X-Men (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|It's a special effects film based on the popular Marvel Comic superheroes.|
not-too-distant future, there is a large core of mutants
amongst us. We fear them, and persecute them and they, in
turn, fight back against the human race with their evil
Except for a small cadre of young mutants under the guidance of Professor Xavier, who study at his special Mutant Academy (they rarely lose a sporting event). They are resolved to use their mutant powers for the greatest good of the planet, and they accept that they are not a separate race, but humans with exceptional gifts.
|These superheroes aren't omnipotent like
Superman or my dad. They can't outrun light or turn back
time or move planets to a new orbit. They have much more
modest powers. One of them has the power to open any
present so that the wrapping can be reused. Another has
the power to correctly calculate a 15% tip to several
decimal places, and a third knows the words to all the
Beatles' songs. There are twin sisters, one of whom
always knows her exact latitude, while her twin always
knows the longitude, so together they can always
determine where they are. Another hero can speed-read
quite fast, one can do a pretty good impersonation of
Edith Piaf, and I think one of the bad guys has the power
to choose the winning place to scratch in those
scratch-off lottery tickets. And there's a guy named toad
who has the power to flick out his tongue really far and
fast, and he would be quite popular with the female
superheroes except that his other superpower is puking
out green slime. And then Wolverine has the power to win
at professional wrestling, Captain Picard has the
super-ability to deliver any line so that it sounds
pompous and meaningful, and Rebecca Romijn has the power
not to talk, which makes this her best acting role by
The plot and dialogue are cliched and completely predictable, rounding up the usual comic book suspects, but who cares? If you want to see clever dialogue and plot, rent Sleuth. This is a comic book, for heaven's sake.
This film has some strong points:
1. Much better acting than you would expect from a comic book movie. Some of the characters are developed nicely, but frankly, there are simply too many of them for 104 minutes of movie. (The first cut was 136 minutes)
2. Excellent f/x
3. Superior art and set design.
4. The fact that Magneto is right. He may be extreme in his response, but he correctly sees the human treatment of mutants as precisely parallel to the Nazi treatment of Jews. (He was in a concentration camp.) This is true within the context of the film, as well as within the boundaries of what really would happen to us with mutants in our midst. You know damned well that politicians would exploit people's fears to advance their own careers. If there were realy mutants amongst us, Pat Buchanan could get elected. I really enjoyed seeing the very serious Ian McKellan make a complete fool of himself as Magneto. He's not exactly the first guy you think of to play the role, but it worked out great, much more believable than if they had gotten the usual cartoon bad guys like Gary Oldman, because Magneto is not supposed to be a deluded psychotic. He is a guy who sees himself in charge of the Jewish community, living in the Third Reich. Great casting, and a great job by McKellan.
I do enjoy thinking about what Magneto could have been if they had cast differently. How about Samuel L Jackson in the role? "Magnetism is the one power to have when you absolutely have to kill every motherfucker on the planet."
really enjoyed Hugh Jackman as the conflicted and cynical
Wolverine. He had the most complex role, the silliest
haircut, and the best lines, and he did a good job with
it. If you rent or buy the DVD, I strongly recommend
watching Jackman's screen test. I've never seen a better
screen test in my life, for any type of movie. When he
showed up on the set, he already was Wolverine, and he
already had the timing perfect. He managed to do in a
screen test, with just his voice, his eyebrows, and
turning his neck, everything that they accomplished in
the final scene with editing and cutting and remixing and
retakes and all the Hollywood tricks. Outstanding.
In other words, the film is really cool. OK, I admit that it is sound and fury, signifying nothing. So what? I don't think you care about that if you like comic book superhero movies. And if if you do like them, I'm pretty sure you'll like this one. And if you don't like this kind of movie, there's always plenty of dust gathering on "Babette's Feast" down at Blockbuster.
Hell, I don't especially like this kind of movie, but I enjoyed this one.
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