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    review by Luca Brasi                   Full Review List


Oh, thank you, THANK YOU GOD.

Yes, we've been blessed with a superhero movie that's WORTH SEEING for a change. Forget about those pathetic heaps of clichés and bad acting that generated "Spawn", "Batman & Robin" and any other terrible comic book adaption that you can think of. Because "X-Men" is here now, and it rips apart the stereotypes in a single slash of Wolverine's metal claws...

It's the near future, evolution has decided to skip a few steps and random mutation is rampant. Some people can change shape, breathe underwater, walk through walls or fly... but it's not a case of "Wow! That guy can fly, how cool!", but more like "Oh my GOD! He can fly! KILL HIM!".

So the right-wingers in the USA try to introduce a new bill to "register" these mutants, which would in effect expose them all to discrimation and violence. In case you weren't paying much attention, don't worry, it all gets explained in the first couple of minutes.

Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart, now an icon of TWO sci-fi legends) runs a school for scared teen mutants, and obviously doesn't think the whole regisration idea is the best thing that Washington has ever come up with. While he seeks a peaceful coexistence with "normal" humans - he's a mutant himself, with psychic powers - his old friend Erik Lehnsherr (Sir Ian McKellen) is far more determined to make people understand that mutants are their equals, if not superiors (You see, bad things happened to little Eric fifty years ago, but I'd ruin the effect by telling you). Eric goes by the name of Magneto. Fairly appropriate, because he can spontaneously create and control magnetic fields. And all this just describes the two main characters.

As the story unfolds we learn more about other mutant outcasts who seek refuge from the world and are taken in by Xavier, as well as those who share Magneto's somewhat more violent plans for the world. There's way too many mutants to go into here and I'm sure everyone knows who they are anyway, but I just have to put in special mention for newcomer Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the rugged amnesiac with incredible healing powers, who somehow has had a metal casing grafted onto his skeleton... including those claws. Oh how I love those claws. I'm serious, just the feeling of "wow!cool!" when those things pop out of his knuckles...

Sorry about that tangent. Anyway, the plot (which I won't spoil) is great with its little twist, the dialogue is sharp (Wolverine, like any good action hero, spouts the one-liners in the heat of action) and the cast is nearly flawless. NEARLY. Anyone who thought that Halle Berry, full of grace, could be a good Storm is kidding themselves. But that, being the lowpoint, isn't saying much; this is a terrific film, joining the first "Batman" and "Blade" in the genre of GOOD superhero movies. Directed by Bryan Singer, who of course concocted the incredible "The Usual Suspects". Who knew that he'd make as good an action director as a crime thriller director? Certainly not me, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Now I hate sci-fi, and I hate silly films with George Clooney somersaulting in tights; thank you "X-Men" for restoring my faith in the summer blockbuster.

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