Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Patrick Stewart narrates “Mutation: it is the key to our evolution”, in a role he was born to play as telepathic teacher, Professor X. His ominous voice-over, beginning X-Men, reveals mature and relevant themes, raising the film from action-shlock to an exploration of discrimination. Boldly using extermination camps of Nazi Germany (where McKellan’s ‘Magneto’ learns of his powers) to ground the film in “reality”, X-Men has no problem taking itself seriously – and indeed it should. This particular tale follows Wolverine (Jackman) and Rogue (Paquin) as they realise they’re not alone in their skillsets of adamantium-claws and power-borrowing. Singer directs this epic-story, complete with Statue of Liberty finale, with tact, homing in on personal relationships between the ensemble cast, including Storm (Berry), Cyclops (Marsden) and Jean-Grey (Janssen). Other than one politician, humans are outsiders; powerless to the mutant war. For an action-movie, these are audacious, ground-breaking themes making X-Men a must-watch.
This was originally written in the run-up to X-Men: Days of Future Past in May 2014