Directed by Bryan Singer
Starring Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Famke Jannsen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ian McKellin, Tyler Mane, Ray Park, Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, and Bruce Davison.
It seems, that for the past few years, there has been one summer blockbuster that I await with baited breath. In ’97, it was Batman & Robin (please forgive me). ’99 brought about a near-obsession with Episode I. And now, at the dawn of a new millenium, we have X-Men. I wasn’t too familiar with the X-Men. My only knowledge comes from the cartoon and Cole’s-notes-style breakdowns of major storylines told to me by my friend Kenten. But still, it was enough for me to be primed, and hopefully be enough to erase my guilt over having looked forward to Batman & Robin that eagerly.
In the not to distant future (dontcha just love that setting?) people are born with mutations, giving them super-powers. One such individual is Rouge (Paquin), a teen girl with the ability to suck the life force out of people. When she discovers this power, she runs off to Northern Alberta, where she encounters one of the most well-known mutants in the X-universe, Wolverine (Jackman). Wolverine’s powers are a hightened healing factor (wounds heal instantly), hightened senses, a skeleton laced with the world’s hardest metal, and foot-long claws that pop out of his fists. Soon, these two are brought into the world of Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart), who trains mutants to use their powers, and help humankind adjust to these evolved humans. Among the Professor’s team: Cyclops (Marsden), who shoots energy beams out his eyes, Jean Grey (Jennsen), who’s telekinetic and telepathic, and Storm (Berry) who can control the weather. Soon, this team has to be roused to stop Magneto (McKellan) and his “brotherhood:” Toad (Park), who hops around and has a really long tounge, Sabertooth (Mane), who’s 8 feet tall, cat-like, and nothing but muscle, and Mystique (Romjin-Stamos), a shapeshifter who can look like anyone. Magneto had a diabolical plot afoot to turn all the humans in the world into mutants, and thus force everyone to be treated the same. Can the X-Men stop him? Will Wolverine be able to learn his past? Can they work together as a team?
This movie ROCKS!! Australian actor Jackman, making his North American debut, just completely fills the role of Wolverine. When he makes his appearance, he IS Wolverine. Marsden makes a pretty good Cyclops, and I kinda wish we got to see more of him. Stewart just fills the role of the Professor perfectly, and Paquin brings to life the appropriate fear that a person would have when they learn they can suck the life force out of someone. McKellan is great. Magneto is not really a villain, but an ends-justifies-the-means kind of guy. He wants equality now, and will kill for it. Great doses of action, humor, and even a quick mention to home, makes this the perfect summer blockbuster. While not completely perfect, it’s the best there is right now.