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X-Men is the first movie in the X-Men film series directed by Bryan Singer, based on the celebrated comic book franchise of the same name.It starts with some guy with claws, and a runaway teenage girl who accidentally puts her boyfriend in a coma by kissing him. She's named Marie, but calls herself Rogue, and hitchhikes with the guy-with-claws ("Logan") until they get attacked by a big guy who also has claws, just less cool ones, and then are rescued by a guy wearing a weird visor and a woman directing a snowstorm.Um...okay, so, comic books can be a little goofy at times.Logan wakes up in the infirmary of a school. Unlike most schools, this one teaches Mutants—people like Logan who have unusual powers. The school also has its own team of superheroes: the X-Men. The bald, wheelchair-bound psychic Professor Xavier runs both the school and the X-Men, and he offers for both Logan and Marie to stay with them.After introducing these major characters, the movie gets to work on the plot: Magneto (the boss of the bad guy with claws) has invented a machine that turns humans into mutants (with the unfortunate side effect of killing them shortly after). He mounts the machine in the torch of the Statue of Liberty, with the intention of using it on a major UN Conference. Unfortunately, using the machine that much would kill him, so he kidnaps Marie (aka Rogue) with the intention of forcing her to absorb his powers and run the machine for him. Wolverine leads the rescue effort.Fun fact: David Hayter wrote the original screenplay, and Joss Whedon did an uncredited and almost entirely unused rewrite.Followed by X2: X-Men United.
Adaptational Badass: In the comics, Toad was originally conceived as a deformed, sniveling hunchback who served as The Igor to Magneto. His super power was he could hop... really high because of having very low-grade super-strength, concentrated in his legs. However here, stuntman Ray Park played him as a wisecracking martial artist with wall-crawling abilities and a tongue that he could use as a whip, thus making him more capable of holding his own in a fight with other heroes. Also, he could spit slime projectiles.
All There in the Script: Averted. In his commentary, Bryan Singer specifically mentions that he remembered that he had to namedrop Toad and Mystique, lest they just be the "nameless minions of Magneto."
Applied Phlebotinum: Magneto's mutation machine. It is never explained what exactly it's doing to so specifically alter a person's genome (namely, activating the latent X-gene in normals).
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The Mutant Registration Act is defeated due to the Brotherhood unintentionally killing the Act's main supporter and Mystique replacing him later on.
Bag of Kidnapping: After Magneto renders Rogue unconscious by throwing an object at her with his powers, Toad kidnaps her.
Balls of Steel: During a cage fight, Wolverine's opponent is told, "Anything goes, but you hit him in the balls, he'll take it personal." Sure enough, the poor fool tries it—there's an audible "ping"note which is a Stealth Pun since it suggests that Wolvie has literal balls of Adamantium, and Wolverine kicks the tar out of him.
Big Applesauce: A justifiable location for a meeting of Heads of State, as it is the home of the U.N.
Both Sides Have a Point: The film had this trope for the political hearing which Jean Grey debated with politicians concerning mutants. Both sides brought up good points which was the intentions of the director.
Broken Aesop: One of the taglines for the movie was "Trust some. Fear the rest." Imagine this being applied to any minority group.
Captain Obvious: Storm's much maligned observation: "Do you know what happens to a toad when it's hit by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else." This was supposed to be the payoff to a Running Gag where Toad constantly brags about things a toad can do. For some reason, it was left in as an Orphaned Punchline.
Car Cushion: Sabretooth has a variation of this. Granted, it's a boat, not a car, but still, closest they could've done at Liberty Island. Sabretooth's healing factor lets him walk away uninjured.
Catapult Nightmare: Wolverine has an especially notable one. In all honesty, adamantium claws don't mix well with many activities.
Chekhov's Classroom: In the DVD extras, the young mutants are learning about ancient Rome. Rome started out persecuting Christians, and then wound up becoming a Christian empire. How did this happen? "The Emperor became a Christian!" Which is exactly what Magneto had in mind with his plan to turn all the world leaders into mutants.
Dead Person Impersonation: Mystique impersonates Senator Kelly's aide who Magneto casually mentions "has been dead for some time" then effectively becomes Senator Kelly after his artificial mutation apparently kills him.
Death by Cameo: Two of the writers (one of them being David Hayter) show up as cops who are taken out in a sneak attack by Sabretooth and the Toad.
Debate and Switch: Magneto isn't trying to Kill All Humans; he wants to turn the leaders of various nations into mutants. Now that's still ethically highly questionable, but... oh, never mind, the process is fatal, and he won't believe this. And just to make sure Magneto has a firm grip on the villain ball, his "process" is powered by an unwilling Rogue.
