congress that would force Mutants to register with the government and publicly reveal who they are and what they can do. While Senator Kelly attempts to assuage Congress into passing his law, Charles Xavier (a powerful telepath, leader of the X-Men, founder of Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters) and Eric Lehnsherr (can control metals, leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants) are in the audience listening to the speech.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, a 17-year old Marie D’Ancanto discovers she is a Mutant, one who can drain the lifeforce or Mutant abilities of another. After she places her non-Mutant boyfriend in a coma, she runs away to Canada. She encounters another Mutant along the way named Logan (aka Wolverine, has the ability to heal himself, has metal claws that protrude from his knuckles) who gives her a ride through the snowy wilderness of Alberta. While deep in a bonding moment between the two, they are attacked by a Mutant referred to as Sabretooth (aka Victor Creed, has animal-like senses, can heal himself, claws protruding from his fingers, feline-like features). They are saved by two members of the X-Men; Storm and Cyclops (one controls the weather and the other shoots massive energy blasts from another dimension from his eyes). The two find themselves at Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, where Marie (now called Rogue) enrolls. She discovers others like herself, including a handsome young man called Bobby Drake who can create and control ice.

While Rogue and Logan get acclimated to life at the mansion, Magneto has his allies abduct Senator Kelly in order to test a machine, powered by Magneto’s abilities, which generates a field of radiation that will alter human DNA to turn all humans into Mutants. Xavier discovers the machine will only kill all non-mutants and sends his X-Men to stop him.

The Dragon’s Reaction

The movie was entertaining as a whole. It had great comedic moments fans of the comic books would thoroughly enjoy. The rivalry between Cyclops and Wolverine had some of the best moments in the film. The costume designs were fantastic, though the iconic yellow Wolverine costume was no where to be seen. The dialog left much to be desired with lines that came out of nowhere and catchphrases that made little sense. A great example of this are Storm and Toad’s enounter where Storm says, “Do you know what happens to a toad when it is struck by lightning? The same as everything else.” What?*

The cast, costumes, and special-effects in this film was fantastic. Sabretooth’s costume felt a bit “Cats” in my opinion and Wolverine’s yellow costume was missed, but the sleaker uniforms look much nicer. This was the first film I can recall Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart acting in together and their chemistry was evident early on in the film. If you throw the bad dialog out the window and the differences between the film and the comic books, it is a pretty good movie. Room for improvement though.

*Side Note: It was later revealed that there were some scenes in the original script where Toad was to repeatedly make quips about what toads can do, usually during fight scenes, that was cut from the movie altogether that would have totally explained Storm’s weird line.

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