X-Men

X-Men

What can I say about X-Men that hasn't already been said? I agree with most critics: fine special effects, fairly intelligent story, good casting (Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is hands-down the Discovery of the Year), and a comic book adaptation that manages to do justice to its source material.

Singer can't direct action very well; there's plenty of it, but little of it gets you even close to the edge of your seat. However, even though he claims to have never read the comic books before being hired for the film, he has great respect for the characters (as well as the fans), and it shows.

And I'll admit, in my youth I was quite the X-Men fan myself. I read the comic during its so-called "Golden Age", when it was written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by John Byrne. I gave up on it soon after Byrne's departure (in the dull days before the emergence of the Graphic Novel, Byrne was as good as a comic book artist could get), but I still have fond memories of what was, frankly, a mixed bag: complex characters, pitch dark storylines, and corny, corny dialogue.

Still, the X-Men were tops for an 11-year-old like me, so my love for the old comics no doubt enhanced my enjoyment of this film. I wondered afterward if I would have cared much for X-Men had I not been a fan previously. To be honest, I kind of doubt it. Newbies to the X-mythology might shrug and say "so what?" but the rest of us can at least sleep at night knowing that they could have ruined it... and didn't.

There are also plenty of in-jokes for the fans and a spot-on cast. Cyclops, for example, is exactly as priggish as he was in the comic. Though I regret that Storm, who has an interesting back story (paralyzing claustrophobia, a talent for pickpocketing), is given little to do here. Also, Jean Grey, whose troubled alter-ego Phoenix dominated the Claremont-Byrne X-Men, isn't very fleshed-out. But the film does briefly hint at her dark side: as sequels are more than likely, I imagine - I hope - that a stronger focus is put on her in the future.

Okay, fine. I can't wait for the sequel. Despite my better judgment, I fell for X-Men.