Designated Girl Fight: The film averts this, with Storm and Jean Grey fighting Toad in the final fight, with Wolverine taking on Mystique. Both fights are quite close before the good guys win in both instances.
Faux Documentary: One of the bonus features on the DVD is a "making-of" segment framed as "The Mutant Watch", "XNN" news coverage of the Senate hearings on Senator Kelly's proposed "Mutant Registration Act".
Feel No Pain: Inverted, where Rogue asks Wolverine if his claws hurt when he extends or retracts them. He grimly says, "Every time."
Fight Clubbing: Wolverine takes part in one of these at the start of the film.
Foreshadowing: The "X-Men 1.5" Director's Cut has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Deleted Scene where the energy pulse from Magneto's device washes over the X-Men. Jean Grey is the only one who shows a physical reaction to the flash; this would seem to be the event that activated the Phoenix Force which would become so important in the next two movies. The second film acted as if this scene had been left in, with Scott and Jean discussing how her powers had changed since the Statue of Liberty.
Funny Background Event: Magneto is giving out orders in his barren cave-office as a Newton's Cradle clicks back and forth on his desk. As he turns to leave, the little metal balls clatter to the floor, revealing that there were no wires and it was just him mentally fidgeting.
Glamour Failure: After "Bobby" convinces Rogue that she should leave the school, his eyes turn yellow, revealing that it was Mystique in disguise. This occurs again with a Statue of Liberty sculpture and Senator Kelly at the end of the movie.
Glassy Prison: Although not made out of glass, Magneto is imprisoned within a plastic, transparent prison at the end of the movie.
"...the paradox in Magneto's character is that he was the victim and then becomes the aggressor. It's like he's slowly become these people who persecuted him and murdered his family right in front of him. He became embittered. You get angry enough and you start forgetting."
Hollywood Darkness: Averted. In the scene outside the train station (where Magneto confronts the police) which, if you watch the making-of video, is revealed to have been shot in broad daylight. It looks like night and the clear lighting of the characters and location is from police floodlights.
Hypocrite: Magneto is willing to sacrifice Rogue but not himself in the advancement of his cause. Beautifully called out by Wolverine, who tells him: "You're so full of shit. If you were really so righteous, it would be you up in that thing."
Of course, the biggest irony of that is, if he had been willing to sacrifice himself, the plan would have worked.
Ironic Echo: Professor X asks Magneto "What are you doing here?", referring to the Mutant Registration Act hearings; Magneto replies "Why do you ask questions to which you already know the answers?" The roles are reversed at the end when Magneto is in prison and Charles comes to visit him.
Rogue: When they [the claws] come out... does it hurt? Wolverine: Every time.
It's All About Me: When everyone is certain that Magneto is trying to kidnap Wolverine, only to discover that he's actually after Rogue.
Wolverine: What do you want with me? Magneto:You? My dear boy, whoever said anything about wanting you? (glances towards Rogue, cue Oh, Crap expressions from her and Wolverine)
I've Never Seen Anything Like This Before: Played Serious. When they are examining Wolverine's X-rays and Jean is telling everyone about his adamantium covered skeleton, Xavier ominously says, "Experimentation on mutants isn't unheard of, but I've never seen anything like this before..."
Magneto: Whatever are you looking for? Xavier: I'm looking for hope. Magneto: I will bring you hope, old friend. And I ask only one thing in return: don't get in my way.
Jammed Seatbelts: Rogue gets caught in a burning truck this way at the beginning of the film. Wolverine, who was not wearing his, gets thrown a good twenty feet out through the windshield and is only saved from serious injury or death by his unbreakable bones and Healing Factor.
Kirk Summation: Magneto tells our heroes (whom he has handily all bound up with metal) his plan. Wolverine calls him out.
Wolverine: You're so full of shit. If you were really so righteous, it'd be you in that thing.
The Lady's Favour: Gender-switched. Wolverine gives his dog tags to Rogue as he's leaving to learn about his past, promising that he'll come back for them. It's not intended to be romantic, since his feelings for her were more like a big brother.
Lampshade Hanging: During the scene in which Wolverine becomes acquainted with the X-Men team and their adversaries, he repeatedly draws attention to their goofy code names. Later in the film, Cyclops heads off fanboy criticism by remarking on the film's deviation from classic X-Men outfits: "Well, what would you prefer? Yellow spandex?". Magneto takes the opportunity to subtly lampshade Wolverine's Spotlight-Stealing Squad nature in each movie of the trilogy:
After Rogue (having absorbed a large part of Magneto's power) is used as a battery for the machine that gives normal people powers, she becomes drained of energy, and her hair gets a grey streak. In fact, Magneto used her for this because using it was expected to kill the user.
