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Film Review - X-Men
I left the theatre thinking, "there's something missing in this picture."
X-Men is the latest comic book convert to the big live action screen. It uses thinly defined characters and incredible special effects to captivate us for two hours. However, the execution of his formula is flawed leaving X-Men comic readers and the general movie going public wondering what happened.
On the surface, this is a good versus evil play. A good mutant is trying to stop a bad mutant from starting a war against the normal people. So this should be a clear black and white, easy to decide who is right and who is wrong tale, right? Wrong! The bad mutant is also a Jew who survived the Ghetto in Warsaw during World War II. He's seen what happens when the majority of people decide you are a threat. He's not going to allow this to happen again. The normal people are aware of the mutants and are starting to discriminate against them. Our bad guy is painted as not being so bad. This is a major flaw.
Yes, I know real life is not so cut a dry. Pure good and evil are hard to find. But in a movie pure good and evil make for much better story telling. A good villain is what we really needed, not a misguided, well intentioned villain. Because the evil of the villain is not pure, we at times understand his motives, and can not muster enough hate to get excited during the grand finale.
Then there's this whole issue of mutants. The beginning of the film tells us this is part of evolution. But evolution takes a very long time and to the population is unnoticable. And the mutation would be the same in the population of mutants. In X-Men each mutant has a completely different mutation, or super power. The mutations also don't make sense. One guy shoots flames out of his eyes. Where's the genetic advantage in this? I know it's a comic book, but it just doesn't work.
In the final analysis, X-Menis entertaining, but leaves you feeling empty when you leave the theatre. It's sort of like that old joke about Chinese food. An hour later, you want to see a movie.
Directed by Bryan Singer
Released in 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo