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Released: 13th July 2000

Directed By: Bryan Singer

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen

Certificate: 12

Reviewed By: Luke Walkley

The massive comic book series made the leap to the big screen in 2002, with a big name cast and big budget it promised to be one of the most exciting comic book adaptations yet.

Directed by *insert name* X-Men follows the world of humans born with strange powers that cause them to be separated a from the rest of humanity- as the government sets out plans for mutant registration, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrik Stewart) must lead his ‘X-Men’ including Logan aka-Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) Storm (Halle Berry) and Jean Grey(insert name) as they band together against the villainous Magneto (Ian Mckellen) as he schemes to take control of the world using his powers and allies.

The task of recreating one of the most popular comic book series ever made was always a daunting one. X-Men has had several cartoon series and numerous parodies and spin-offs. The idea that normal people have superpowers that are hidden from the rest of humanity is an interesting proposition and it would be hard to deny that as a young child I would imagine

myself with powers similar to those of the mutants- perhaps that is the reason why the comics were so popular? However It may be more to do with the fantastic array of characters there are that possess these powers.
Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Toad, Mystique all have unique powers and they are all beautifully portrayed by the actors and actresses chosen to play them. Hugh Jackman is the embodiment of Wolverine, rugged and wild he is the loose cannon that tries to act out but is reeled in by Xavier and Jean Grey. Mystique, working with Magneto, has the ability to take any shape she desires and the special effects used to do so are brilliant. The fantastic cast is one of the main pulling factors of X-Men. The ability to juggle a number of big names in a productive way is a stumbling block for a lot of other movies- however, X-Men manages it fantastically.

There is fantastic back and forth between the characters.  Logan and Scott (Cyclops) share a love hate relationship with several comical exchanges while Wolverine also shows his soft spot for Rogue, the young girl who accidentally hurts those that she comes into physical contact with. Without these interactions the film would have been in danger of becoming just another action film forgotten about by many.

The film’s special effects are of a consistently high standard- Mystiques shape-shifting and Storms ability to control the weather make for some fantastic visual treats throughout. The scenes involving Magneto are cleverly crafted and add style to the substance.

The film isn’t perfect, it bounces around a fair bit and it can be hard to follow the storyline. The numerous characters are portrayed well while on screen, however the running time was never sufficient to cover all of their back stories and while the film shows their personalities well I would have like to have seen their past explored more.(Something that was addressed in Origins and First Class) However, for this film I felt that it fell slightly short.

All in all, X-Men does a brilliant job of pleasing fans of the franchise as well as fans of film. Offering something for everyone it is certainly one of the most accurate adaptations from a comic while also being one of the most entertaining.

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