11 December 2005 | MinorityReporter
If this film had been given to the wrong director it could have been incredibly cheesy. Being a reader of the comics I know that there are a few things that works on the page of a comic book but not in a film and let me say that the costumes is one of these things that in all probability wouldn't work. Singer chose to go with black leather outfits and I, for one, am very thankful for this choice. There are many things in this film that works but unfortunately there are a few things as well that prevent the film from being truly great.
Lets start with the things that work. Acting wise the film is very good. This is above all attributed to some excellent casting. Hugh Jackman is simply perfect as Wolverine and brings out the duality of the character in a very satisfactory manner. Also the scenes were we see a glimpse of the rage in the character work remarkably well. The only thing that could be said about him is that he is too tall but it seems most people, including myself, have accepted this fact. I think also that it was a wise choice to let a relatively unknown actor play the part because in that way we have no preconceived notions about him. As for Professor X no other man than Patrick Stewart could/should play him. Stewart simply becomes Xavier both in presence, voice and looks. An example of perfect casting. Ian McKellen is brilliant as Magneto and succeeds in creating a human villain rather than the usual cliché like villains we see in Hollywood productions. The acting aside from the ones mentioned above is pretty good. Not spectacular but good. The only one who does not look and act like the character we know from the comics is Anna Paquin who plays Rogue. The character is nothing like in the comics and Paquin's performance doesn't help the character.
When it comes to music and sound effects in general the film is a notch above average. The musical score has a very grand, even epic, feel to it and this suits the film very well. The score is not as memorable as the score from Batman (1989) but it is very adequate. As for the general sound effects they are both very fitting and believable adding to the overall credibility of the film which is considerable. The sound Wolverine's claws make when they come out is exactly as I imagined it. Very well done. The effects in general are also very well made. Not as good as in Spider-Man but still very good. A lot of care has been taken to make the effects seem as believable as possible and from where I'm standing they work. The only character whose powers I did not fully believe in was Toad's. Ray Park is an excellent athlete but many of his stunts look like obvious wire work. This is a pretty general complaint I have as some of the action look rehearsed. There is, however, some interesting action scenes and overall the action is acceptable.
The story is pretty well written and the dialog is both witty and sharp. Especially much of the dialog between Wolverine and Cyclops (James Marsden) is very entertaining and true to the comic books. Where I feel the story is lacking is in the climax which I am afraid to say is a little silly. Magneto's plan for world domination is actually pretty stupid when you think about it and that is a shame because much of the exposition is very well done. Generally, however, the first film is all about setting the stage for the films to come and it does do that in a satisfactory manner.
All in all X-Men is definitely one of the better super hero movies out there and although it was surpassed by the sequel it still stands as a true testament to Singer's skill.