“X-Men” was directed and co-written by Bryan Singer and based on the comic book superhero team of the same name from Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Marvel Comics. The film stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davidson, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ray Park, Tyler Mane, Anna Paquin & Shawn Ashmore. This would be the first film in a 20 year run of sequels, prequels & spinoffs with 20th Century Fox before they would be bought out by Disney.
U.S. Senator Robert Kelley (Davidson) proposes the law to Congress in which “mutants” to reveal not just their identities but their powers as well. Among the crowd is Erik Lehnsherr (McKellan) a mutant with the ability to control and manipulate metal, who now goes by the name Magneto and his opposing telepathic friend, Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart). A young woman, Marie D’Ancanto (Paquin) runs away from her Mississippi home after her ability to absorb powers & life force puts her boyfriend in a coma. She adopts the name, Rogue and ends up in Alberta, Canada where she meets another mutant, Logan (Jackman) who is known as “The Wolverine”. Together, they are attacked by one of Magneto’s mutants, Sabertooth (Mane). Before he’s able to finish off Wolverine, 2 of Xavier’s mutants save them. Storm (Berry) & Cyclops (Marsden) bring them to Xavier’s “School for Gifted Youngsters” in Westchester, New York. While Rogue enrolls in the school, Wolverine joins Xavier, Storm, Cyclops & another telepath, Dr. Jean Grey (Janssen) to stop Magneto and his group of mutants which include Sabretooth, the shape shifter, Mystique (Romijn-Stamos) & the reptilian hybrid, Toad (Park) from causing destruction to those against mutants.
I grew up watching the 90s animated shows along with Spider-Man & Batman, so then this movie came out and even as 9 year old in 2000 this was a great movie. From the acting to the storytelling and everything in between. The introduction of so many mutants at once was handled very well. Having veteran actors like Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellan in these really gave the film an unbelievable amount of credibility. Combined that with strong performances from Halle Berry & Hugh Jackman who were relatively newcomers and not the household names that would eventually become. Bryan Singer definitely bought the characters from the books to the big screen which be the beginning of something greater. My only complaint with this film is the visuals which looked cool at the time but didn’t really aged well in today’s day & age.
Overall, this was great movie in all the way around. Even though the superhero genre had not taken off despite the huge success of the “Superman” films in the 80s & the “Batman” films of the 90s, the new millennium would be the start of a new wave of movies based on comic books. Fox would follow this film in 2003 with “X2: X-Men United” & 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand”. Hugh Jackman’s performance was great and earned him & his character his spinoff trilogy, 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, 2013’s “The Wolverine” & 2017’s “Logan”. The X-Men films returned with 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” which serve as prequel to Fox’s original trilogy. 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” & 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” soon followed. 2019’s “Dark Phoenix” was the final chapter in the film’s overall story. A majority of original cast would return including Jackman, Stewart, McKellan & Berry while other characters were either killed off or replaced all together. 2017 also saw another spinoff in form of “Deadpool”. The character was in “X-Men Origins” but eventually got his own film then a 2019 sequel. This first X-Men film was great & set the standard for the films to follow. While some were great, some were solid & others were just awful, Fox planned to released a new film, “The New Mutants” however with many delays and then Fox being bought by Disney who knows when that film will come out. Now, with the X-Men back under Marvel, the future is a mystery but can only be good things.