Rewatched May 04, 2012
Owen Hughes’s review:
First film in the initial trilogy, introducing classic characters such as Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Jean, Cyclops and Rogue as they attempt to thwart Magneto's dastardly plan.
I really liked this film the first time I saw it. Watched it again about a year or 2 ago and found it really disappointing. It had dated quite considerably given it was only about 10 years old, but still had the elements of a decent film there. It's more well thought of, I think, as giving superhero films a bit of credibility back when it was released.
The character development is ok with a few swerving storylines for each of the big hitters, but really it's a Wolverine & The X-Men sort of film. It briefly touches on the history of mutants, lets you glance at the larger scale "us vs them" mentality both humans and mutants have, and keeps telling you there's going to be a war without properly threatening one. The effects have held up rather well, particularly regarding the make-up and costumes (especially Mystique who is both played and looks perfect when she could've been utterly ridiculous,) but it does feel a bit hollow.
I don't think there is a stand out performance from anybody, really. I was never sure about McKellen as Magneto, but he's much better in X2, and Wolverine is supposed to be this short, hairy, angry, ugly man, not Hugh Jackman but he does alright as well. 'Picard' is probably the mostly aptly cast actor in any of the films as Xavier.
Whilst I'm on the subject of the actors cast in the X-Men films, it really annoys me that someone like Halle Berry gets work on the basis of being pretty. She is, quite definitely, by anyone's definition, a shit actress.
That aside, the film is alright, not as good as it used to be, but enjoyable enough to pass the time.