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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from X-Men (2000)

X-Men

2000 | United States | 104 min
aka:
  • X-Men 1.5
  • X-Men: The Movie
  • Watched on Saturday Jan 9, 2021 via Blu-ray (2009 | 20th Century Fox)
    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    X-Men wowed me on opening day. It’s lost some luster in the decades since, but it still outshines more recent DC and lesser Marvel offerings.

    The themes still resonate. In a near-future, an emerging mutant population evokes fear and uncertainty in humanity. Stewart plays Charles Xavier, a powerful telepath who believes mutants and humans can coexist in peace. Opposite him, McKellen plays Erik Lehnsherr, a former friend turned adversary. Lehnsherr—a Holocaust survivor—views humanity as a threat eager to exterminate mutant-kind.

    McKellen remains my favorite part of the film. He projects operatic gravitas, delivering his lines with delicious relish while respecting their subtext.

    Also helping: the finale’s New York skyline, and a shrewd script that introduces multiple characters, juggles several plot threads, and stages some memorable set pieces, all while clocking in under an hour and forty-five minutes.

    Followed by X2: X-Men United.