“X” is for X-Men (2000)
enophobia is the main theme in this movie by Bryan Singer. This was perhaps the movie that kick-started the whole superhero genre of movies that we have today. The modern style of comic book characters being transported to the big screen changed when X-Men was released in 2000.
Big budgets, super special effects and big name actors to star was the name of the game and they came none bigger than this blockbusting film. The story centres around the battle between the good mutants (the X-Men) and Magneto’s band of misfits who don’t conform to Professor X’s mantra. We see the introduction of Wolverine to the screen and he is not altogether a happy person, for reasons we will discover in the subsequent sequels and spin-off movies.
The second movie was also quite good, but I prefer the original film as it seemed to have the most care given to it in its making. The sequels always seemed rushed and made purely to make a quick buck for the studio and not for the fans of the actual stories. This is always how it goes though.
The effects were pretty neat in X-Men, but I think it’s the great cast that makes the film work. I mean, Patrick Stewart AND Ian McKellen in the same movie? Wow, that would have pretty unheard of 10 years previously despite their acting prowess in theatre. Also, it’s the fact that the movie is a superhero film, to get these two stalwarts of Shakespearean acting into a film of this style was really quite something.
So of all the X-Men movies, I think I like this one the best, although the recent reboot of the series is also very enjoyable and I am looking forward to X-Men: Days Of Future Past very much and I will of course be reviewing it here when I have seen it.
Fun Fact: Bryan Singer’s first choice to play Wolverine was Russell Crowe, but he turned it down when he was denied a higher fee. Aaron Eckhart, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Viggo Mortensen and Edward Norton were considered for the role (Eckhart and Norton would appear in 2008 unrelated superhero films). Keanu Reeves and Gary Sinise were the studio’s preferred choices for the role. Dougray Scott was cast, but he had to drop out due to schedule conflicts with Mission: Impossible II (2000). Finally a relatively unknown actor, Hugh Jackman, was cast as Wolverine.