X-Men ★★★½

2018 Superhero Rewatch: In which I return to superhero movies I've seen before to see how time has treated them.

If Blade got the modern superhero ball rolling, this is the movie that started an avalanche. The biggest budget, the most characters, the flagship franchise (at the time) of Marvel Comics.

It kind of hurts to say it doesn't quite hold up.

The characters are there, and the visuals, and while Magneto's plot is screwy I can accept it in a comic booky way. But what happened to the script? The dialogue is stilted as hell, and when it comes to the civil rights metaphor, Bryan Singer's mutant power is to beat us over the head with it. Then there's Wolverine. As great as Jackman would later become, in this film he has a creepy, predatory vibe in all his dealings with Jean. He's supposed to be charming, but the aggressive flirting with a woman who specifically told him she's in a relationship -- despite his famous line to Cyclops -- makes him the dick.

Speaking of Cyclops, the rivalry comes out of nowhere. Logan hates this guy who saved his life before he's even heard him speak. Meanwhile, Scott shows nothing but respect and confidence in his partner, correctly telling Logan that she doesn't need him to put on a macho display for her benefit, even though that's clearly what Logan wants.

To be fair, there's still a lot to like about this movie. Just not as much as I remembered.