Movie Plot – X-men: In a world where mutants exist and are discriminated against, two groups form for an unavoidable confrontation: the supremacist Brotherhood, and the pacifist X-Men.
Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Tom DeSanto, Bryan Singer, David Hayter
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin
The first X-Men movie
It’s crazy that it’s been more than twenty years since the successful X-Men franchise began. The first comic book movie adaptation to feature the superheroes from Marvel’s comic books in action was directed by Bryan Singer. It was also the first time that Hugh Jackman could be seen as the immensely popular character Wolverine, Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart took on the role of Professor Charles Xavier and the later The Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen got to play the maniacal mutant Magneto.
When Hugh Jackman was first cast as Wolverine, many people were against it. They couldn’t see him in that role. However, today, we can’t see anyone replace him as the Wolverine. Unfortunately, Logan was his last film as this iconic character.
For this comic book movie adaptation, the producers opened a can of popular movie stars. In addition to the stars mentioned, Halle Berry as Storm, James Marsden as Cyclops, Anna Paquin as Rogue, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey and Rebecca Romijn as Mystique can also be seen. These are also the most popular characters from the comic books featured in the first live-action film adaptation. The acting from this ensemble cast is good, although the focus in a film like this is on the bombastic action.
Mutants vs. humans
In X-Men, we are also introduced to the brewing war between humans and mutants for the first time. This is a subject that does take center stage in the X-Men films. A world with mutants would create political debates. This film series does an excellent job of demonstrating this. It also makes you question if you would be okay with mutants around you.
Powers can be used for good things. However, in the hands of evil, this can also be disastrous. So you do understand where humans are coming from, except they’re really harsh on the mutants. It’s like they’re discriminating against them for who they are.
While Professor Xavier offers shelter to mutants on the run, his opponent Magneto devises an ingenious plan to teach humanity a lesson. But the powerful mutant, who has the power to manipulate metal, has not taken into account that the professor with telekinetic powers and his followers are doing everything they can to keep the peace between humans and mutants. The result is a fierce battle in which the mutants fight each other and humanity is in danger.
A group of heroes
Singer has focused his narrative largely on the characters Wolverine and Rogue, who are introduced to the other mutants for the first time in the film and what is thus also the viewer’s introduction to this world. Wolverine is the major action hero of the film, which is a good choice by Singer. He is nicely cynical and sarcastic, making all the fantastical elements easier to swallow and providing welcome humor. In particular, his love triangle with Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Cyclops (Scott Speedman) makes for fun interactions.
It’s a wise decision to put your focus on some characters and not the entire group. It makes the movie more accessible and easier to follow.
There are regular spectacular scenes in the film, but ultimately it’s all about the characters and themes that are handled economically and beautifully. In fact, the great conflict in mutants or the contrast between humans and mutants is all bundled up in the character of Rogue. In fact, she is faced with a force that particularly limits her social life, so she is very unsure what to do with this. For example, everyone she touches falls into a coma. She feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere and goes into a kind of identity crisis. The struggle in her character will later become a thread that runs through the series. It gives the theme as a whole a human face and the film a heart. The fact that there are also funny one-liners spouted and spectacular fights can be enjoyed is only a bonus.
X-men is a good movie and a great start to its series. It’s not perfect, but it’s highly re-watchable.