Cert: 12 Runtime: 104 mins Director: Bryan Singer Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Jansen, James Marsden, Halle Berry and Anna Paquin
Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet
X-Men: Days of Future Past is here, but before we get to delve into the new how about we look at the old? 14 years ago Bryan Singer & co, brought the comic book movie back to life with X-Men. It made Hugh Jackman into a star over night and the comic book movie had resurrected from the ashes. What was X-Men all about you ask? After the death of his family at the hands of the Nazis, Magnus, a mutant, vows revenge on all humanity. Meanwhile, a group of good mutants is assembled by Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who trains and cares for them. Magnus, now under the guise of Magneto (Ian McKellen), assembles the villains Sabertooth (Tyler Mane) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijin) to destroy anyone who gets in his way, including a furry Canadian mutant named Logan (Hugh Jackman). A fierce battle ensues between Sabertooth and Wolverine. Xavier’s group, the X-Men, recruits Logan just in time to learn of Magneto’s dastardly plan to destroy the world.
X-Men is a faithful adaptation of the comic book series, without ever falling into the pit of over the top sensibilities. Bryan Singer has played it on the lower keys where the characters come to the fore front; instead of the action. There are a lot of character in X-Men, yet it doesn’t over load you. They may not be fleshed out a lot, but your still are able to understand them and attach yourself to them. The most developed is Wolverine who has a lot of past to uncover, yet it still would have been nice to have more depth on the other characters.The action is kept on the low down, there isn’t a lot of it, and it soars in that respect. With action and special effects kept to the minimum, they have been able to develop the characters and the story. As the special effects are used a lot, it allows the scenery to come forward, and the scenery is visually rich and detailed. X-Men has a real quiet tone, but from this the subtexts really are uncovered. There are a lot of ideas and morals beneath the surface; acceptance, tolerance, bigotry,social stature, and that fear that everyone has when they don’t understand the unknown.
There are some great scenes between Rogue and Wolverine that elevate this from just am action film and really humanise the story. There is a sense of realism to the story, reflecting a lot of the racial intolerance in humanity at our current times.X-Men shows what great casting can lead to. All the actors perfectly fit their roles, with a lot of unknown actors showing some great talent. Hugh Jackman is great as the rugged Wolverine, Famke Janssen wonderful as Jean, same with Halle Berry as Storm, Anna Paquin shines as Rogue, James Marsden also great as Cyclops. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart both are great in their roles, Ian as the determined Magneto and Patrick as the humble Xavier.X-Men is one of the better comic book adaptations as it goes beyond the action and delves deeper to bring a very deep and meaningful story, with so much subtext to explore.