The human government develops a cure for mutations, and Jean Gray becomes a darker uncontrollable persona called the Phoenix who allies with Magneto, causing escalation into an all-out battle for the X-Men.
In the 1960s, superpowered humans Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr work together to find others like them, but Erik's vengeful pursuit of an ambitious mutant who ruined his life causes a schism to divide them.
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
In a world where both Mutants and Humans fear each other, Marie, better known as Rogue, runs away from home and hitches a ride with another mutant, known as Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine. Professor Charles Xavier, who owns a school for young mutants, sends Storm and Cyclops to bring them back before it is too late. Magneto, who believes a war is approaching, has an evil plan in mind, and needs young Rogue to help him.Written by
The filmmakers thought the treatment by Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer was perfect, as it took seriously the social issues the X-Men comics were noted for reflecting:
Senator Kelly's proposal of a Mutant Registration Act echoes the efforts of U.S. Congress' efforts to ban Communism in the United States. Kelly brandishes a list of known mutants, and exclaims "We must know who these mutants are and what they can do!", a paraphrase of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who claimed to have a list of known American Communists working in the government.
Kelly further questions whether mutants should be allowed to teach children in school, which mirrors the Section 28 issue (the banning of homosexual teachers in United Kingdom schools, against which Sir Ian McKellen protested).
A deleted scene has Storm teaching a historical lesson about how Emperor Constantine's decree in 312 A.D. ended the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, and eventually led to Christians becoming the majority, which foreshadows Magneto's plot to force world leaders to accept mutant-kind by mutating them.
Magneto talks about the Act having mutants "in chains, with a number burned into their foreheads." The situation he describes, is similar to what happened to Jews and other nonconformists in Nazi Germany (which Magneto experiences in the first scenes).
Magneto's last lines contain the phrase "By any means necessary." This phrase was coined by civil rights revolutionary Malcolm X. The relationship between Magneto and Professor X has been compared, respectively, to that of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom held differing philosophical views.
(at around 31 mins) Mystique pushes Senator Kelly back after he yells, and when he lands against the seat we see her right foot wrap around the back of his head. In the next shot, her foot is just starting to move around to his head. See more »
Prof. Charles Francis Xavier:
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. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.
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The X-Films' title sequences features a weapon used by the villain of each film, backed by the X-Men's Cerebro device. In this film it is Magneto's mutation machine. See more »
The special edition DVD titled X-Men 1.5 features an option to add the deleted scenes back into the film, increasing the runtime to 111 minutes. See more »
With so many movies out right now that are designed solely for entertainment puposes--from "Gone in 60 seconds" to "MI-2" to "Scary Movie"--it is promising to sit through a 90-minute film based on a comic-book that actually gives you an opportunity to think and be challenged.
Bryan Singer's "X-men: The Movie" is nothing more than an introduction to the lives of the characters from the comic book. The very fact that his movie doesn't try to add new elements, or change elements that already existed within the comic, is what makes it so successful.
X-men the comic series has been around for more than 30 years. And for good reason. It has dealt with all of the important elements that good storytelling includes--rejection, loneliness, hope, fear, distrust, love, selfishness, power, and the price you pay for doing what you believe is right. By consistently exploring various difficult elements of humanity, the X-men comic has been able to be not only entertaining but stimulating as well.
Thankfully, Singer's movie translation is no exception. "X-men" is very well executed, with excellent character work for the leads (Logan, Rogue, Magneto and Xavier), a good exploration of the motives of each character, and dialogue that is sharp and intelligent. However, lest you think X-men is only intellectual, let me assure you that the special-effects department has done an incredible job of mingling the human elements of the story with action. From Wolverine's claws to Rogue's devasating touch, from Storm's namesake displays of nature to Magneto's awesome power, "X-men" constantly finds new and arresting ways of showing-off each mutants power. And the closer you get to the end, the more exciting it is.
True, the movie was not perfect. Certain story elements were modified slightly for big-screen adaptation (nothing, however, that is disloyal to the ethic of the series). The soundtrack was only sufficient, rather than being something truly memorable. And not all of the characters were given equal time on screen (some important characters were completely missing).
But for a 90 minute movie that needs an action plot, it's obviously impossible to give all the X-men (and their evil counterparts) equal attention or character development. In fact, the sheer scale of the series alone all but requires a sequel to flesh out what was missing in this first, "Intro to X-men" movie.
Yet, as a beginning exploration of the "X-men" universe, this movie shines. It is attractive, fun and meaningful. Whether you're an X-men fan, you're looking for something that will make you think, you want an action movie, you enjoy sci-fi, or you just want to leave the theater feeling like you didn't just waste a couple of hours and seven bucks, go see Bryan Singer's "X-men." You won't be disappointed.
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