...but now I come to right this review, I can't remember what they were. I enjoyed the film, which was surprising, because I'd always heard it was bad. There are two big deaths in the film, neither of which come at the right time or are treated with enough importance afterwards which form the core flaws of the film. As well as that, there's a part of backstory with Phoenix and Professor X that was morally debatable enough to require, well, a lot of debate but it just got pushed aside. The end is underwhelming and isn't big enough for the film. The start and concept was complex enough that finding out it was all going to be solved by quite a small scale fist fight was a bit disappointing. They threw in a lot of mooks which at least contributed some scale, but it was enough of a let down that it makes the one big thing Magneto does seem complete overkill. Couldn't they have just taken a boat?
To finish with the grumbling, I'm not sure where I stand on the 'mutant-as-homosexuality' metaphor. It's a good message, it can be hard to watch, but only because it's a reminder that people can still be so sickening, and it works in the film because it gives us an instant by-in as to the discrimination mutants go through. But on the otherhand, which two people can have sex isn't really the same as someone having the power to completely rob every human in the vicinity of their free will and maybe people have got more right to be scared of someone who can melt their face off.
I think its here that the strengths of the film start to show though, because it shows awareness that there aren't easy answers to these. The characterisation doesn't have a right, but two groups of people who are trying to do their best in partial light. The X-Men see that the idea that someone has found a way to 'cure' them, is dangerous and insulting, but also that it can be a lot of help and some of them do want it. Maybe it makes the sides feel a bit arbitary but one side is trying harder for all people.
The characters are strong here and the two leaders deepest friends divided by ideals relationship is at it's strongest and acted phenomenally. The strength of character in the X-Men is here and acted well (except for Storm) and the idea is solid. The ideas might not be original, but here they're carried through competently.