The X has come to video and DVD. The Hobbit is mad.... totally mad if I give this movie a bad review. Heck, I could sum up just about everything I have to say with the words "GO RENT X-MEN!" But I'm a reviewer so I guess I should tell you WHY you should go rent X-Men.
It's good, damn good.
I went into this thing trying not too expect much, I'd gotten so many mixed signals via the movie trailers and movie info released, I wasn't really sure what movie was going to show up in the theatres. Well whatever it is, its good.
Look back at the Superhero movies of the past couple of decades, the biggest being Superman and Batman. Both were entertaining, but one of the biggest complaints about the early Batman movies is that while they're riveting, they are almost to dark. Superman on the other hand, while enjoyable, lacked some of the edge that Batman had. X-Men has managed to successfully walk the fine line between these two. Not as disturbingly dark as Batman, but yet it still has the hard gritty edge that keeps the audience riveted to the screen.
Ok, shut up now all you comic book geeks. I know as well as you do that they took a few liberties with the X-Men universe in this movie. For instance Iceman is the same age as Rogue and Jubilee, and heck, we all know they gave them different costumes but you know what? They NAILED the characters.
Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine in every possible sense of the word. I totally believed in him as a character, and was shocked by how easily he took on every nuance of the comic book character. When it really hit home is when the X-Men go to fight Magneto and Mystique is hiding nearby waiting to attack and Jackman says "something ain't right" and he sniffs the air. And at that point I realized I had forgotten that this was Hugh Jackman and was simply thinking of him as the old Wolverine I had always known.
No one could have been more Xavierish than Patrick Stewart, the voice, the look, the calm confidence that enables him to take control of whatever room he enters, even in his wheel chair, Stewart exudes the kind of power, poise, and wisdom that only the Professor could posses.
Ian Mckellan is a spectacular actor and his role as Magneto is no different than any of his other performances, riveting, exciting, electric. Despite his age, Mckellan successfully transforms himself into the all-powerful mutant. As you watch his face, you can see the conflict beneath it, the anger, the bitterness, and somewhere deep inside, perhaps a tinge of regret.
James Marsden is a great Cyclops. Despite the fact that he is a bit young for the role, he still easily comes off as being the elder boy scout leader of the X-Men role. A few times I found myself thinking that he looked to young, but the fact that he has to wear sunglasses all the time helps to mask his age.
Now Storm. After the previews I'd seen, Halle Berry's performance was the one that most worried me. I wasn't sure she'd be able to pull off the mature aura of confidence that Storm has. Plus the wig looked really cheesy. I was wrong, she knows this character, she looks the part. Even, strong voice, steady gaze, Storm is the epitome of composure and quite maturity. Strangely enough, when you see it in the movie, even the white wig looks passably good. And despite the fact that many have been saying Storm wouldn't have much of a role in this film, she figured as one of the most important characters, her screen time only being surpassed by that of Rogue and Wolverine, though she still comes off underused. The thing she'll likely most be remembered for his one horrid line which mars an otherwise acceptable performance.
Now for all you Rogue zealots, here is a big SPOILER so don't look any further if you don't want to know...
You know how so many people have been complaining that Rogue doesn't have her white streak in her hair? Guess what Rogue gets by the end of the movie? Hint Hint. For the whys and what fors, get X-Men on Video or DVD! My only complaint with Paquin's portrayal is that perhaps her accent could have used a bit more work, but that is quickly forgotten as you are immersed in the film.
Toad, Mystique, and Sabretooth are all adequate. Really all they have to do is look good and fight. All three combined have about 4 lines in the entire movie, so not a lot of acting required on their part, they filled the role that they were supposed to, though Toad's importance in the movie was a bit more than I had expected, as in the comics he really was a background figure to Magneto, not much of a fighter.
So, the Hobbit likes the X-Men, and you will to. If you haven't seen it, GO RENT IT NOW! It is the best thing out at your video store and with 10 extra minutes of deleted footage, the DVD is a must have for anyone's collection. For all you super fans out there, (me!) keep your eyes open for another version of the DVD coming soon with even more interesting features.
Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler