Retro-Review: X-Men

The Comic Side
(A Review for the X-Fanatic)

It’s official the Marvel movies curse has been cured.

The world’s best selling comic book bursts on to the silver screen bringing a wild ride that is sure to capture every comic book fan since 1989’s Batman. The very loose story brings Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (Anna Paquin) into the X-Men’s world. Within that world, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) learns that the evil Magneto (Ian McKellan) wants to use a mutant to aid him in his cleansing of the world.

For an adaptation loyal to the comic, this film is sure to draw in the fans. The allure that has captivated readers for over 30 years definitely reigns supreme in this film. Doing a film review for a comicbook that I have read since my early childhood is very difficult because I am so in touch with the back history associated with this film. The film really made my inner child cheer as I loved the effects and depictions of the comic come to life.

As a comic fan my favorite portrayal was Wolverine who was perfectly cast and extremely loyal to his comic incarnation. Hugh Jackman is a definite standout from the cast and has a lot of potential to shine in Hollywood. Jackman’s deep portrayed of the wandering Wolverine brings a lot to the rugged looks and feral expressions experienced by the character. I liked the way Jackman made Wolverine explode at one moment and be almost human the next. The shock and embarrassment of a man trapped inside Wolverine is amazing. All of these things made me wonder why don’t they do just a Wolverine film.

Freeze! Or I push the button!

Another favorite portrayal was Patrick Stewart who brings the mutant world together. He is our tour guide to their world. Within the presence that is Patrick Stewart we believe what he is saying is very credible. If his character was played by anyone else I am sure that this element would have been lost.

With a lot of comicbook movies a lot of characters aren’t necessarily a good thing. In this film I felt that with so many characters the story seemed to feel the strain. Even as a comicbook fan just trying to follow the story I was always left with questions like how and why did Rogue end up in Canada? A lot of these questions made me really feel for the guy who probably doesn’ t have any idea who these characters are and why are they against each other. Placing that conflict aside this film is pure action and will captivate a lot of comic fans.

“X-Men” isn’t the greatest comicbook movie of all time but it sure is among the top five.

(4.5 of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

The Public Side
(A Review for the average person)

A lot of flash and special effects bring us into a hidden world. The world of the X-Men.

Two lost runaways, Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Marie (Anna Paquin), are different from the rest of us. But as they deny their difference or mutation and try to run from it they are pulled into a war brewing between two factions of the mutant liberation movement. Scared, confused and not wanting to be a part of this war, the runaways are doing all they can to adapt. Through their eyes we begin to see what their world is actually like as they try to survive. To aid them on their quest is a school for gifted students run by a sympathetic and powerful man named Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).

For the average action, special effects and summer movie fan this film will really excite them. But for no reason should we try to cover up the fact that this is a comicbook movie and it may not be successful to a lot of people. The reason I believe this lies within the screenplay adaptation itself. Like a lot of novel adaptations brought to film there is always a deeper layer not revealed on film. I know a lot of people who hate novels being presented on film for that distinct reason. X-Men succeeds if you know the underlining story.

Anyone need a recharge?

Another problem with the adaptation will be the very existence of these extraordinary characters. With a lot of novel adaptations these kinds of pitfalls are never really there. And making them believable to a mass audience isn’t completely achieved here. The reason I have to mention is that there are to many of them and they all have a distinct and different mutation. This really hurts the film’s universal appeal.

X-Men is a wicked ride with no substance for the non-comic fan.

(3 of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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