Video Release: February 7, 2006
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
- Runtime: 120 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
- Released in French
Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series, X-MEN takes place in the near future, as certain humans are evolving into mutants with special powers. In the Canadian wilderness, a young runaway mutant named Rogue (Anna Paquin) and a bad-tempered, quick-healing mutant with retractable metal claws called Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) are suddenly attacked by the powerful Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his lackeys. Fortunately, Cyclops (James Marsden) and Storm (Halle Berry), students of the compassionate Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), interfere and bring them back to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Here Wolverine and Rogue learn more about the conflict between Xavier and the militant Magneto, who wants the energy-absorbing Rogue to power a device that will genetically alter humans, with possibly deadly results. When Magneto's minions succeed in capturing Rogue, Xavier's students mount a mission to rescue her and stop Magneto's plans. Director Bryan Singer (THE USUAL SUSPECTS) displays his expertise with an ensemble cast, accomplishing a feat by making the first live-action film about an entire group of superheroes. Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the ill-tempered Wolverine is dead-on, while Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are ideally matched in their Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X-like roles. Smart and well-paced, X-MEN towers above most comic book movies.
IN THEATRES: JULY 14, 2000 Marvel's classic comic book comes to life in this exciting big screen adaptation. The story focuses on the efforts of a well-intentioned professor, Charles Francis Xavier (Patrick Stewart). By pulling together a group of superhuman mutants, Professor X hopes to prove to the world that these genetically enhanced creatures are not the dangerous, evil villains humanity claims them to be. When Magneto (Ian McKellen), an angry mutant, vows to eradicate human existence, it's up to the X-MEN to save the day and keep the world united. Bryan Singer's (THE USUAL SUSPECTS) film is a visual feast, containing a host of standout performances.
Television commercials designed to look like political campaign ads for the McCarthy-like character of Senator Kelly (played by Bruce Davison) began airing months before the release of X-MEN. The spots gave little indication that they were X-MEN movie commercials, but urged viewers to "stop the X-Men" and log on to the Mutant Watch website. Even the internet site itself contained made-up "anti-mutant" literature. Director Bryan Singer initially wanted Russell Crowe to play Wolverine. However, Dougray Scott was cast as the clawed hero, but bowed out to finish work on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. The role of Wolverine finally went to Hugh Jackman. (Both Crowe and Jackman, coincidentally, are Australian.) Jackman was notorious on the set for getting into his character. In order to create Wolverine's edgy disposition, he often took cold showers. And though the actors got along well, Jackman avoided Tyler Mane (Sabretooth) during shooting to create a sense of rivalry. A total of 700 individual blades made of various materials were used for Wolverine's claws by Jackman and his stunt doubles. X-MEN creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance when Senator Kelly emerges from the ocean on a crowded beach. Lee also appeared in MALLRATS, which references characters in X-MEN and other comics. The visor worn by James Marsden in his role as Cyclops apparently impaired his vision so severely that he sometimes had to be led around the movie set. Although Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen were both members of the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, X-MEN was their first film together. However, Stewart and McKellen had briefly acted together in Trevor Nunn's production of the play EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos had to repeatedly endure over eight hours of make-up application for her role as the scaly, blue-skinned shape-shifter Mystique. Beast, the X-Men's resident blue-furred scientist, was originally set to appear in the movie, but was not included in the shooting script. Some of his science-oriented traits were given to the character of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Young X-Men such as Iceman, Jubilee, Colossus and Kitty Pryde make brief appearances during the scenes at Professor Xavier's school. Ray Park (Toad), best known for his role as Darth Maul in STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 - THE PHANTOM MENACE, mimics Darth Maul's fighting style in one of X-MEN's action sequences. X-MEN cost only $75 million to make, a relatively small budget for a film that contains over 450 special effects.