Reviews: X Men 1

A 2012 Perspective

X Men hasn't aged well. I can understand it's mistakes, this was before we understood that superhero films could be really good films and the mistake isn't a fault of it's makers, but still this is today and it doesn't cut it any more.

The effects are the first thing that don't stand up, a surprising amount still work 12 years later, but over half of them don't and feel bad to watch. It goes deeper too, it's just not that the effects are bad, but they're used badly. They're displayed as though it's meant to be the content itself. When we're watching someone melt away the scene is too long and complex, instead of feeling the drama of the moment it seems like the attraction is supposed to be the pretty digital way the character is melting.

I mean they actual have that thing where someone looks at the camera and their eyes glow to show that they're evil. That alone ruins the film. It's a bad trope because why would someone undercover ever risk letting their eyes pointlessly glow evil? Surely the people around them saw it and immediately arrested them? Just because they're looking at the camera doesn't mean that no-one else can see them. And why does the film think we'd believe Mystique vs the established-as-invincible Wolverine was a tense fight?

And the film keeps introducing backgrounds in a awkward way. Instead everything having a part, we keep being expo-dropped everything checkliststyle

Almost every character is completely flat and boring, particular Cyclops to the point where his whole character feels like a Keanu Reeves' wannabe is trying to do Keanu Reeves impersonating himself as Neo. Dull is the word. It made me glad they'd characterised a henchman completely by his odd accent, because at least it was better than Sabretooth. Even Magneto isn't written right, behaving like a supervillain chump. He has good moments, but not enough.

On the other hand Wolverine is deep and interesting and Rogue was good on and off. Interestingly his relationship with Cyclops developed well even though Cyclops never got developed himself. It can feel like the film is Wolverine heavy, but his stuff is good, the problem is that there are other people who should be important and aren't. If they'd cut time on the affects and written everyone else some more interesting bits than it would have been great.