In the future, genetic mutation gives rise to humans with super-powers. With anti-mutant hysteria rampant, Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison) forces the Mutant Registration Act through congress. Two opposing forces of mutants line up; led by wheelchair-bound telepathic genius Charles Xavier are the X-Men. Storm (Halle Berry) can control the weather with her mind, Wolverine (Jackman) has super-strength and a reinforced skeleton, Cyclops (James Marsden) shoots powerful energy beams from his eyes, Rogue (Paquin) can absorb other peoples energy and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) has telekinetic powersOpposing them are the militant Magneto (McKellen), whose magnetic powers enable him to attract, repel or manipulate metal; the shape-shifting Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), the cat-like Sabretooth (Tyler Mane) and the agile Toad (Ray Park). The scene is set for a super-powered punch-up of epic proportions.
Based on the cult Marvel Comics characters, X-Men remains faithful to its roots while delivering an action adventure which does not require you to be a dribbling fanboy to enjoy it. The movie gives away its subtext rather heavy-handedly with the opening sequence of the young Magneto as a Jewish prisoner in a concentration camp - we must learn to tolerate people who are different to us. It's just a pity that Bryan (The Usual Suspects) Singer, while good at weaving together the plot threads and bringing the best out of the actors, isn't the best director of action sequences, and impressive though the special effects are, perhaps it would be a good idea to hand the inevitable sequel over to a director with a more whizz-bang approach. This is meant to be mindless fun, after all. Still, this is the best comic book adaptation since Batman, a terrific action movie and a must-have on DVD.
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