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Movie Review: “X-Men”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Theatrical Release: 7/14/2000

Theatrical Release: 7/14/2000

Synopsis

Mutants are the next step in human evolution. Mutants can have any number of mutant abilities, but Logan (Hugh Jackman) has mutant healing, and large, seemingly indestructible metal claws that he can unsheathe from his knuckles. Logan is dangerous, and he is virtually unlikable, but he does not remember his past. He mostly keeps to himself, but that will all change when a young mutant discovers her powers and comes to him for help.

Rogue (Anna Paquin) is a young mutant whose powers have just activated. Her powers are dangerous, and she was afraid of hurting those she cared about, so she ran from home. Her path crossed with Logan's, but there are those who are after Rogue for her unique powers. A powerful mutant known as Magneto (Ian McKellen) is tired of mutants being abused and discriminated against, and he has plans that will require a mutant with Rogue’s unique ability. Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants are powerful, and they will stop at nothing to bring about a new age of mutant superiority, but there is another mutant named Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who believes humans and mutants can coexist peacefully. Charles runs a school for young mutants just like Rogue, and he has a team of gifted mutant heroes known as the X-Men. The Brotherhood of Mutants then meet the X-Men in a battle over the fate of the girl, as well as the fate of humanity as a whole.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Wolverine (+6pts)

Rogue (-5pts)

The X-Men & Mutants (+8pts)

The Senator (-4pts)

Charles Xavier & Magneto (+8pts)

Predictable Story (-3pts)

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Pro: Wolverine (+6pts)

It is hard to imagine another actor playing the role of Wolverine, because Hugh Jackman did an outstanding job playing the character throughout these movies. In this movie, Logan’s story was not all that complex, but it worked. He was a mutant, sure, but his lack of memories and him being a new recruit made him an easy character to relate to in this story, because we were being introduced to everything right along with him. Logan was an interesting, albeit simple, character, and I enjoyed seeing him trying to fit in with the group.

I also just really liked his mutant abilities. Wolverine had the indestructible claws to make him dangerous, he had the mutant healing to make him almost unstoppable, and he had the rage to made him ferocious. The combination made for a badass protagonist to follow. Future movies would do far better things with the character, but this movie was certainly a strong start for Hugh Jackman’s time playing Logan.

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Con: Rogue (-5pts)

I thought Rogue was an annoying character, if I am being totally honest. I thought she was annoying right from the character’s opening scene, when her powers activated and she let out that annoying scream. I was hopeful that she would end up becoming a more interesting and more tolerable character, but she never really did. She was the classic damsel in distress, and despite other characters saying over and over again how powerful her abilities were, the filmmakers made her out to be helpless and completely unable to defend herself.

Rogue could have stopped those who were after her on her own, or she could at the very least have given them a run for their money, and she could have done this in a really entertaining way. There were any number of interesting and awesome things that the filmmakers could have done with the character in this movie. Instead they seemed determined to make her a screaming and helpless, and it felt like a huge missed opportunity. I liked her friendship with Logan, and I liked seeing her trying to fit in with the other mutants at Xavier’s Institute, but beyond that, I did not think the filmmakers did this really unique character any justice.

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Pro: The X-Men & Mutants (+8pts)

I thought the filmmakers did a great job at setting up the X-Men, and the race of mutants as a whole. Mutants were discriminated against, mutants were feared, mutants were seen as lesser than, and many mutants were forced forced into hiding. The filmmakers had a superhero story about the unfortunate cultural relevance of racism, and it made the mutant and human relations feel really tense. It also made all mutant characters inherently more interesting, because they were treated as outcasts and monsters, as opposed to being embraced as heroes.

I also thought the filmmakers did a great job of introducing the X-Men. I liked the team’s awesome introduction when Logan and Rogue got into trouble on the road. I also liked exploring all the secrets of both the school and the secret X-Men facility, and I liked meeting each member of the team. I liked seeing how Logan fit in with the team—sort of like a bull in a China shop—and I liked all the superhero action that came from the X-Men taking on the Beither hood of Mutants. The filmmakers effectively setup a world full of hate and discrimination that made us root for the mutants, both good and bad. They also effectively setup a school full of wonder that served as an oasis for mutants, and they effectively setup a cool assortment of mutants that I really enjoyed meeting throughout this movie.

