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, Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people and others who were considered to be subhuman by 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. See more »
(at around 31 mins) The amount of sun hitting Senator Kelly in the helicopter scene with him and Mystique. 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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This is the only X-Men movie that does not use the "flipping comic pages" Marvel logo, as it did not exist at the time. See more »
For the airing on cable network FX, Wolverine's response "You're a dick" is replaced with "You're a dork." See more »
"X-Men" is a rare treat-- a blockbuster that lives up to its hype and a comic book adaptation that hits the mark.
Along with Tim Burton's "Batman", this stands head and shoulders above all other superhero movies. It's a genre that's usually synonymous with silly, campy, cartoonish crap, but Bryan Singer delivers a long-awaited exception to the rule. "X-Men" is smart, stylish, and very cool... one of the better sci fi/fantasy films of the last decade.
Of course, it helps to have good source material.
The X-Men comics, which originated in the 1960s, are more politically progressive and morally complex than older superhero stories such as "Superman" where the heroes are always right, and truth, justice, and the American Way always prevail. The series is a well-crafted parable about individuality and discrimination. The characters are mutants--struggling to find a place in a society that rejects them. Its primary villain, Magneto, isn't an evil lunatic-- he's a sympathetic character, a misguided revolutionary playing Huey Newton to Professor Xavier's Martin Luther King. The iconic character, Wolverine, is a beer-swilling anti-hero who cares little for ideals and fights only to protect himself and his loved ones. The female characters are as powerful and important as the men, rather than being mere love interests.
Rather than making just another flashy explosion-per-minute-special-effects-extravaganza, Singer practices the lost arts of character and plot development. As a result, the movie has a far greater depth than the average big budget summer flick. The acting is also quite good on the whole. Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine, is fantastic--a bona fide Clint Eastwood caliber badass. Some of the dialogue is fairly cheesy, but in the hands of Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart it sounds quite convincing. (Stewart has made a career out of making lame dialogue sound cool.)
Hard-core fans of the comics have complained about the omission of several popular X-Men. This is silly. A movie that gave the background on every character in the comic books would be 6 hours long. There will be plenty of time to develop new characters in the forthcoming sequels. Fans have also complained about the casting of Anna Paquin as Rogue. I disagree. Rogue is unable to touch another human being without harming them--she would not realistically act like a confident, sassy warrior. Paquin did a tremendous job of conveying the fear and isolation that such a young woman would feel. She will undoubtedly grow into the part in future movies.
In the end, "X-Men" is a comic book movie. Superpowers are explained with silly pseudoscientific babble, the plot revolves around a fairly ridiculous take-over-the-world scheme, and names like "Magneto" are spoken with a straight face. Don't read all the glowing reviews and expect Citizen Kane. But don't underestimate "X-Men" either. It is an intelligent movie that people will enjoy whether or not they are familiar with the comic.
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