Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Comic book extravaganza #5: X-Men

Staring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin.
Director: Bryan Singer.

I really do love this film. It’s not my favorite of the bunch, but this is what really legitimized comic book films of the recent decade. Sure there was Superman in the 70s, and then Batman in the late 80s and early 90s, but both ended up bringing nothing but cheap knockoffs and sequels to plate. While Blade made Marvel big, X-Men secured Marvel’s future in the business and the future for all good modern comic book films.

I’m a longtime fan of X-men, not such a huge comic book reader – I had other interests before comic books quickly faded from my life in the early 90s – I loved the mid-90s X-men show. Needless to say, my expectations were high. I still remember the excitement I had seeing this film in the theaters all those years ago (well, 7 at least…). The film quickly blew past the “comic book” feel, adopting a much more realistic view of the universe – anything less would have made it far too corny for the quality of movie they were pushing. There was very little suspension of disbelief needed – believing that genetic mutations are real is about it – since the viewer is actually presented with a universe that could take place right now. And, no yellow spandex.

Sure Jackman is tall (too tall for some people), but he carried the film extraordinarily well. But come on, size isn’t everything people. He ends up being the focus of the film because he’s the most popular of the characters. One of the few missteps in the film was Rogue, though Anna Paquin does carry the role as well as she could. Much of the focus is on them, which frankly is fine as they are just introducing the characters to us.

The best casting of the film was undeniably Patrick Stewart as Xavier and Ian McKellen as Magneto.

So people were mad because Gambit was not in the film. Nightcrawler, not in the film. Iceman, Pyro, and Jubilee are reduced to background characters in just about one or two scenes.

Small price to pay for what we get in X2.


1 comment:

Matt Ramone said...

"Wait, wait, wait. You're telling us that well-written movies starring talented actors and directed by competant-to-good directors will make for good movies? Bullshit!"

-Studio execs of America