X-Men ***1/2

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“X-Men” is the first big movie from the Marvel canon. It wasn’t the first blockbuster movie based on a comic book but it is arguably the film that reignited the genre. It remains one of the best movies in the X-men franchise that has seen some ups and downs.

The plot involves Magneto played by Ian McKellan. and his plans to transform pretty much the whole world in to mutants. The only ones standing in his way are Professor Xavier and his X-men. The team consists of Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, Storm, played by Halle Berry, Jean Grey played by Famke Janssen and Cyclops played by James Marsden. Some members in training include Rogue and Ice Man.

What stood out for me was how much weight each of the characters personal stories were given. Director Bryan Singer and his writers seem more interested in what it is like to be a mutant in the real world, which gives the action some serious stakes. We are involved most of the way through.

My only issue with this movie is that it is made with some serious budget constraints and it shows compared to later entries in to this franchise. Some CGI shots have not stood the test of time.

Super hero movies are rarely this well acted an directed. This movie paved the way for “X2” which was one of the best examples of the entire genre. This was an awesome lead in though.

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