Born with a unique genetic mutation, mutants like the X-men hold extraordinary powers. Mutants are not born with these powers. They are discovered during their adolescence, leaving teenagers confused and yearning for a normal life. People in society fear and avoid mutants because they believe their powers can be potentially dangerous. At times, some mutants use their powers for evil, where the X-Men use their powers for good of mankind.
In the new movie X-Men , which opens Friday, the audience sees a future where mutants have to battle to be accepted by non-mutant society and the forces that want to use their mutations to conquer all.
Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), founder of the X-Men who can read minds and project thoughts, teaches the mutants at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters where they are accepted because of their differences. Beneath the school is Professor Xavier’s laboratory where he trains them to control their powers for good, even though mankind pronounces them as outcasts of society.
Some of his first students include: Cyclops (James Marsden), who stores solar energy that discharges from his eyes, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who moves objects with telekinetic energy and has limited telepathic abilities, and Storm (Halle Berry), who controls and manipulates the forces of nature.
Living in a world of prejudice, the mutants are feared and loathed by people who do not understand them. U.S. Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) tries to expose the dangers of the mutant’s powers. He proclaims that the mutants will disrupt and destroy everyday life.
Two newcomers are introduced to the team: Rogue (Anna Paquin), who has the ability to absorb energy from other living beings, and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who has heightened senses, accelerated healing ability and an indestructible adamantium skeleton and claws. After Rogue discovers her powers, she runs away and finds Wolverine in a bar fight. Wolverine is later forced to leave because he is a mutant. Professor Xavier finds Rogue and Wolverine and brings them back to his laboratory where they learn to adapt to a different lifestyle.
Not all mutants use their powers for good. Professor Xavier’s former colleague and friend, Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Ian McKellen), the strongest and most powerful mutant ever known, turns his back on society because he believes mutants and humans can never coexist. Magneto’ss hatred of society arises from the treatment of Jews when he was a boy during the Holocaust. He was separated from his parents and moved to America by himself.
Magneto and his evil brotherhood, which includes Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), Toad (Ray Park) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) attempts to annihilate mankind. However, the X-Men work together to destroy the sources of evil of their sinister adversaries.
Bryan Singer is a relatively new director who is still working out key ingredients necessary for a great movie. X-Men balances between his phenomenal Usual Suspects to the flop Apt Pupil.
Singer focused too much on setting the basis of the story and getting all the characters introduced rather than of taking advantage of the talent of the all-star cast. The story dwells into Wolverine’s past, which he almost has no recollection of, and Rogue, who is adapting and learning how to control her powers. Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm show up off and on throughout the movie when there is a mutant meeting with Professor Xavier, and when Wolverine or Rogue are in trouble and need assistance.
X-Men definitely needs more action. There is only one big fight scene between the X-Men and Magneto’s evil brotherhood, and it was really neat seeing the X-Men using their powers to help each other out. However, actors Tyler Mane, a professional wrestler, and Ray Park, who is skilled in oriental weaponry, kickboxing, gymnastics and acrobatics, could have developed more exciting fight scenes between good and evil.
With a large number of characters already in this movie, where did Mystique, a character who is not found in the comics or cartoons, come from? The evil and enchanting Metamorph, who can transform herself into anyone or anything she sees, was probably added simply to give the X-Men a challenge. Toad and Sabretooth can be killed easily, but to have a mutant that changes shape and can have access to anything Magneto wanted was quite a test for the X-Men.
The X-Men experience two fights in this movie: the fight for the good of mankind and one for acceptance into society. They are trying to prove to the world that they use their powers for good and that people should not be afraid of them. But that is something the X-Men will be fighting against for a long time.