X-Men (2000)

Based on the hit comic book from Marvel Comics, we go into the not too distant future where a brand-new race of highly evolved human beings born with super powers are constantly ostracized with prejudice by the human race. The revolutionary Professor X leads a band of peaceful mutants who want nothing but to live and co-exist peacefully with humans, but he is constantly troubled by senators who want to treat the new race and keep them on tabs by a program called “Mutant Registration”. Now, his powerful metal controlling adversary known as Magneto who leads evil fugitive mutants who seek to halt Professor X’ plans and strike down the human race. I was really looking forward to “X-Men” since its initial announcement from Fox about its production.

The X-men has always been a multi-faceted superhero team that looked great as a child, but then revealed the subtext of race, religion, and the universal feeling of being an outcast. I have to say, for someone who isn’t versed in comic books, Singer’s adaptation is great with a lot of amazing explosive special-effects that worked and worked well, though the movie is a little darker and colorful from the comic, it stays loyal to the comic and never makes things up for the purposes of drama. Though Singer does change the costumes which will undoubtedly irk many fans, he keeps the general sentiment of the themes of X-men present consistently. Singer presents us with a very murky, and sharp sense of style which makes the film feel sleek and futuristic in spite of taking place in modern times. The movie went through a dozen screenplay revisions but Bryan Singer’s took notice thankfully.

Originally, Joss Whedon wanted to do a film that was more humorous, and gladly none of that is seen here (Though, According to Joss Whedon, the exchange between Wolverine and Cyclops when Cyclops doesn’t know if Wolverine’s an imposter (“Prove it!” “You’re a dick.”) is the only line of dialogue of his rewrite of the script that made it on screen). The dark backgrounds accompanied by the undertones of racism and bigotry work well here, and Singer is able to squeeze in much of those thoughts within the short run time. Singer gives us, the comic geek a great portrait of our band of merry mutants while letting newcomers feast on the action glory. What really puzzled me is that the X-men seem to be given more time on-screen yet the arch-enemies never truly have enough emphases to warrant them as a valid threat to the cause of the X-men.

The writer’s oddly felt compelled to sympathize for the X-men and feature the villains as one-dimensional when much of the comics featured both the heroes and villains prominently painting both opposing sides as conflicted, and fighting for a cause they believed to be the right path. Though the plot and characters are explosive, there are many problems with this, for instance: they never put much emphasis on other characters, except Wolverine and Rogue, I would’ve loved to hear more about Cyclops, Jean Grey, or Storm. Everyone except Wolverine or Rogue had little dialogue and little emphases. In spite of its flaws in terms of character emphases, “X-Men” is a very good comic book adaptation with great performances, true entertainment value, and wonderful direction thanks to Singer.