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X-Men

"Utterly brilliant"

"Best Comic to Screen Film Ever"

"The X-Factor"

X-Men

The X-Men are a team of mutant peacekeepers led by Professor Xavier assigned the task of protecting the human race against the sinister Magneto...

Review

Although the superhero comic book has been a duopoly since the early 1960s, only DC's flagship characters, Superman and Batman (who originated in the late 1930s) have established themselves as big-screen franchises. Until now--this is the first runaway hit film version of the alternative superhero X-Men universe created for Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and others. It's a rare comic-book movie that doesn't fall over its cape introducing all the characters, and this is the exception. X-Men drops us into a world that is closer to our own than Batman's Gotham City, but it's still home to super-powered goodies and baddies. Opening in high seriousness with paranormal activity in a WW2 concentration camp and a senatorial inquiry into the growing "mutant problem", Bryan Singer's film sets up a complex background with economy and establishes vivid, strange characters well before we get to the fun. There's Halle Berry flying and summoning snowstorms, James Marsden zapping people with his "optic beams", Rebecca Romijn-Stamos shape-shifting her blue naked form, and Ray Park lashing out with his Toad-tongue. The big conflict is between Patrick Stewart's Professor X and Ian McKellen's Magneto, super-powerful mutants who disagree about their relationship with ordinary humans, but the characters we're meant to identify with are Hugh Jackman's Wolverine (who has retractable claws and amnesia), and Anna Paquin's Rogue (who sucks the life and superpowers out of anyone she touches).

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