There was a time when the X-Men franchise was of no interest to me. That was before I knew it was about Marvel superheroes. Clearly this changes everything.
X-Men (2002) Marvel Review
Logan (Hugh Jackman) is drifting. His entire past is nothing but a glimmer; and he has no idea what or who he once was. Now, with nothing but his extraordinary, unexplained powers, he travels from place to place, sport boxing, and he feels nothing. That’s when the young Marie (Anna Paquin) stumbles into his path. Poor Marie is a teenager looking for a normal life, something that goes out the window when her first kiss results in her boyfriend going into a coma. Something about her touch is poison. Confused, Marie leaves home.
Marie becomes Logan’s unwilling shadow, and soon the two of them encounter trouble from Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), a mutant who is a part of Magneto (Ian McKellan) and his band of baddies. Scott Summers (James Marsden) and Storm (Halle Berry) rescue them, two of Charles Xavier’s students. Rejecting everything Professor X (Patrick Stewart) offers to teach him, Logan finds the school he runs useless. His physical wound healed, from the care he receives from Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Logan again prepares to flee, until his instinct kicks in and he finds he cannot help but protect the young Marie.
While watching this, one thing that amuses me is how “outdated” it is. To put my finger on just what is most archaic is impossible, though there are obvious instance, and such is the business and progression of moviemaking. Beyond this quibble, the movie that started it all is good. I like all of the character interactions, especially that of Logan and Marie. She has this good-girl-almost-gone-bad vibe, which makes for an interesting character study.
FILM REVIEW | X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
The cornerstone of the main plot is a kind of redemption for Logan; even though he doesn’t know what he’s missing or looking for (thanks to CREEPY Stryker!), he is searching. Endlessly so. I find it interesting that he isn’t really considered a “caregiver,” but these scripts place him in situations to leave everyone to fend for themselves and instead, he stays. It’s a noble trait that I admire of the character. In Marie, there’s a character that cannot “fit in” because she has a power she doesn’t understand, but she craves connection.
Watching these films out of order may not be in the best interest of an X-Men newbie, however I don’t feel like doing so is a disservice. Seeing the beginnings of the franchise firstly tells a lot about where these characters are at and what so many of their past transgressions mean to their present. Now that I have finally seen the “beginning” (the first film) of the franchise, I’m still a fan. Though the deeper meaning of each movie hides beneath slaphappy CGI effects, there is something quite good going on in these flicks. The good guys are tempted to the bad side by the lie that humans don’t “need” them. Time and again, this is a familiar ploy that Magneto uses, which sadly does work on some. Fortunately for those of us who don’t like to root on the villain, the good always prevail.
Unless the subsequent sequels break the mold (or my heart!), I think ‘First Class‘ is still the tops, however I very much look forward to seeing the final two films in this series. If they follow in the footsteps of predecessors, they’re sure to be extraordinarily entertaining.
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Content: the mutants all obtain a litany of powers – ranging from mind reading to retractable claws that impale as well as a woman who can conjure up a powerful storm. There are plenty of explosions and/or destruction unleashed; one man disintegrates into water. A woman is impaled, and then heals herself. Minor sexual inferences are present and Mystique is “nude” for much of the film; she is most always in her “natural” form (blue skin). One scene may involve a brief instance of near-nudity. Minor profanities pepper the script like sh*t, h*ll and the like plus a crude hand gesture. The film rates PG13.