Directed By: Bryan Singer
Story By: Tom DeSanto & Bryan Singer
Written By: David Hayter
Cinematography: Newton Thomas Sigel
Editor: Kevin Stitt, John Wright & Steven Rosenblum
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Bruce Davison, Tyler Mane, Ray Park,
In a world where mutants (evolved super-powered humans) exist and are discriminated against, two groups form for an inevitable clash: the supremacist Brotherhood, and the pacifist X-Men.
While it was one of the first Marvel movies and one of the bigger superhero series of films to come to the big screen. It seems like it is more remembered as the arrival of -actor Hugh Jackman as a leading man. As in the role he was rebellious and full of charm And swagger. Which pretty much saves the film. As he is also our guide into the world of the film. Even after being introduced ways in.
The film has plenty of special effects which are expected, but strangely feels bland not only now but even when seeing it in the theater after its opening weekend.
At first, I was a bit put off by grown adults running around in costumes. Thinking it would look silly. Sort of like a professional wrestler dressing the same In Real life and that being their personality. Luckily here it is more modern, stylish and leather. So not as bad as one might think.
Other than Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart is good in the film. The other scene stealers are Rebecca Romijn and the always excellent Ian McKellen.
As one of the first of its kind before the superhero movie boom took effect. Which this film is responsible for. It was exciting watching this film. As there are some expectations but also the feeling that the sky’s The limit. So you are ready for whatever it wants to throw. Here it is fantasy but also a harsh dose of reality.
Anna Paquin as Rogue is at the center of the film. Though other than the opening the character and performance go more into the background. More as a damsel in distress and comes off as boring (a fate that would last throughout the franchise of the movies she appeared in)
She Is supposed to Have this grand peer that in later films makes better characters and even here the villains are after badly. Then turn her more into an afterthought. Especially in comparison to the other films.
This is why Hugh Jackman’s character introduction into the mutant world being also the audience works better. Also as he doesn’t seem to be as ashamed of himself.
The film seems like director Bryan Singer was a little bit over his head and out of his element. As he was trying to create this fantastic world and bring it into reality but also on a certain budget. That would be doubled if not tripled in today’s film market. So the film at times feels like there is some cost cutting. When certain scenes feel like they should be more open and extravagant. This might be why the film feels like it never achieves a grandiosity you hope for, the later films filled in and that was more what they were all about.
Bryan Singer usually has a cold and distant directing style that is more clinical. Which doesn’t always match the material here. As it is more a comic book film comes to life. Made more for adults, but it also seems drained of much fun and humor. Not to mention cramming a lot into one film.
Look at the character of sabretooth wolverine’s nemesis in the comic books. He is dealt with and almost soon forgotten. Treated more like an ineffectual henchman.
Other than magneto and mystique goes for the rest of the villains. Who never comes across as any true threat. Just more like distractions.
The film isn’t as grand or spectacular as you would think a film of this magnitude should be.
It’s strange Director Bryan Singer when he started his career made vivid thrillers and dramas that were filled with good performances and creepy nature. That seems to have avoided those types of films. Which of anything tended to show his strengths.
Then he started more to make big budgeted special effects loaded fantasy films that while good to passable show more of his weaknesses
As a director, he brings a certain prestige to his films, and maybe as a director who is distant and ambiguous that works. Especially when your film is more about special effects than characters and acting.
Here He seems to try and mix the two which ends up not working as elegantly as hoped for. As a director, you are required to have a much more sly hand. Which isn’t here. As he never builds the characters before the effects. Here it seems the reverse.
Not to mention all the personal controversy he has had more recently.