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Movie Reviews

X Men  

Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)
Xavier (Patrick Stewart)
Magneto (Ian McKellen)
Rogue (Anna Paquin)
Jean Grey (Famke Janssen)
Cyclops (James Marsden)
Storm (Halle Berry)
Mystique (Rebecca Romin-Stamos)

Directed by Bryan Singer Written by David Hayter, based on the story by Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer from the comic books by Marvel
Rated PG-13 for action violence Running Time: 104 minutes Distributed by 20th Century Fox

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X-Men is a fantastic and accurate film adaptation of the popular comic book series. The X-Men are a group of genetic mutants with amazing abilities, brought together and some trained by the world's most powerful telepath, Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart). The team includes, Wolverine (Jackman), whose knuckles sprout out sharp claws, Dr. Jean Gray (Janssen), who can move objects with her mind, Cyclops (Marsden), who can shoot lasers from his eyes, Storm (Berry), who can create and control weather, and Rogue (Paquin), who by touch can absorb other mutants powers. The X-Men's motto is to have a world where the mutant minority and human majority can live together in harmony-to be judged not by their differences, but by their character. However, the Mutant Master of Magnetism, Magneto (McKellen), who is scarred by the human brutality he experienced in the Holocaust, has come to believe that the mutant race is superior to humanity, and should rule the world. His team of mutants includes Mystique (Romin-Stamos), who is a shape shifter with blue skin, Sabretooth (Mane), a 7-ft. tall animal mutant, and Toad (Park), who can scale walls and has a 12-ft long tongue. Now with danger and sentiment prevailing at every turn, the X-Men strive to protect the very humans that fear and hate them.

X-Men is one of the better films to come out this summer. It is also one of the best comic book film adaptations ever made, behind the original Batman and Superman films. Bryan Singer does a very good job of directing the film. He blends in quick action with steadfast drama, which results in an entertaining film. X-Men is a dramatic story and Singer makes sure of that. It is about people with different abilities, feelings and adaptations to defending the world that hates them. Singer, who previously directed The Usual Suspects, has been attached to the X-Men film every since 1995. There has been so much pressure put on him to bring back the comic book film franchises, and also picky X-Men fans having been slobbering for a film adaptation of the character fill comic. All I can say in regards to all the pressure on Singer, is that the director can sit back, do some X-Men sequels and let the praise roll. His mission is accomplished.

David Hayter gets credited for writing the script, even though many other sources (including Singer and Stan Lee) had contributions to the script. Before this film was made, I said to myself, "The only way X-Men can be created for the big screen and be enjoyable, is if the writing is close and very accurate to the comic book series". And honestly, the script is. The writing is very well balanced, as I say before, with the action and drama. The relationships are the stronghold of the whole story, especially the relationship between Rogue and Wolverine. The script does have a few one-liners, but they aren't cheesy like most recent comic book films (Ex. Spawn, Blade, Batman and Robin). The only aspect that I thought should have been emphasized more in the film was Magneto's mutation machine; it was just there with no explanation of how it works. Overall, the adaptation of X-Men is very pleasing.

The acting ensemble is made up of two British stage veterans and many up and coming actors. The whole cast is pretty good and well rounded. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, who play Professor X and Magneto, steal every scene they are in, as always. Hugh Jackman breaks through as an instant Hollywood lead actor, with his ferocious and in-depth performance as Wolverine. Anna Paquin and Famke Janssen serve up balance and patient portrayals of Rogue and Jean Grey. Also, Halle Berry is suprisingly good as Storm, and Rebecca Romin-Stamos is very slick and mysterious as Mystique.

I recommend seeing X-Men, it is smart, fun and most of all a true adaptation of the popular comic. Watch for this film to make a ton of money worldwide and on video.

Report Card Grade: B+

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