Wolverine lets Rogue absorb his healing factor to save her, and instead of his healing merely being halted, his already-healed wounds returned.
Macho Masochism: When asked to put out his cigar, Wolverine looks around to find something to stub it out on, but doesn't find anything within reach, so he resorts to his own palm. It's not a case of machismo; his own regenerating skin was the only option at the moment (other than his boots, which is how non-mutant smokers usually put things out).
Making Use of the Twin: Amusingly enough averted. Mystique impersonates Bobby "Iceman" Drake (Shawn Ashmore), and in one scene, the real Iceman walks by a door shortly before the fake Iceman comes out of it. The director states in the commentary that he didn't know he'd managed to hire somebody with an identical twin who could easily have played the double and went to the bother of doing two takes spliced together.
Metal Detector Checkpoint: The characters pass through one of these entering a museum. Wolverine, naturally, sets it off, and then destroys it.
Mind Control: During the abduction at the train station, Magneto, Sabretooth, and Toad are facing a police squad with Magneto turning the police's guns on themselves. Sabretooth immediately goozles Erik and Toad tells him to let the police go. Magneto is amused by Xavier possessing his lackeys from a distance and calls for the professor to show himself.
Monumental Battle: The final battle takes place at the Statue of Liberty, with Wolverine and Sabretooth having a battle atop its head.
Monumental Damage: The climax takes place atop the Statue of Liberty, but other than the destruction of her torch by Magneto's machine (and a ray of her crown sliced off by Wolverine's claws) it is otherwise unharmed.
Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Lampshaded. And while it isn't the first recorded instance of this, it's certainly the Trope Codifier and is generally what people immediately think of when this trope comes up. Notably, a short clip is on the DVD in which Hugh Jackman runs around the set in a comic-accurate Wolverine costume, and absolutely nobody is taking it seriously.
The movie costumes still contain some subtle nods to the comics. Wolvie's outfit has yellow highlights, and Storm's has a cape and white highlights.
Mythology Gag: When Wolverine questions the team's uniform, Cyclops sarcastically asks if he would rather dress in a yellow spandex (Wolverine's suit in comic books is yellow with blue ornaments).
Nice Guy: Professor X opens his heart and his home to mutants who feel persecuted by the outside world.
Logan: There's not many people that will understand what you're going through, but I think this guy Xavier is one of them. He seems to genuinely want to help you, and that's a rare thing for people like us.
No-Holds-Barred Contest: The film has an example in the cage fight that introduces Wolverine, again toyed with a little: "Don't kick him in the balls." "I thought you said anything goes." "Anything goes, but he'll take it personal."
No Ontological Inertia: When Wolverine's powers of healing are drained by Rogue, he ends up regaining every injury he's suffered over the course of the last two days.
Not My Driver: Mystique and Toad kidnap Senator Kelly by piloting his helicopter to Magneto's island. Somewhat justified, as Mystique can shapeshift to look like anyone at all; she murders and impersonates the senator's real staff.
Not Wearing Tights: Lampshaded and played semi-straight, which has the characters wearing dark-color body armor-suits. Wolverine (newly recruited) comments on the outlandishness of the outfits, to which Cyclops jokingly asks, "Would you prefer yellow spandex?" In reference to the early uniforms of the X-Men comic book (and main color of most of Wolverine's comic book outfits.)
Number One Dime: Wolverine's dog-tags. They're about the only link to his past that he has to go on (and even then they have no real useful information, considering they bear his nickname rather than his real name), and when Sabretooth takes them as a trophy, he makes a point of retrieving them at the climax. His giving them to Rogue at the end of the film is taken as an assurance that he's coming back.
Hugh Jackman slips into Australian the first time he says, "Storm" (just before "What do they call you? 'Wheels'?"). And also in the truck, right after Rogue tells him that he should buckle up. And again when he says to Jean "Couldn't wait to get my shirt off again, could you?"
Anna Paquin at least attempted to remember to give Rogue a southern accent on occasion.
Halle Berry speaks, very briefly, in a vaguely foreign accent. This is made even more evident if you watch some of the deleted scenes. She completely abandons this by the end of the film. She may have been angling for a Sub-Saharan African accent, what with Storm being from Kenya in the comics. But it's worth noting even director Bryan Singer referred to it as an "attempt" in his DVD commentary.
Opening Monologue: "Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward."
