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Day 52: June 21st, 2010


The comic book film that re-started this generation.

Mutants are feared and hated, they have special abilities that humans don't. Magneto is a mutant who believes a war is brewing between mutants and mankind, so he sets out to turn everyone into a mutant. Professor Xavier and his team of X-Men believe mankind is good and can live peacefully with mutants, they must stop him.

There have been many comic book films before X-Men, the most notable ones are Superman and Batman, yet there have even been lesser known comic book characters getting their big screen debut before the mutants. Tank Girl, Blade and The Crow all got their chance and they did pretty well (well, maybe not tank girl) but I think it was X-Men that kick started this wave of comic book films that we have today. 2 years later we got Spider-Man and then every other film coming out was based on a comic book. X-Men, ten years later, still remains to be one of the better adaptations.

The key role in the success of this film was the casting choices. Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier is not only a stroke of genius, but the most obvious choice. Newcomer Hugh Jackman gives us a dead on portrayal of Logan aka Wolverine and since this film has become a superstar in Hollywood, even getting his own film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Ian McKellen plays the villain Magneto and even though his physical appears make him appear fragile, his use of speech and demeanor make him terrifying in a unique way, you believe that he is as dangerous as they say.

Being a big fan of the comics, I was anticipating this film with a big smile on my face. I liked it then and as I mentioned earlier, it still holds up today. There are some shoddy special effects that jump out at you more now than ever, but as a whole, this comic book adaptation hits the right notes. Bryan Singer uses homosexuality as a comparing theme for mutants. Being a homosexual himself, he seemed to be able to portray the issues of separation and isolation that mutants feel. This is further explored in the sequel.

I can help but feel that by the film's conclusion, they could have gone a little bigger. The conflict between Sabretooth and Wolverine is not as engaging as a fan of the comics would want and the changing of Rogue into the Jubliee character from the animated series might rub some people the wrong way. Sabretooth is not as vicious as he could be and Rogue is an annoying teenage girl.

X-Men is a good film that is shy of being great. Everything that was mishandled here was made right in the sequel. X-Men proved that comic book films can be smart and not just for fans/geeks who collect comics.