El Cosmico here, breathing a happy sigh of relief, and bringing you a spoiler-free quick look at X-Men.
First of all, I was a bit nervous about seeing this movie at a press screening, without an audience. Press screenings just feel...lonely to me, and I like being able to hear an audience's reaction. So, I thought, it might be dangerous to see a movie I've been so paranoid about for so long in such a situation. Of course, I couldn't possibly not go, and I'm very pleased that I did.
THIS IS A MOVIE WORTH SEEING.
Yes, indeed. The answer to the all-important question. The only one that matters. First up, my criticisms, of which there aren't too many. The biggest problem was probably the score, which was...okay. Not good, not great, but not terrible. It just pretty much wasn't there...AND IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN! Man, this movie could have been super-amazing if it had a badass score. But it didn't. But, the score didn't really detract from the film. Not a plus, not a minus.
Next up, casting. Now, this is a matter of personal preference based on my being an X-Men fan who's read all of the comics and graphic novels since life crawled from the sludge. Personally, I picture Cyclops as being older, and having a more powerful presence. But then again, this film takes place in a slightly altered timeline than the comics. After all, Iceman, who was one of the original X-Men, is a kid here, the same age as Rogue. Now, this doesn't follow the comic, BUT, it surprisingly didn't bother me at all. Not even a little bit. Even the Cyclops thing I was able to get over. Certainly, it wasn't a BAD performance, and, truth be told, Cyke doesn't have enough scenes to really show off. That's fine. No biggie.
Next, Storm. Now, I REALLY thought I was going to hate Halle Berry in this role. Not because I don't like her, I've really enjoyed her before, but I just thought, well, she doesn't SEEM like the Storm I know. Again, surprisingly, it didn't bother me. I actually liked her at moments.
Now, this ISN'T to say that I think they were well cast. I would still change them if I could. I still see Storm as Angela Bassett...because SHE EMANATES POWER, and strength, and beauty. But, again, Storm wasn't a major role in this film, and Berry's performance was fine. Really, not a problem.
The character I liked the least was Senator Kelly. Recalling another Senator in the EXCELLENT "God Loves, Man Kills" graphic novel of years ago, well, the Senator in this film just doesn't live up to the potential of the part. Simple as that. Maybe not a problem for people who don't have prior knowledge of the comics, but it was a problem for me. Kelly and the Score, I'd say, were my two biggies. So to speak.
NOW, WHAT I LIKED.
By far, BY FAR, I liked this movie MUCH more than I disliked any of the problems I had with it. Really, I had only MINOR problems with it, and there was a BUNCH of stuff that I REALLY LOVED. First off, HUGH JACKMAN IS AWESOME. The appropriate word is PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. This guy deserves to get a lot of good roles sent his way. I've always preferred talented unknowns to talented actors with baggage, and Jackman is the perfect example of why. This guy absolutely IS Wolverine. JUST how I always imagined him. Right up there on the screen. DAMN! I didn't think it was possible, but it's true...and Jackman is what makes this film great. No doubt about it.
I mean, let's face it. Wolverine has always been everyone's favorite X-Man. Well, just about everyone. And, when you consider that he's the dominant character in this film, and that he turns in a killer performance, well, I think you can figure out that you're probably going to like this film too.
Aside from Jackman, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart absolutely NAILED their roles. I was just so very pleased with their roles...Oh man. I just kept thinking...THANK FREAKING GOODNESS THIS MOVIE DOESN'T SUCK!!! I mean, think about all of this SHITTY comic book movies we've had to put up with, people!!! We finally got a BIG, GOOD comic book movie!!! Also, Famke Janssen was GREAT as Jean Grey. Not a major role, but I thought she did a fine job, and I was pleased to see her in a more cerebral role. Truly outstanding, Famke.
Wow. I also want to mention that I really like Anna Paquin in her role as Rogue. She really makes Rogue come alive, and allows you to sympathize with the character, and well, as attractive and talented as she is on screen, it seems clear that she'll be around for a long time. I really hope she is. As long as she keeps making good role choices.
Now then, there were some great fight scenes, I really liked Sabretooth and Toad too, and, well, one of the things I appreciated MOST is that this movie takes the time to be a movie...about people. Characters. It's not just dumb action scenes happening one after another. You actually get a sense for WHO Wolverine and Rogue and the others are. You sense actual depth of character. Now, that is FREAKING RARE in action and comic book films, which, we all know, are usually as two-dimensional as the screens they're projected onto. In my opinion, that's one of the best things about this film...and I want Bryan Singer to know...you made some fine choices. They weren't all perfect, but there is some really good stuff here. Thanks for doing such a fine job. You should be proud of this film.
So, how should you go into this movie? Well, listen. This isn't the greatest film I've ever seen. I wouldn't call it GREAT. I'd call it REALLY DAMN GOOD. I'd also call it MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTED, and A HUGE RELIEF. It's an excellent, yes EXCELLENT start. It left me wanting more...not more DIFFERENT STUFF, but MORE OF THE SAME. Yes, I want MORE X-MEN movies with the same cast, same director even, same FEEL, and, well, a better score. I mean, there should be some little tune that gives me chills and makes me think about the X-Men instantly. But, that aside, I think people should be very pleased with this film. I mean, you'd have to be a really pissed-off bastard not to like it. FANS should be thrilled. Newcomers should have a great time. Good effects here, some great fight scenes, a really nice plot, and the creation of a world that I really want to see more of. Okay, so that answers the big TWO questions. First, should I see this movie? YES, OH, HELL YES! Second, do I want to see a sequel? I AM DYING SO SEE A SEQUEL!!! Folks, I'm pretty sure you will be too.
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