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Con: The Senator (-4pts)

My issue with the Senator (Bruce Davison) really had nothing to do with him in the beginning of the movie. In the beginning of the movie, I actually thought he was an interesting antagonist. He was a human Senator who was concerned about the mutant problem. He was made out to be a bad guy, but his concerns were actually completely reasonable. One of the examples he gave of his concern was of a young mutant who could walk through walls, with his concern being that there was nothing stopping her from walking into a bank vault. That would be a completely reasonable concern to have for any human trying to adjust to a new world in which humans and mutants had to live together, and this made the Senator an interesting antagonist.

Unfortunately, as soon as the Senator met Mystique (Rebecca Romjin), his whole story went downhill. The filmmakers ended up turning him into little more than a punchline to a joke. I also thought it was dumb what Magneto did to him, as well as what Magneto wanted to do to more people. It was a dumb plan, because there were countless ways for it to go horribly wrong, and I also thought it was a dumb idea for the filmmakers to have come up with for their primary antagonist. Instead of keeping it simple and personal and having a big showdown between the two mutant teams, the filmmakers delivered this weird spinning device and a silly looking CGI energy field that the characters were fighting over. I thought the filmmakers had a strong start with the Senator and his story, but I thought they ended dropping the ball with it.

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Pro: Charles Xavier & Magneto (+8pts)

I liked really all of the mutants that made up the opposing teams in this movie, and there were a lot of them. There was Cyclops (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), Mystique, Toad (Ray Park), Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), and of course Wolverine as the X-Men’s newest member. It was cool to see what each of these mutants could do and it was cool to see these teams of mutants going up against each other. However, it was really the teams’ leaders whose rivalry fueled the entire story.

Charles Xavier and Magneto had an interesting relationship. Both characters wanted what was best for mutants, but they had opposing views on what that meant. Charles wanted mutants and humans to live together in peace, whereas Magneto knew humans would never go for that, so he ultimately wanted mutants to take over through any means necessary. They were very much two sides of the same coin, but they were old friends and they had a strong mutual respect for one another. This was such an interesting and complex relationship, and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan brought it to the screen in a really captivating way. I felt the passion in their views and I felt the history in their friendship. It made the feud between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants more interesting, and some of this movie’s most captivating and memorable moments were when these two characters were on screen together.

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Con: Predictable Story (-3pts)

Once the antagonists got their hands on the Senator, they made it pretty obvious what their plan was. It was also pretty obvious what they wanted Rogue for, and it was pretty obvious that the writers would not let that plan come to fruition. It was honestly not easy to see where things were going in the beginning of the movie. Then around the halfway point of the story, the filmmakers sort of showed all of their cards, and it made everything that came afterward very predictable.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: B+ (85pts)

I enjoyed this movie a lot when I was a kid. I really enjoyed how the filmmakers established mutants as an oppressed minority. This made all of the mutant characters far more compelling, as even the baddest mutants had a reasonable cause that was worth fighting for. It made the protagonists easy to root for, and it made it easy to understand where the antagonists were coming from.

The mutant action was awesome, I really liked the yin and yang relationship between Charles and Magneto, I really enjoyed exploring Xavier’s Institute, and I enjoyed seeing all the different mutants and their abilities. Unfortunately, I thought Rogue was an annoying, useless character, which felt like a waste given what her ability was. I also thought the Senator was setup well, but I thought the filmmakers failed to stick the landing with his story, and I thought the movie became very predictable once Magneto tested his device around halfway through the movie. Despite its issues, however, this was a decent superhero movie. This should be evident by the fact that this movie launched a massive comic book movie franchise, consisting of 12 movies over 19 years. Bad movies simply do not launch movie franchises like that.

Comments

Iqra from East County on May 03, 2021:

X-Men is a 2000 American superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and written by David Hayter from a story by Singer and Tom DeSanto. The film is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name

Very interesting Movie

Thanks for sharing this with us.

Blessings :)

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