One of the greatest teams of superheroes forms at a school for gifted youngsters in “X-Men.” Wolverine must team up with Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Professor X to stop Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth and Toad. Along the way, we get some of the best and worst one liners, nice throwbacks to the comics and amazing attitude that remind us why Hugh Jackman is expected to appear in as many “X-Men” movies as possible.
This is one of my favorite superhero movies of all time. It was the second movie I ever saw in theaters more than once and the first I went to see three times. I was hooked from the beginning. Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin and Famke Janssen all shine in their respective roles. Even James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn and Halle Berry are solid in this film. Watching this film way back in 2000, it was easy to tell that they were setting up for a sequel and they were going to get it. It was a great start to more than just a series but a full franchise. While some of the other films don’t live up to the hype, this is one of the greats and it’s fun to watch.
The dialogue in this film is hit or miss. When Wolverine asks if the “X-Men” really go outside in their superhero suits and Cyclops responds “What would you prefer? Yellow Spandex?” it’s an amazing link to the original “X-Men” comic book and a nice bit of snark. The animosity, yet begrudging respect between Wolverine and Cyclops was great in the comics, but it drives a lot of the humor in this film. Jackman and Marsden have great chemistry in these roles and it’s a great building block that will continue in the next film.
Unfortunately, there’s some weak dialogue in this film as well. The worst is when Storm is about to strike Toad with lightning and asks him what happens when a toad is struck by lightning. That setup needed a witty punchline, unfortunately we got the lame “the same thing that happens to everything else.” That’s no slight on Halle Berry who delivered the line as best she could. It’s a slight at the screenwriter who wrote that terrible line of dialogue. While I love this film, in retrospect, the dialogue is clunky and needs some improvement. We would see improvement in most subsequent films but here I’m just glad there’s some good lines. And, while the dialogue is certainly clunk at times, the action is amazing.
There are better “X-Men” films than this, but there are certainly worse “X-Men” films as well. We see the beginnings of greatness, but also see some of the flaws that will make the weaker films in the franchise possible. There are some great actors who will bring these roles to life. There are some okay actors whose performances will be bolstered by being in scenes with the great actors. And, there’s some bad acting along the way. Still, I will always recommend superhero fans watch this film. I may not recommend every film in the franchise, but you can’t go wrong with the beginning of the “X-Men.”