HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  X-Men Extra SpecialBuy this film here.
Year: 2000
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Tyler Mane, Ray Park, Rebecca Romijn, Bruce Davison, Matthew Sharp, Shawn Ashmore, Sumela Kay, Katrina Florece, Alex Burton, Doug Lennox, Stan Lee
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: In Poland back in 1944, a group of Jews were being led to the death camps by the Nazis when a young Jewish boy was separated from his parents, causing him great anguish, so much so that the terrible emotions brought out a latent power in him that enabled him to bend open the metal gates. Now, he has grown to call himself Magneto (Ian McKellen) and is aware he is what is known as a mutant, that is the apparent next stage in evolution where homo sapiens becomes homo superior, each example with incredible abilities. However, Magneto believes the so-called normal people will never accept those with these powers in their midst, unlike his old friend Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), another mutant who wishes to live in harmony...

So who is right? This was the movie that really kicked off the superhero craze of the twenty-first century, there had been other productions based on Marvel properties before, and Blade had proved a substantial hit a couple of years before, not to mention the Batman films from DC which had recently hit a snag when they became unpopular, but it took director Bryan Singer to demonstrate you didn't have to be a comics nut thoroughly versed in the ins and outs of decades of storylines to enjoy a movie with this basis. Interesting to note the presence of director Richard Donner behind the scenes, for his Superman: The Movie had done much the same over twenty years before.

However, that blockbuster did not start a notable trend, and X-Men and its near-contemporary Spider-Man did, downplaying the quips and emphasising the allegories of prejudice to elicit a serious response in the audience. They didn't necessarily pull this off with every viewer, as it was accused in some quarters of bad taste to make connections between fictional characters and the Holocaust's effect on Europe's Jewish population, but as the franchise carried on it became more accepted that the mutants could stand in for any oppressed group in society you wished them to. In this case, Singer seemed unable to make up his mind between them being allied with the Jews or the homosexuals; you imagine creator Stan Lee would have seen the former and Singer the latter.

This resulted in imagery evoking the Jewish immigration from Europe to the United States prompted by World War Two among other things, yet also situations where the mutants were compelled to hide their true feelings to try and fit in with the community in a connection to the gay experience prior to coming out. Mind you, the antagonism the mutants suffer from the conventional population both results in Xavier's drive to be accepted as not a threat but a blessing, and Magneto's belief that they will be exterminated if they do not stand up for themselves and land the first punch, and the cynic would be siding with him as the history of the human race and their need to scapegoat and blame would be regarded as proving Magneto correct.

Did X-Men have an uphill battle that could be encapsulated in the wish for Marvel movies to be accepted too? Not quite, as while not everyone wants expressly to be Jewish or gay, you either are or you aren't, being a superhero did have its benefits, and ones which many of those in the potential audience would be keen to entertain as power fantasies. As with many first instalments, there was the curse of the origin tale to this, meaning there were threads set up that would not be resolved until you had to assume a later date, but Singer was able to make enough of a self-contained movie that it didn't become too much of an issue, after all there was no guarantee back in 2000 that this would be a "universe"-spawning success. Unlike the future X-Men entries, the tendency to sprawl was kept in check with well-cast individuals, Hugh Jackman finding his defining role as Wolverine for example, though the actresses were less fortunate in finding identifiable heroines when as often with Marvel it was a boy's club first. Nice to see genuine teamwork for the finale, though. Music by Michael Kamen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 628 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: