Length: 104 minutes / 1.73 hours
Up until the 21st Century, DC had dominated the comic book adaptations on the big screen. Film franchises like Superman and Batman were essentially the only acts in town. Of course, by the time the year 2000 rolled around, Superman hadn’t been in theaters for more than a decade, and Batman had become almost as campy and goofy as its 1960’s counterpart. This was now Marvel’s time to shine. Partly due to a large cast of recognizable characters, X-Men was the right choice to reboot the comic book adaptation film franchise.
Even though X-Men set the standard pretty high for comic book adaptations, very few have followed in its stead. Where most first films in a hero franchise focus on the origins of the main character, the X-Men spans such an enormous timeframe, with characters coming in and out of relevance, that it would be difficult to give all of their origins at once. Instead, the focus is on Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Logan (Hugh Jackman), essentially giving some of their “origins” without having to explain the motivations of every other X-Men character.
What really makes this film work, aside from its relevant plot, is the casting. Not only were these top-tier stars appearing in the film, but they were expertly given roles that fit them incredibly well. In fact, I can almost not imagine anyone else playing Wolverine but Hugh Jackman. The same goes for Halle Berry as Storm, Ian McKellen as Magneto, and Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier. I wouldn’t have gone with anyone else for those roles, which definitely made casting the prequel trilogy quite the challenge.
Probably one of the best comic-to-movie transitions ever made, I give X-Men 4.5 stars out of 5.