Orphaned Punchline: The infamous "toad hit by lightning" line is actually one, as the only remnant of Joss Whedon's Running Gag of him spending the film bragging about things toads can do.
Out-of-Character Alert: For the audience at least, "Bobby's" stern demeanour when he tells Rogue that she should go is at odds with his introduction as a Nice Guy. As it turns out, Mystique had impersonated him.
People Puppets: Professor X briefly takes control of Toad and Sabretooth and attempts to rescue Rogue from Magneto.
Phlebotinum Bomb: At the end of the film, Magneto tries to use a weapon that is supposed to turn normal humans into Mutants, but will actually kill them.
Plot Tailored to the Party: To stop the machine, they needed both Storm's power and Jean Grey's finer control to get Wolverine up to the torch, Wolverine's claws to land and to break the machine, his healing to bring Rogue back from near-death, and Cyclops' long-range Eye Beams as a back-up plan.
Powered by a Forsaken Child: The film has the machine that turns ordinary people into mutants powered by Magneto—but using it weakens the power source (likely killing him if he uses it on full power), so he forcibly has the power-stealing mutant Rogue absorb him and uses her to power the machine.
In the original draft for the movie, Magneto actually wanted to use Wolverine instead as a sort-of living antenna to amplify his powers, apparently due to his Adamantium skeleton.
Pre-Asskicking Mutter: Sabretooth ambushes Storm and has her by the neck. He says he wants to hear her try to scream... She responds with a lightning bolt.
Pretty Boy: Bobby's dainty facial features quickly communicate to the audience that he's a good-hearted person. Although he was only a minor character here, viewers were able to tell right away that "the cute guy" is sincere when trying to befriend Rogue.
The Promise: Wolverine keeps his vow to Rogue by nearly dying trying to save her life in the climax.
Logan: I'll take care of you. Rogue: You promise? Logan: Yeah, I promise.
Pull the I.V.: Wolverine wakes up at the medical room of the X-Men base and promptly rips out the needles. Doesn't bleed thanks to his hyper regeneration.
Punch Parry: Wolverine does this in a cage match, on purpose no less. Justified because he has an adamantium skeleton, so instead of bone meeting bone, it's more like bone meets a solid wall. The contender is every bit as injured as he should be.
Radiation Immune Mutants: Magneto's machine triggers mutation in normal humans but has no effect on mutants. Somewhat Justified in that it's implied to activate the dormant X-factor gene —in mutants said gene is already active.
Magneto gives it when he's planning on using a dangerous device to turn the world leaders into mutants with Rogue, who will be the source but also be sacrificed.
Magneto: Why do none of you understand what I'm trying to do? Those people down there—they control our fate and the fate of every other mutant! Well, soon our fate will be theirs.
And with Charles...
Magneto: Still unwilling to make sacrifices. That's what makes you weak.
And Wolverine gives it right back to Magneto after the latter says that Rogue is a necessary sacrifice:
Woverine: You're so full of shit! If you were really so righteous, it'd be you in that thing.
Red Herring: Magneto looking at Wolverine's dogtags before asking Sabretooth, "Where is the mutant now?" This is to mislead the audience into the same line of thinking as the heroes, that Magneto is after Wolverine, instead of his true target Rogue.
Roofless Renovation: Cyclops accidentally destroys the roof of the train station with his optical blasts. When he later chides Wolverine for something else, Wolverine counters "I'm not the one who gave the train station a new sunroof!"
The Runaway: Marie a.k.a. Rogue runs away from home after her power manifests itself while kissing her boyfriend, causing him to have a seizure and fall into a coma for three weeks.
Magneto: Why do none of you understand what I'm trying to do? Those people down there, they control our fate and the fate of every other mutant! Well, soon our fate will be theirs.
Wolverine: You're so fulla shit! If you were really so righteous, it'd be you in that thing.
Sigil Spam: A more subtle version was done. Not so much the logo, but X's were put everywhere they could, particularly the underground doors. Magneto, by contrast, had a lot of "O"s everywhere.
Spot the Impostor: The film has Mystique pulling that trick, too. However, Wolverine can smell the difference between Mystique and Storm, so he doesn't fall for it. Later, Cyclops asks Wolverine to confirm he is the real thing:
Wolverine: You're a dick. Cyclops: Okay.
Staring Kid: The boy on the beach stabbing the jellyfish stares at the mutated Senator Kelly when he emerges from the water and his gill slits disappear into his back. Of course, nearly everyone else on the beach stares too (including Stan Lee in his usual cameo appearance).
Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: After Professor X tells Wolverine about the X-Men and their mission to protect the humans who hate and fear them, then tells him several of the team's code names:
Wolverine: What do they call you? "Wheels"? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
Superhero Movie Villains Die: The film has Toad fried by lightning and Sabretooth blown out of the Statue of Library. Averted at the end with Mystique; despite being impaled by Wolverine's claws, a medical team arrives and finds that a shapeshifted Mystique still has a pulse.
Super Registration Act: As expected, the film features a sub-plot in which a senator tries to get a mutant registration act. It fails but the threat of such an act hangs over the characters' heads for the rest of the series.
Take-That Kiss: Wolverine fights Mystique whilst she's disguised as himself. The audience knows which character is which when Mystique-as-Wolverine mockingly pursues her lips and makes a kissy noise at the real Wolverine.
Terrible Trio: Magneto's minions: Mystique, Toad, and Sabretooth.
Promoter: Whatever you do, don't hit him in the balls. Fighter: I thought you said anything goes. Promoter: Anything goes, but he'll take it personal.
Transhuman Treachery: Magneto tries to invoke a sympathy version of this by turning all the world leaders into mutants, it being less "I'm going to make humanity my bitch!" and more "I'd better pull back on the anti-mutant rhetoric and policies since I'm one now."
Trust Password: After being fooled by Mystique one too many times, Cyclops demands that Wolverine prove he is who he says he is. Wolverine's response: "You're a dick." It works.
Two Shots from Behind the Bar: When Logan threatened a customer with his claws, the bartender quickly aimed a shotgun point blank at his head. He promptly sliced the shotgun in half, demonstrating why you should never bring a gun to a clawfight.
Uncle Pennybags: In a Spoiled Sweet example, Professor X mentions that most of his students were runaways, so his school isn't just a centre for education, but also a safe haven for a lot of the youngsters who don't have a home.
The Voiceless: The Brotherhood members never speak. Mystique is silent but for one line early on, except when she's disguised. It's quite effective and adds to her, well, mystique. Sabretooth has two lines, Toad has three.
Wake Up Fighting: Wolverine does this to Rogue, however he goes too far and instinctively stabs her in the chest.
Walk on Water: When various locations and children at the school are being displayed as Xavier is giving Wolverine the tour, one is shown running (not-superspeed) horizontally across a tadpole pond.
Senator Kelly’s desire to introduce a Mutant Registration Act is born out of fear for others, and such fear isn't entirely unfounded.
Magneto. His plan is actually rather benevolent and would finally end the division between Mutants and the rest of Mankind, while sacrificing only Rogue to make it work. It's a good plan, it's just a shame his machine doesn't work!
Still, Xavier desiring to stop him is apt for someone with his point of view (that is the world is fine as it is, it's everyone living in it that needs to learn how to get along with things as they are and accept everyone for their differences).
Wham Line: Wolverine and Rogue have been chased and attacked several times by Magneto's band of mutants. The X-Men come to the conclusion that Magneto's after Wolverine, possibly due to his self-regeneration abilities. Then Magneto corners the pair in a train station and has Wolvie completely at his mercy...
Wolverine: What do you want from me?
Magneto: You? Whoever said we wanted you?" (turns to look at Rogue)
When Things Spin, Science Happens: Magneto's mutant making machine is a very strong example. The spinning really seems to be an integral part of its operation. And it's designed to be operated by moving the wheels around with magnetic powers apparently. Sort of makes one wonder if Magneto could have skipped kidnapping Rogue if he'd just installed some kind of motor in the thing.
Why Won't You Die?: As Storm flies out of the elevator shaft, Toad complains "Don't you people ever die?" (in a possible reference to how Death Is Cheap in the comics).
You Are What You Hate: Enforced. Magneto's crew mutates Senator Kelly, the US government's biggest backer of mutant suppression. Although we don't really get too good a gauge of how he feels about it, since he dies as a result not too long after.
You! Exclamation: During the climax, when Magneto traps the heroes in the Statue Of Liberty, he greets them with "Ah, my brothers!"... then casts a glare at Wolverine and snarls, "...andyou."
You Keep Telling Yourself That: When Magneto is making his final speech to the heroes about how the turn-everyone-into-a-mutant-beam is going to bring peace to the world and is worth the sacrifice, Wolverine is not impressed. He quips that if Magneto really believed everything he was saying, he would have just used himself to power the doomsday apparatus rather than Rogue. One realizes that, if Magneto had in fact done this, his plan would have succeeded without a hitch (though considering that he sees himself as the one thing keeping mutants out of the death camps, he wouldn't sacrifice himself unless he was 100% certain of the outcome).